Meet the Sullivans: Book Review: The Great Gatsby

June 14, 2013

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

I'm one of those people who would always prefer to read the book version before seeing the movie. I've found that the book version is always better than the movie, no matter how great the acting, set design or costumes are. I like to compare how they differ and see the characters come alive on the big screen. 

When I saw the movie previews for The Great Gatsby I knew I just had to re-read the book before seeing the movie!

I know we've all probably been required to read The Great Gatsby at some point in our formal education. We had to read it during our freshman year in my high school, and to be completely honest with all of you, I didn't remember much about it before starting it last month.

I remember watching the 1974 version of the movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and I'm pretty sure I thoroughly read the Cliff's Notes. I'm so ashamed to admit that I went that route instead of actually reading the book. Mostly because I love to read, I'm a teacher, a parent and minored in English Literature.

Looking back I can guess why I didn't want to immerse myself in the book. The writing is very flowery and pretentious. The verbiage is more complicated than it needs to be--and when you're a freshmen in high school you have so many other things on your mind (i.e. does my hair look okay? why didn't he call me back?, etc.) 

The thing is, I actually really enjoyed the book this time around. Most definitely because I am quite different (dare I say wiser) than I was at 15 and have had so many more life experiences. Interesting how much a book changes for you when you've done so much changing yourself. 

Now that I'm done with the book I am even MORE excited to see the movie. The previews look so cool and I can't wait to see the characters come alive. And the costumes!! So glamorous!

Do you like to see the movie or read the book first? Have you seen Gatsby? Did you read the book first?


erin vancura said...

Totally re-read the book!! I heard not-so-awesome things about the movie... BUT the soundtrack is AMAZING!

In This Wonderful Life said...

I kind of feel like I want to read the book again, too! I've been debating on seeing the movie. I think Leo is a great actor, but it seems a bit over the top : /

E Hayes said...

The book was my favorite required reading in HS. I re-read it when they started filming the movie probably close to year and half to two yrs ago now, and was actually disappointed a bit. It was nice reading it probably 14 years later with fresh eyes, but I had hard time remembering what it was that I loved about the story. It was probably more the setting then the plot I assume.

In regards to the movie, I'm not really a Baz Lurhman (sp), the director, fan so I don't know if I'll like his spin on it. He has a tendency to be really over the top and saturated, for lack of a better word, in his vision. I feel like it might take away from the story. I also was really hoping the rumors of Ben Affleck being cast as Daisy's husband panned out because he'd be perfect. Like most movies, we'll netflix it :)

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

You know, I LOVE this book. Love it. I want to read it again. But I am not a Baz Luhrmann fan at all. I didn't love Romeo and Juliet or Moulin Rouge. I mean I thought they were pretty and the music was neat, but to take The Great Gatsby and over-produce it like that just seems odd to me. I do love the original movie. The way he works the camera and all the colors and loud music... I just don't know. But, maybe I'll watch it on Netflix. I hate to judge it before seeing it. Please let us know what you think if you do see it!!

Lobster Meets Peach said...

I must be a book worm since I just adored this book in high-school. But I still feel the need to re-read it before I see the movie. So I guess that just makes me a nerd;)