The Great Gatsby is a dazzling social satire, F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece and a milestone in twentieth-century literature, now beautifully repackaged as part of the Penguin Essentials range.
'There was music from my neighbour's house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.'
Everybody who is anybody is seen at the glittering parties held in millionaire Jay Gatsby's mansion in West Egg, east of New York. The riotous throng congregates in his sumptuous garden, coolly debating Gatsby's origins and mysterious past. None of the frivolous socialites understands him and among various rumours is the conviction that 'he killed a man'. A detached onlooker, Gatsby is oblivious to the speculation he creates, but always seems to be watching and waiting, though no one knows what for.
As the tragic story unfolds, Gatsby's destructive dreams and passions are revealed, leading to disturbing consequences. A brilliant evocation of 1920s high society, The Great Gatsby peels away the layers of this glamorous world to display the coldness and cruelty at its heart.
'Not only a page-turner and a heartbreaker, it's one of the most quintessentially American novels
ever written' Time
'He (F Scott Fitzgerald) was better than he knew, for in fact and in the literary sense he invented a
"generation"' New York Times
'The most perfectly crafted work of fiction to have come out of America' Professor Tony Tanner
'The American masterwork, the finest work of fiction by any of this country's writers' Washington Post
F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St Paul, Minnesota in 1896. He studied at Princeton University before joining the army in 1917. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre. Their traumatic relationship and subsequent breakdowns became a major influence on his writing. Among his publications were five novels, This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby, The Beautiful and the Damned, Tender is the Night and The Last Tycoon (his last and unfinished work); six volumes of short stories and The Crack-Up, a selection of autobiographical pieces. F. Scott Fitzgerald died suddenly in 1940.