If you follow me on Twitter & Instagram (@SKAFVS!), you’ll know I’ve been reading Great by Sarah Benincasa. A modern young adult retelling of The Great Gatsby, the book also gender-swaps Nick (Naomi) and Jay (Jacinta).
While the creative changes make for much needed and appreciated representation, the new delivery can be convoluted. On one hand, literally reading like my own high school diary gives the book an authenticity; on the other, unreliable narrators can be confusing and readers may be inclined to like them. Then again, I finished disillusioned with the characters as Naomi was.
If anything about the above sounds interesting, I’d recommend if you like Gatsby but aren’t attached to it. If adaptations outrage you, steer clear!
Three Things I Learned About
The Great Gatsby by Reading Great
In writing this post and trying to figure out how great Great was, I read up on the source material and learned a few things about the 1920s classic.
- There are many covers, but Cugat design is the most time-honored. Did you know that in the irises of haunting eyes are reflections of naked women?
- Gatsby character Jacinta has the last name Trimalchio which is not the result of a keysmash but actually a character in the Roman work Satyricon. Like Gatsby, Trimalchio comes into his wealth rather than being born into it. Fitzgerald even considered Trimalchio-centric novel titles as well as comparing Gatsby to the parvenu.
- The first film adaptation was a silent 1926 movie. It’s now considered lost with only the trailer available.
Have you read Great? What did you think? Will you be adding it to your books to read?