The Great Gatsby – Scott F. Fitzgerald
Evan’s ESS = 7 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = 6 out of 10
Content = PG-12 (Adult Content, Mild, Mild Violence, Presupposing Nicknames)
Why: The below exchange could possibly be the funniest ever recorded in a fiction novel set in the roaring 20’s.
“At first I din’ notice we’d stopped.”
A pause. Then, taking a long breath and straightening his shoulders, he remarked in a determined voice:
“Wonder’ff tell me where there’s a gas’line station?”
At least a dozen men, some of them a little better off than he was, explained to him that wheel and car were no longer joined by any physical bond.
“Back out,” he suggested after a moment. “Put her in reverse.”
“But the wheel’s off!”
“No harm in trying,” he said.
Okay, we realize that taken out of context this passage might not be the comedic gold that we originally thought. Trust us though, it is. Knowing that one of the characters suffered a night of heavy drinking prior to making these absentminded suggestions is even funnier. Unfortunately, this dialogue is the high point of the novel.
The Great Gatsby is oft praised by critics and is required reading in many high school English classrooms. We, however, question Gatsby’s greatness. We found the story uninspiring and other than providing a glimpse into upper-class indulgence during the jazz age, mildly uninteresting. Personal dislikes aside, Fitzgerald’s work wouldn’t have made it past the arduous filtering process here at Two Bibliomaniacs if the novel wasn’t well written and plenty worth your time. How’s that for inspiration!
Editor’s Note: The F stands for Francis. Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Something about that name sounds vaguely familiar……