A Reader posted a review at 2007-06-19 07:44:06.
By all accounts, a great novel. However, it isn't the paragon of perfection that some people claim it to be. There are certainly grand ideas underneath this novel, but they aren't explored very satisfactorily, not well enough to make the reader feel a sense of closure upon turning the final page. Is the American Dream alive or dead? Is love worth sacrificing your life over? The novel seems to shrug its shoulders, not take a definite stand. A lot of this can be blamed on the narrator's apathetic worldview, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
Those minor caveats aside, Fitzgerald has a way with words, and the book is very quotable. He is able to tell a concise and meaty story without adding fluff to give the book an artificially voluminous page count. He is able to paint amazing pictures with language, and manages the difficult task of balancing the stark reality of modernism with the more artistic conventions of symbolism and allegory. As a documentary of the 20's, it has few rivals.
The good outweigh the bad. Even if the book's foundation collapses under its own instability, what's left standing is a very attractive structure. Buy it, if not for education's sake.
Best book ever.