Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dear Great Book Guru,  Next Sunday is Mother's Day and I plan on taking my mother out to dinner - maybe Billy Long's Metro Bistro- and then  a movie and, of course,  I would like to buy her a book.  Any suggestions?   Devoted Son

Dear Devoted,   A great plan and I have both the movie and the book!  "The Great Gatsby" movie with Leonardo DiCaprio  opens this weekend which prompted me to reread the F.Scott Fitzgerald novel THE GREAT GATSBY.  While most of us are familiar with the story told by a young bond trader from the Midwest who finds himself enmeshed in the lives of his Long Island  millionaire friends,  I had forgotten, despite many readings of the novel ,how powerfully tragic the character of Gatsby is portrayed and how eerily noble he truly is.  Of course, the setting is familiar with North Shore mansions and roads playing a huge part in my enjoyment of the novel. Gatsby lives in nouveau riche Great Neck (West Egg) as opposed to the more genteel, old wealth of Manhasset ( East Egg) and the horrific climax takes place in- is it Douglaston, Queens ?   In many ways this is a simple book  with a simple plot but Fitzgerald's  narrator Nick draws us in  and we are as shocked as he by the outcome. This is a book to be read over and over with new insights to be found each time. 

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