Because this is an adaptation of a classic and there is no synopsis anywhere on the book I’m going to be sharing the synopsis of the original The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but my review is only of the graphic novel.
Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach…Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby – young, handsome, fabulously rich – always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
I have attempted to read the original of this before, but gave up pretty quickly. In the original the characters were too self absorbed and pompous for me to handle, so when I saw this at the library I decided it was an opportunity to find out what the story was without driving myself up the wall again.
I loved this graphic novel from the moment I picked it up and flicked through it’s pages, but it is not the story I love. It is the art. Nicki Greenberg’s version is told with the use of creatures in the style of a photo album. A glance at that is enough to win me over because I think it really is gorgeous art, a lovely interpretation of these characters, and so well set out. I’ve included a panel, but if you want to see more and learn more about Nicki Greenberg (who is an Australian based artist which I just found out) I’d recommend checking out her website.
As for the story itself, I can’t say if it was a fair adaptation seeing as I have never finished the original, but for someone who has never read the original it is not a bad story. I’m really glad I picked this up because now I get it. I get the story. I understand what it was about which I never would have otherwise. The characters did not grate on my nerves and infuriate me in this adaptation either, the panels helped build an emotional connection, and I found myself wanting to pick it up and not put it down.
I would recommend it if you love art and love a different interpretation to what is usually expected. I would also definitely recommend it if you have tried to read The Great Gatsby, but could not finish it. Especially if you’re like me and the curiosity of what others were on about gets to you.
- Created By: Nicki Greenberg
- Genre: Classic Literature Adaptation, Romance, General
- Comic or Graphic: Graphic Novel
- Published: 2007 by Allen and Unwin in Australia and New Zealand. 2008 in Canada by Penguin Canada.
- Adapted/Based: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Rating Out of Five: 4
- Challenges: The Two Month Comic Challenge