19 December, 2012

How the Rich Lived

F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was, i reckon, in Grade Nine or Ten when i read this book previously; that makes it thirtyeight or thirtynine years ago. I remember discussing it in Mr. Plummer's class ~ if that is how he spelled his name ~ outside, enjoying the sunshine, in the courtyard at UHill; i wonder if that lovely little area still exists for use by relaxing students and kind teachers. As i recall ~ unfortunately, i remember more about the circumstances than i do about my response to the book ~ i was not overly enthusiastic about Gatsby the first time around; seems to me, though, that might well have been my general response to set books as i have always been happier with mine own choices for reading directions ~ despite some excellent direction from great teachers, PCW (Loretto), Sister Pires (AUR), and Barb Baker (UHill) among them. This time around, however, i found myself enjoying the book far more than i did ( i suspect i have matured greatly as a reader, if no other way, over the years), and am prepared to find and read more Fitzgerald, which makes the thing a success by my criterion.

What did i like? The characters are clearly drawn, with very little given that is not needed or used again to further the plot; that certainly doesn't make them likeable, but they are manageable and not a challenge to the reader. The plot itself is simple, straightforward, which is reader-friendly; a love-story of sorts, or a tale of an accidental death, or an example of how the rich might live and die. We shall have to wait and see what other Fitzgeralds come my way to see what else i read and how that will integrate and build mine opinion of him as a writer; at any rate, i shall be on the lookout for them.

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