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The Great Gatsby
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)

The Great Gatsby is a study of the cruel contradictions that comprise the human condition, much like the author's all too short life.
The story is told as a first person narrative by Jay Gatsby's immediate neighbor. It is gradually revealed through the course of the story that Mr. Gatsby is in love with the protagonist's cousin, who he knew many years earlier. At the time Jay was, in his perception, lacking the needed monetary resources to support Daisy and therefore made no direct overtones toward marriage. He left for the war and during his abscense, the cousin, Daisy, marries a brutish man named Tom Buchanan who is wealthy in his own right.
Tom is engaging in an affair with the local mechanic's wife that is the worst kept secret in town. It is slowly revealed that the reason Gatsby bought the house he did was because he tracked down Daisy, the love of his life, who lives on the opposite side of the bay. He throws lavish parties every weekend hoping she would show up. She never presents herself, so in desperation he enlists the help of the protaganist to invite both him and his cousin to lunch, which he obligingly does. Gatsby and Daisy immediately rekindle their torrid affair.
After an afternoon in New York City, which includes a confrontation between Tom and Jay, Daisy is driving the car containing herself and Jay home. The mechanic's wife, knowing it is Tom's car runs to the road to flag him down but is instead struck and killed by Daisy's careless driving. Upon finding out what happened, Tom convinces the mechanic it was Jay who was driving. The mechanic kills The Great Gatsby before turning the gun on himself.
The ultimate sadness of this work is that while hundreds of people were consistently willing to exploit his hospitality, only one person came to The Great Gatsby's funeral. Tom and Daisy continued to enjoy their fanciful lives in denial. This work is one novel that is a must read.

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