UPDATE: Court is open Thursday and Friday.
Now comes the fun and easy part. We knew the top four novels before we begin this endeavor and for us, the only question was whether the Great Gatsby came in at 4 or 3?
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald. There is nothing more American than the concept of excess wealth, decadence, and "making it" in finance: The American Dream. Throw in Jazz, the roaring twenties, a murder, sex, the Plaza Hotel, a spurned lover, and finally, a return to middle western sensibilities, or in Nick Carraway's case, a literal return to the midwest. This Novel encompasses one aspect of the American Experience, one part of the theme of America. The novel stands alone in it's cautionary tale of American greed and excess until perhaps, Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities. But the Great Gatsby is a giant in it's own right, casting a shadow over the genre it created. We again looked for and choose a novel that changed the conversation and discourse of the literary world.
We were fascinated to learn that upon publication the novel received mixed reviews and did not sell well, and that when Fitzgerald died in 1940, he believed he was failure and that his work was doomed to be discarded and forgotten. Nothing could be further from the truth and TGG often is listed as The Great American Novel.