The last time I read The Great Gatsby was for a lit class in college. I remember loving it, which is odd—it’s unusual for me to have had such unambiguous feelings in literature class. After all, they were teaching us critical thinking. But back then I loved the color of this book—the yellows and greens—and the feel and sound of the gorgeous writing in my mental senses.
If you’ve somehow managed to make it through life without reading this masterpiece, here’s the plot. The narrator, Nick, moves to a rich neighborhood on Long Island, in the next village over from where his cousin Daisy lives. There he gets caught up in the glittering world of his new neighbor, Gatsby, who throws fantastic parties for the elite in his mansion. Eventually Nick d
iscovers why Gatsby throws these parties and for whom… I won’t tell you more, just that the story is suspenseful as well as masterfully told.
Since I remembered this classic fondly, I was glad when I heard that there was an audio CD version coming out with Tim Robbins as narrator. What a treat, I thought—a great actor reading a great book.
I wasn’t disappointed. Robbins brought out the beauty of the language, as well as the things I hadn’t caught before—the individuality and interactions of the characters, particularly. He caught me up in Gatsby’s world, leaving me sitting in my car for long stretches of time after I’d stopped driving, just so I could keep listening. And he had me sighing when the 7-some hours of reading were over. If you haven’t read this classic yet, try listening to it instead.