Check off one of my 2021 Spring Break goals, I completed my March Read of the Month, Nick by Michael Farris Smith. Nick tells the story of Nick Carraway, the narrator in F. Scott Fitgerald's 1925 classic The Great Gatsby. Full disclosure, The Great Gatsby is one of my favorite books of all time, so keep that in mind as I review this book.
|First thing, Sam Waterston is the only Nick Carraway, sorry Spiderman.....|
First, a quick summary of this book without giving too much away. Nick opens in France during World War I, and we meet Nick as he is fighting the war and spending time on leave falling in love in Paris. During this time, and throughout the book, the reader is provided some flashbacks to Nick's childhood in Minnesota as well, we even get a sample of his father's famous speech that Carraway opens The Great Gatsby with; "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, he told me, just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
The second half of the novel follows Nick as he returns from the war, but instead of going home he spends time in New Orleans. The novel concludes leading the reader right up to the opening of Gatsby, with Nick moving into a small cottage on Long Island. Speaking of that, here is Gatsby introducing himself to his new "neighbor" from the 1974 film version of The Great Gatsby.
A few general notes and thoughts:
- The novel starts a little slow for me, I nearly gave up, but the war scenes toward the end of the first half of the book helped. I enjoyed the second half set in New Orleans much more than the first half.
- I like Nick as a character (in both books) but he sure has some bad luck. He seems to put himself in some bad situations, but usually comes out clean and unharmed.
- My ranking, if you are a Gatsby dork like myself I give it a 4/5, if you are just looking for a book and you are not a Gatsby fan, it is honestly more of a 2.5/3 out of 5.