26. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and books about The American Dream

Today Chelsey and Sara are discussing The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We both read this in high school, had mixed feelings, came back to the text later, and still have mixed feelings! Plus some pretty strong opinions about Gatsby himself, Fitzgerald’s writing style, the prominence of this text in pop culture and in the classroom, and the narratives we repeat in American history class. We had a lot of fun recording this episode, and we can’t wait to hear all of your thoughts on Gatsby. 

Listen here

Our discussion includes:

  • What we thought of this book in high school versus what we think now
  • Whether or not Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship is romantic
  • Why this is such an enduring classic text
  • Why Sara hates the Baz Luhrman film version with the fire of a thousand suns
  • And…is this the Great American Novel?

Plus, as always, we’re recommending six contemporary books to pair with our classic,  including a Jazz Age novella and plenty of literary fiction.

We do discuss some spoilers in this episode, but as with all of our episodes, we still think that readers can enhance their experience by listening before, during, or after the reading experience. 

Books Mentioned:

So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan

Passing by Nella Larsen

Shop the pairings:  https://bookshop.org/lists/novel-pairings-for-the-great-gatsby

Chelsey’s Pairings:

Sara’s Pairings:

Picks of the Week:

Chelsey: The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton

Sara: Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry, Ep. 245 of What Should I Read Next

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