Typically Gatsby

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Article in Big Read, Historical and Themes categproes.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Alternate versions of The Great Gatsby

  • The movie starring Robert Redford & Mia Farrow

Adaptations or retellings

Set in an American High School with teenage characters.
A retelling in 1960's California.
Features events and characters from the novel as historical background.

Literary Criticism / About the novel

 Did You Know? -- Fitzgerald originally entitled the book Trimalchio in West Egg,
 after a character in the Satyricon by Petronius. The character is a wealthy man known 
 for throwing lavish dinner parties.

Scott and Zelda

Other novels and stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

  • The Crack-up {by} F. Scott Fitzgerald, with other uncollected pieces, note-books, and unpublished letters, together with letters to Fitzgerald from Gertrude Stein, Edith Wharton, T.S. Eliot, Thomas Wolfe and John Dos Passos, and essays and poems
  • Beloved Infidel: the education of a woman by Sheilah Graham and Gerold Frank
Did You Know? -- Fitzgerald was friends with Ernest Hemingway, and Scott makes
 an appearance in Hemingway's A Moveable Feast, a collection of anecdotes about expatriate
 life in 1920's Paris.

What Else Were They Reading in the 1920's?

Some bestsellers of the time

1920 Zane Grey, The Man of the Forest

1921 Sinclair Lewis, Main Street

1924 Edna Ferber, So Big

1925 Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

1926 John Erskine, The Private Life of Helen of Troy

1927 Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry

1928 Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

1929 Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front

"The Lost Generation" & other literary voices

Ernest Hemingway (try The Sun Also Rises - 1926)

John dos Passos (try *Manhattan Transfer - 1925)

Sherwood Anderson

T. S. Eliot

Dashiell Hammet

Langston Hughes

Zora Neale Hurston

Dorothy Parker

Damon Runyon

Thomas Wolfe

Virginia Woolf

High Society, at home and abroad

Ludwig Bemelmans, Hotel Bemelmans

John O'Hara (try Appointment in Samarra)

Booth Tarkington

Evelyn Waugh

Edith Wharton (try Twilight Sleep)

P. G. Wodehouse

Did You Know? -- Dan Cody, Gatsby's mentor, owns the yacht named Tuolomee -- it was
 probably named after the gold fields in northern California.

Historical fiction set in the Jazz Age

  • Jazz by Toni Morrison
  • Legs by William Kennedy
Did You Know? -- 1922 The setting of The Great Gatsby is the year 1922.
 Also in 1922: The Eskimo Pie is patented, construction begins on Yankee Stadium,
 Howard Carter opens King Tut's Tomb, and the Teapot Dome Scandal.
 Check out:  Tutankhamun: the untold story by Thomas Hoving
-- 1925 The Great Gatsby was published in 1925.
 Also in 1925 The New Yorker magazine is first published, the Chrysler Corporation is
 founded, Calvin Coolidge takes office as president, the frisbee is invented, and 
 the Scopes trial is held in Tennesee. Check out:  In the Time of Silent Cal by Jules Abels
 Monkey Town  by Ronald Kidd.

Get in the Mood

Music from the 1920's

Louis Armstrong -- The Complete Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings (4 CD's & a book)

Mel Bay -- Mel Bay Presents Songs of the Jazz Age (book with CD)

Russ Columbo -- Prisoner of Love: 23 crooning hits, 1928-1934

Johnny Dodds -- Great Original Performances, 1923-1929

Jelly Roll Morton -- The Chicago Years

Bessie Smith -- Bessie Smith

Ethel Waters -- Ethel Waters

Various performers -- Favorites of the Roaring Twenties, from the original recordings (2 CDs)

Related Movies

  • Under the Biltmore Clock American Playhouse, 1986 (70 min.) Based on the story "Myra Meets His Family" by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Bernice Bobs Her Hair originally aired on PBS, 1976. (48 min.) Based on the story of the same name by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • The Last of the Belles. Originally aired on ABC TV, 1974. The story of Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald's meeting.
Did You Know? -- The character of Meyer Wolfsheim is based on Arnold Rothstein, 
who fixed the 1919 World Series. Although the novel doesn't discuss it at length,
readers at the time would have known the details of the allusion. Find out more about
the events and characters surroudning the scandal:
-- The Chicago "Black Sox" Baseball Scandal: a headline court case by Michael J. Pellowski 
-- Blue Ruin: a novel of the 1919 World Series by Brendan Boyd
Or watch the movie: *Eight Men Out

Flappers, Bathtub Gin, & Jazz: Nonfiction about the Roaring Twenties:

  • New World Coming: the 1920's and the making of modern America by Nathan Miller
  • Only Yesterday: an informal history of the nineteen-twenties by Frederick Lewis Allen
  • Posing a Threat: flappers, chorus girls, and other brazen performers of the American 1920's by Angela J. Latham