The Great Gatsby

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrator: F. Scott Fitzgerald , Tim Robbins
Genres: Classics
Publisher: Caedmon
Published In: October 2002
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 7 hours
Ratings:
Tell Your Friends:

Overview

"The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder." It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated and studied twentieth-century works of American fiction.

This deceptively simple work, Fitzgerald's best known, was hailed by critics as capturing the spirit of the generation. In Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald embodies some of America's strongest obsessions: wealth, power, greed, and the promise of new beginnings.

The recording includes a selection of letters written by Fitzgerald to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, his agent, Harold Ober, and friends and associates, including Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, John Peale Bishop and Gertrude Stein.

Performed by Tim Robbins

Reviews (11)

.

Written by Anonymous on April 27th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I think Tim Robbins does a good job narrating - BUT if you are listening to this in a car, he drops his voice so often to just above a whisper, so you will miss pieces of the dialogue, even if you are quick to turn up the volume. You might want to choose a different reader if you plan on listening while driving.

The Great Gatsby

Written by Anonymous on September 11th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I had never read this before but absolutely loved it. Extremely different from what I usually read, but not a disappointment.

Parties of the 20s

Written by shead on March 26th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Just like I remember reading in high school when we reviewed this book. This time it was much more interesting, seeing as how I was reading it for pleasure instead of being forced to read it. F. Scott paints an amazing picture of new york in an all to crazy world, with this push and pull of society hanging over everyones heads all the time. Highly recommended.

The Great Gatsby

Written by Anonymous from Hyattsville, MD on January 26th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wonderful! I had been wanting to read this for a long time (one of the classics on my must read list) and had wondered about listening to it vs. reading it, but it was really a great listen. Good narrator and the music between chapters really set the scene nicely.

A Classic

Written by Aunt Louie from Plainfield, IL on September 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

The Great Gatsby is a classic book that I have read several times, but listening to it really brings the book to life. I would recommend this version over the other one. The narrators voice fits the overall tone of the book well. Take your time and you'll grow to love this story too.

Great Gatsby

Written by Catherine Copeland on August 19th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

This was one of those books that I should have read in high school. I'm old enough to remember that the cad Robert Redford played Gatsby but I never saw the movie either. Back in high school I read the books I wanted to unless the teacher assigned us a book and then I read that too. Our English teacher never chose to assign us this book. I knew basically what it was about even though I never read it. It's referenced often in conversations about the rich and in college classrooms. Still it took my youngest son telling me that this was his favorite book to finally get me to read it. I can't say it's my favorite book but I can say that it inspired me to go back through that list of books college bound students should read and actually do just that. It is such a sad statement of life that so many of us have one person we are willing to remake ourselves over for in order to get them to love us. We sell ourselves short and often to a person not worth of so much effort.

Great!

Written by Anonymous on July 12th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a great & tragic story. Tim Robbins does a great job of reading this story. The audio is good quality. I highly recommend this.

UGH!

Written by a Florida reader on March 7th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I love Fitzgerald and wanted to revisit this book. However, I could not bear to listen to Robbins. Robbins read with little expression. Maybe I should not have attempted to listen to a "classic" on the heels of a Harry Potter novel. Robbins should call the ever expressive Jim Dale (the reader of the Potter series) and ask for lessons.

Hard to follow

Written by Anonymous on January 20th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I think I would have really enjoyed this book becuase the storyline is pretty interesting but it was so hard to follow that at times I had no idea what was going on. It seemed to jump back and forth between the past and present too much.

A good classic

Written by Anonymous from Manchester, CT on January 13th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

As a student studying to become an English teacher, this audio book was the perfect way for me to become acquainted with a classic that I should be familiar with. I found the story easy to listen to and was able to get through the entire book in 2 days of car rides and cooking. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for an easy way to experience Fitzgerald's famous book without having to stop everything else to read.

Author Details

Author Details

Fitzgerald, F. Scott

F. Scott Fitzgerald's life is a tragic example of both sides of the American Dream - the joys of young love, wealth and success, and the tragedies associated with excess and failure. Named for another famous American, a distant cousin who authored the Star Spangled Banner, Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 24, 1896. The son of a failed wicker furniture salesman (Edward Fitzgerald) and an Irish immigrant with a large inheritance (Mary "Mollie" McQuillan), Fitzgerald grew up in a solidly Catholic and upper middle class environment.

Fitzgerald started writing at an early age. His high school newspaper published his detective stories, encouraging him to pursue writing more enthusiastically than academics. He dropped out of Princeton University to join the army and continued to pursue his obsession, writing magazine articles and even musical lyrics.

At 21 years of age, he submitted his first novel for publication and Charles Scribner's Sons rejected it, but with words of encouragement. Beginning a pattern of constant revising that would characterize his writing style for the rest of his career, Fitzgerald decided to rewrite "The Romantic Egoist" and resubmit it for publication. Meanwhile, fate, in the form of the U.S. army, stationed him near Montgomery, Alabama in 1918, where he met and fell in love with an 18-year-old Southern belle - Zelda Sayre. Scribners rejected his novel for a second time, and so Fitzgerald turned to advertising as a steady source of income. Unfortunately, his paltry salary was not enough to convince Zelda to marry him, and tired of waiting for him to make his fortune, she broke their engagement in 1919. Happily, Scribners finally accepted the novel after Fitzgerald rewrote it for the third time as "This Side of Paradise", and published it a year later. Fitzgerald, suddenly a rich and famous author, married Zelda a week after its publication.

In between writing novels, Fitzgerald was quite prolific as a magazine story writer. The Saturday Evening Post in particular served as a showcase for his short works of fiction, most of which revolved around a new breed of American woman - the young, free-thinking, independent "flapper" of the Roaring Twenties.
F. Scott Fitzgerald Photo

The Fitzgeralds enjoyed fame and fortune, and his novels reflected their lifestyle, describing in semi-autobiographical fiction the privileged lives of wealthy, aspiring socialites. Fitzgerald wrote his second novel - "The Beautiful and the Damned" a year after they were married. Three years later, after the birth of their first and only child, Scottie, Fitzgerald completed his best-known work: "The Great Gatsby."

The extravagant living made possible by such success, however, took its toll. Constantly globe-trotting (living at various times in several different cities in Italy, France, Switzerland, and eight of the United States), the Fitzgeralds tried in vain to escape or at least seek respite from Scott's alcoholism and Zelda's mental illness.

Zelda suffered several breakdowns in both her physical and mental health, and sought treatment in and out of clinics from 1930 until her death (due to a fire at Highland Hospital in North Carolina in 1948). Zelda's mental illness, the subject of Fitzgerald's fourth novel, "Tender is the Night," had a debilitating effect on Scott's writing. He described his own "crack-up" in an essay that he wrote in 1936, hopelessly in debt, unable to write, nearly estranged from his wife and daughter, and incapacitated by excessive drinking and poor physical health.

Things were looking up for Fitzgerald near the end of his life - he won a contract in 1937 to write for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood and fell in love with Sheilah Graham, a movie columnist. He had started writing again - scripts, short-stories, and the first draft of a new novel about Hollywood - when he suffered a heart attack and died in 1940 at the age of 44, a failure in his own mind. Most commonly recognized only as an extravagant drunk, who epitomized the excesses of the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald's work did not earn the credibility and recognition it holds today until years after his death.