The Great Gatsby: The Graphic Novel

the great gatsby the graphic novel

A gorgeously illustrated, first-ever graphic novel adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved American classic.

First published in 1925, The Great Gatsby has been acclaimed by generations of readers and is now reimagined in stunning graphic novel form. Jay Gatsby, Nick Carraway, Daisy Buchanan, and the rest of the cast are captured in vivid and evocative illustrations by artist Aya Morton. The iconic text has been artfully distilled by Fred Fordham, who also adapted the graphic novel edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. Blake Hazard, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great-granddaughter, contributes a personal introduction.

This quintessential Jazz Age tale stands as the supreme achievement of Fitzgerald’s career and is a true classic of 20th-century literature. The story of the mysteriously wealthy Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy is exquisitely captured in this enchanting and unique edition.---from the publisher

208 pages                         978-1982144548                          Ages 14 and up

Keywords:  classic, graphic novel, 20th century, love, Jazz Age, 14 year old, 15 year old, 16 year old


“At the end of Gatsby, when Fitzgerald writes the famous ‘boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past’ -- I think he believes that. I think at least for the moment of that book, Fitzgerald did have an expansive ideal he wanted to mention. But he doesn’t end in such a way to eulogize his characters. He wants readers to be complicitous in his hopefulness but skeptical because of what history has -- or should have -- taught them.”

-- author Ann Beattie in an interview in Contemporary Literature (1990)

The Great Gatsby is set in the Roaring Twenties, twenty miles outside of Manhattan, on a pair of rounded peninsulas that nose out into Long Island Sound. Forty years later, in the days of Kennedy vs Nixon, I was a little kid in the nearby suburbs. When we drove to the beach, we passed through places like Matinecock, Mill Neck, and Lattingtown. I still recall the vast green horse pastures bordered by immaculate white wooden fences that ran hypnotically for mile after mile after mile. Even today, a hundred years post-Gatsby, many of these villages retain their exclusivity with an average density of two-plus acres for every man, woman, and child residing there. Gatsby’s nearby world was quite a contrast with the fifty-by-hundred lots that made up our modest neighborhood full of Baby Boomer kids.

I remember reading The Great Gatsby the first time. I had the good fortune of being assigned to a freshman lit class at UConn taught by a talented young grad student named Ann Beattie. Her then-husband and fellow future author David Gates regularly participated in the class discussions. Those sessions were quite a leap from high school English.

“They were careless people,

Tom and Daisy--they smashed

up things and creatures and then

retreated back into their money.

Or their vast carelessness.

Or whatever

it was that kept

them together, and

let other people

clean up the mess

they made…”

This notable adaptation of Gatsby in a graphic novel format tweeks the story and dialogue to better suit the format. Overall, the story is recognizable and engaging, a positive introduction to the American classic. I like that text is frequently incorporated into the illustrations, rather than superimposed over or set below the images. The illustrations are done in watercolor and digital.

This adaptation is perfect for eighth- and ninth-grade readers, but will serve as a valuable introduction to Gatsby for any and all high school students.

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA

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