F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel of the Roaring Twenties is beloved by generations of readers and stands as his crowning work. This new audio edition, authorized by the Fitzgerald estate, is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain). Gyllenhaal's performance is a faithful delivery in the voice of Nick Carraway, the Midwesterner turned New York bond salesman, who rents a small house next door to the mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby. There, he has a firsthand view of Gatsby’s lavish West Egg parties - and of his undying love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan.
After meeting and losing Daisy during the war, Gatsby has made himself fabulously wealthy. Now, he believes that his only way to true happiness is to find his way back into Daisy’s life, and he uses Nick to try to reach her. What happens when the characters’ fantasies are confronted with reality makes for a startling conclusion to this iconic masterpiece.
This special audio edition joins the upcoming film - as well as many other movie, radio, theater, and even video-game adaptations - as a fitting tribute to the cultural significance of Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age classic, widely regarded as one of the greatest stories ever told.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anthony on 02-06-13
Could be a better investment than the movie
This is a beautifully written and narrated examination of superficiality and materialism and in America in the interwar years. It highlights the desire for money and things, drawing attention to the emptiness that can accompany the unconstrained search for more and more. The powerful symbols of Gatsby's house and the eyes of Dr T J Eckleberg, reveal the dominance of commercialism and the hollowness of the continuous search for wealth and recognition. When things go wrong it all collapses in a heap and there's barely a relationship that survives Gatsby's violent end.
Great story, beautifully written, well narrated, and probably more deeply evocative than the multi-million dollar movie. Maybe money can't buy it all, after all?!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By caroline on 07-07-14
Best novel of the twentieth century
Where does The Great Gatsby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Probably the best, the prose sparkles and the plot is spare and perfectly framed
Who was your favorite character and why?
The narrator, he is at once reflective and sensitive, aware of his own faults but capable of emotion and loyalty
What does Jake Gyllenhaal bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
One gets a clearer delineation of the characters by listening to their different voices, tonalities and inflections as read by him
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Voted by me one of the best if not the best novel of the twentieth century. The music of the prose suggests the jazz era
Any additional comments?
I have now read this book twice, seen the first movie once and most enjoyed of all experiences the audible version. Fabulous.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Matthew Stavros on 09-05-13
Just the right reading style
I was reluctant to listen to a book read by a screen actor, and one I don't particularly love. I thought the creators would be selling the name rather than a gifted reader. I was wrong. Not only did Jake Gyllenhall read the story well, he did so in an almost whispered style that I think captured the book's subtlety in supreme manor. I can highly recommend this audiobook.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
By Jorge Curiel Lopez on 06-07-13
Nice voice, terrible voice acting.
I was pretty excited when I saw this release. I hadn't read The Great Gatsby before, but I was aware of the soon to be released movie. I am a fan of Jake Gyllenhaal as an actor and I was curious about how his first audiobook narration would go.
To be honest, the listening was very dissapointing. From the very beginning I noticed how Gyllenhaal was merely whispering his way through the book. At first I thought this was needed to keep a nostalgic mood for the novel introduction, but the pace, tone and volume kept exactly the same till the end.
I even wondered wether Jake was trying very hard to sound what, sexy? Except that didn't work when he had to switch between different characters. When dialog occured, I had a very hard time distinguishing what character was supposed to be talking, the voice-acting being so plain. Only Tom and Gatsby sounded distinct (if not cued by hearing "oldsport" at the end of every Gatsby's line). Appart from them, even male and female characters were undistinguishable from each other, for they all had the same dull, muted voice of Nick, the narrator.
Also, there's lack of emotion everywhere. Not even lines like "oh my god" (hint: near the end) sound convincing enough to me. When characters are supposed to be really angry, Jake makes them sound like presenting their arguments as-a-matter-of-fact-ly. Several times I found myself mentally repeating the lines with my own expression added to it, in order to try and enjoy the novel a bit more.
Unfortunately, there's something else to add. There are several occasions in which listeners will notice audio editing, (i.e. cut and paste voice clips in the right place), like when the narrator does a mistake during recording and has to do a second take, but resumes from few words behind (presumably after a comma) instead of reading again the whole parragraph. You can tell where's the cut because of the change in Gyllenhaal's breath or the apparent variation in distance to mic (different envelope or openness sound).
As for the story... I didn't like it. But I can't tell to what extent the negative experience was due to the narration performance. It could simply be a different writing style than I was expecting, though. As I stated before, I didn't know the story before.
Bottom line: I don't recommend this audiobook. I sincerely hope Gyllenhaal gets better at narrating if he seeks this path.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful