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Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Classic, 2014

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.

©1925 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed 1953 by Frances Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Anthony
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 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?!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great classic story, but dreary narration

Where does The Great Gatsby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Sadly, it seems my take on the narration for this book, is somewhat different to the opinions of others...
I like Jake Gyllenhaal's acting, but his vocals in this story, didn't capture me at all. In fact, his monotone voice with lack of excitement, left me missing various important parts of the story as my mind wandered for something less dreary.
Great story, but I'm glad I had a re-wind button to re-listen to the bits I drifted off to...

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Great 'read'

Really enjoyed it - very evocative and brings the roaring 20s to life in a hedonistic manner.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully read, great story

I really enjoyed this book, and loved the narration. The tone felt perfect for the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful Adaptation

Jake Gyllenhaal really brings this wonderful story to life. I've listened to a few audiobooks of this story, and they've always failed to engage me. This one, however, really succeeds, with Gyllenhaal breathing a charm and old-world sensibility into Fitzgerald's words. His Gatsby voice sounds very much like DiCaprio's, which lends itself well to the tie-in with the 2013 movie.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Quite a bit of fuss over nothing!

It's written well but it's a little slow for my tastes! Also who'd have thought jake gyllenhal would have such a monotone narration???

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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This book washed over me

I haven’t a clue what I have just been hearing. Great voice but the rest is.... well I might relisten to this someday in future as I heard it was good.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Katy
  • Surrey, United Kingdom
  • 03-06-13

Beautiful

From the opening line until the end, I was spirited away to the world of Gatsby and Daisy.
It was beautifully read and with the voice that seemed to be intended for the book.
Even if you have seen the film(I hadn't) It is a must.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A charming story about love and obsession.

Jake Gyllenhaal makes a good performance, but not a great one. He does, however, give a pleasant spin to the story with his very own take.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Matthew Stavros
  • 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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jorge Curiel Lopez
  • 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

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian C Robertson
  • 16-04-13

The Very Good Gatsby, Reprised

I apologise if you've read my previous review of the William Hope production, but what follows is essentially the same down to the Performance. Skip to there is you've read the other review.

The Book
What can I say? It is one of the best known plots of modern times. It is regarded as a modern American classic, alongside "Grapes of Wrath", Huck Finn's Adventures and Scout's wondering at her father's integrity. But for me, it has always been missing something. I know it's about soulless people for whom, what it looks like is more important than what it is. So of course it is missing something. That's the point! But still, there's something I can't put my finger on that separates this from the true "Greats".
I just read Melinda's review (which I always read with interest). She gets it, but I don't. For me Fitzgerald has so successfully dismissed these glitzy cut-out figures, that I have no empathy for any of them, not even Dan. That leaves me this: awed by the language, but not so hot about the story. And, isn't it all about the story? Anyway, who am I to criticise the book. It can't have been too bad because I listened to two versions of it over a day!
Overall, I think my prejudice is not a good guide. I love the language, but I could easily never read this again. I wouldn't say the same for Wrath, Mockingbird or Finn, and certainly I will read Of Mice and Men again, hopefully many times.

The Performance
I listened to this version of the tale second. I started with the William Hope version, then saw the Jake Gyllenhaal one advertised. It wasn't that I wasn't enjoying Hope's performance, because I listened to both from "cover to cover". However, maybe because I was looking for something more, I thought I would listen to this production, too, It had the redeeming feature of being an hour shorter, but I can't work out why that is. Certainly Gyllenhaal didn't read too quickly. To the contrary, I found his easy pace much more endearing that Hope's dramatisation, although I found Hope's characterisation better, overall. Also, I was driven to the hard copy with Gyllenhaal's telling because he punctuated it where he wanted to, not where the text does. On some occasions this changed the meaning of the language. I liked both versions and I can recommend both, but if forced to choose, I would opt for the more accurate reading (ie, Hope's) because I thing the language, including the punctuation, is the best of this book.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniela
  • 02-06-13

Gleaming prose and flawless reading

If you are in for a treat give yourself 4 hours of delightful entertaining.
Gatsby's sad but scintillating story is told by Fitzgerald perfect prose, with Gyllenhaal wonderful reading.
Whether you - like me - read it long ago and want to reread it now, or for the first time approach it, maybe because the movie brought it back under the spotlight, do not miss it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Arun
  • 28-10-17

This book is a classic for a reason

It is poetry disguised as prose. Every word has a place and every combination of words packs within it a beauty, a profound sadness, an alluring decadence that almost fills you with envy for the writer‘s prowess in wielding his pen. Jake Gyllenhaal's narration couldn't have been more perfect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-11-18

Avoid Jake’s narration

The story is great but Jake’s narration is just bad he made some parts of the book really boring

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  • Easy Function
  • 11-10-18

Gatsby is always great :)

You should read it at least once in your lifetime, a really nice read. I would recommend.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-06-18

Lives up to the reputation

I'll be honest. After coming to this book, right after a fantasy novel marathon, I had some trouble getting into it. Luckily, the awe worthy wordsmanship kept me listening. Once the mood had been set and I had become acquainted with the titular character, I was hooked. If ever while listening to this book you feel like the descriptions off the character's frivolous lives are running the pace, just take a break and go sentence by sentence thinking of while the implications of every thing these people do, while focusing on the phrase "Everyone already knows everything". Even if you end up not adding this book to your favorites, I can vouch that you will come out the better for listening to it, and 5 hours isn't that much of a sacrifice, now, it's it?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AnnaJane
  • 19-03-17

The disillusioned belief in a close dream of faintly real green light

There is a fantastic figure gliding toward Jay Gatsby through the amorphous trees, the destined broken American dreams, and the wonderful yet unreal past. All memories are ashen. Staring at the remote green light coming from Daisy's dock, Gatsby innocently and tragically believed in the charming voice full of money and carelessness.

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  • JOHN
  • 20-10-16

Quite the voyage

Now that I've experienced a good number of audio books, I can honestly say that this is one of the finest performances. The narration is flawless. The book itself, is a thing of poetic beauty, and it comes across seemlessly, in this production.