Why The Great Gatsby is my favourite romance novel
Now, I’m not an avid reader of romance novels but The Great Gatsby is probably my all time favourite book, and it just so happens to be a love story. Gatsby is probably the ultimate romantic hero – handsome, mysterious and fabulously wealthy (not that that matters, honest).
All the characters are flawed, even Gatsby. And if you somehow manage to get past the self-centered and annoying Daisy Buchanan, you’ll probably struggle to forgive her obnoxious, racist, adulterous husband, Tom Buchanan. He also hits women. He’s the perfect antithesis to Gatsby and they both love Daisy, creating a conflicting love triangle.
Everything in romantic novels feels like a fairy tale, and Gatsby is no different; “In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars”. The intriguing minor characters (like Wolfsheim who wears human teeth for cufflinks) and the period glamour of it all makes it a well-worth read.
It is, however, much more than your average romance novel. It gives an amazing portrayal of prohibition era America, the failing American dream and an eerily accurate foreshadowing to the Great Depression. I think most importantly of all, it’s not afraid to be ambiguous, which makes it an incredible book to pick up more than once, with a different interpretation each time. F. Scott Fitzgerald is not afraid to make you doubt the characters and lets you make up your own mind about them. Give it a read and see what you think. Then read it again.