Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby opens on Friday and to mark the occasion, USA Today has published "Five Reasons 'Gatsby' is the Great American Novel." When Fitzgerald died in 1940, he had only sold 25,000 copies, writes USA’s Deidre Donahue. Today it is currently the second top-seller in the U.S. It sells more than half a million copies each year.
Donahue offers these five reasons for the novel’s staying power. See if you agree.
1. At its heart, it is the most American of stories. Jay Gatsby is the iconic self-made man.
2. Set in “The Jazz Age,” the novel chronicles the hedonism of a fascinating era.
3. It’s complex characters seem relevant to each new generation of readers
4. The novel is about an intriguing obsessive, “crazy” love.
5. The prose, while sparse, is “imperishable.” As an example, Donahue quotes the novel’s final sentence: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."