The "Fresh Air" book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby "The Great American Novel we all think we've read, but really haven't."
Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, it's now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald's masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.
Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great-and utterly unusual-So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby's surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a "classic," and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender.
With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, "borne back ceaselessly" into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own.
|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, the Critic-in-Residence at Georgetown University, and winner of the Edgar Award for Criticism. She is the author of Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading (Random House, 2005).
Table of Contents
1 Water, Water, Everywhere 27
2 "In the Land of Ambition and Success" 76
3 Rhapsody in Noir 127
4 A Second-Rate, Midwest Hack and the Masterpiece He Wrote 162
5 "Here Lies One Whose Name Was Writ in Water" 215
6 "I Didn't Get It the First Time" 266
Bibliographical Notes 327
Reading Group Guide 345
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A special thank you to Little Brown & Company and NetGalley for a complimentary reading copy in exchange for an honest review. (also purchased audiobook). So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures, by Maureen Corrigan offers extraordinary insights and commentary, into the real meaning behind this timeless classic; the characters, the time, viewpoints and perspectives, symbolisms, comparisons, and interesting tidbits of this talented author, Scott Fitzgerald; inspiring readers to re-read, to experience the life of the good and the bad of this exciting era and the “American Dream”. As a huge fan of The Great Gatsby, having read it many times, during my younger years, and within the last few years, the movie, performances, reading the book again twice, and listened to the audiobook. Have also read Z, Zelda Fitzgerald and many other books surrounding this intriguing couple. Wow, So We Read On was outstanding! A thought provoking and compelling view with a fresh look and perspective into the symbolism between the life of Scott Fitzgerald and Gatsby character. I listened to the audiobook, read by the author; so right on, as her vast knowledge is reflective throughout the pages. I was so engrossed, as I am a big research nut and loved Corrigan's passion and extensive insights (what a super idea going back to the high school as everyone has a different take). The entire time I was listening to this captivating book, I was thinking “Wow, Corrigan could duplicate this book with all the classics out there!” It would be incredible, as I for one would buy anything she writes. So We Read On is a book you will want to buy (as ideal for reference, gifts, and would make a great book club choice, or for lectures, groups, etc.), as I found myself trying to make notes while listening to the audio, so need to go back and buy the e-book in order to make notes, as there is so much to take in. I cannot possibly hit on all my notes as you have to read the book; however, some of the main items I found fascinating. Drawing on the author’s own experience as a reader, lecturer, and critic; a powerful read you will not want to miss. I was blown away! Corrigan is witty and brutally honest and yes, you definitely will want to re-experience Gatsby in new more favorable light. Read both - Highly recommend!
With humor and intelligence, Maureen Corrigan helps the reader come to an appreciation of The Great Gatsby, perhaps not achieved before. Like most, I read Gatsby years ago and didn't much like it. After reading Corrigan's book, I re-read it and loved it. Thank you, Maureen Corrigan!
An easy, well written, approachable tome on Gatsby and its author.
Exceptionally written book. Very insightful, informative, and creative. I recommend this book for any true Great Gatsby fan!