Saturday, April 11, 2015

Book #15: The Great Gatsby

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I have a secret to tell you. I consider myself a bibliophile, but I'm actually kind of a poser. I love libraries. I adore bookstores. I dream of Belle's library in Beauty and the Beast. If I could go back to school, I'd get my masters in library science. But I don't actually love literature. Haha. I was an Education Major for a brief stint of my lackluster college career. I intended to be an English teacher, but dreaded the literature classes I would have to take . . .and ultimately teach. It's what propelled me to change my major . . .

I had a dear friend at Spring Arbor, who was appalled by my disinterest in (more aptly, my abhorrence of) classic literature. She bought me a set of the greatest classics, but I'm not sure I ever actually read them all. (Sorry, Rachel!) I read and hated Jane Eyre, but other than that, I'm not sure I've ever read anything that could be classified as a "classic." So, when I started this 30 Before 30 venture, I decided to try it one more time. I browsed the "classic" section at the library and eventually landed on The Great Gatsby because 1. I'd heard of it. 2. I knew my brother and sister-in-law liked the movie enough to buy it. 3. It was blessedly short compared to so many of the other novels weighing down the "classics" shelf.

I just spent the last 3 hours reading it and to say I'm underwhelmed would be an understatement. (Sidenote: I know you can be overwhelmed and underwhelemed, but can you ever just be whelmed? Lol. Name that movie.)

Here's my problem with literature: I don't appreciate symbolism or metaphors or figurative language. Haha. Does that statement alone disqualify me from calling myself a bibliophile? I like action and dialogue and compelling storylines. I don't like having to think about what is meant beyond the surface of the written word. I don't like reading between the lines. Just give it to me straight.

The Great Gatsby was fragmented and confusing and bogged down by what I assume was deep symbolism about the American dream and wealth. Or something. Haha. As seems to be the common theme in my branching outside of "inspirational fiction," I found it depressing. People are drunk most of the time, the main characters are embroiled in extramarital affairs, and then of course everyone dies. It's like Nicholas Sparks all over again. Haha. I did not enjoy it in the least and was glad when it was over. 

That said, I told my brother I want to borrow the movie. Maybe I'll like the modern adaptation better . . . Please don't stone me . . .

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1 comment:

  1. Haha! You crack me up. You need to branch out, girl!

    Yeah, "The Great Gatsby" is totally depressing. And the characters are all super unlikeable. I think it's written well and captures the setting and awful characters well, but with the old-style writing (which feels awkward) and the depressing-ness, it's certainly not one of my favorites.

    Books you should read:

    My top recommendation for you is "Enchantment" by Orson Scott Card. It's not a classic, but it is a genre you don't usually read. It's basically about sleeping beauty. There's action and romance!! It's a short and easy read.

    If you want to give another classic a chance, try "Emma." Fun fun. Have you ever read "Anne of Green Gables"?? I think you would like it!

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