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'Gatsby' Flopped in 1925; Now It's Immortal

Town's reading program lets us decide collectively why it has endured.

With the help of librarians across Oyster Bay, Councilwoman 's program is encouraging residents to read "The Great Gatsby," F. Scott Fitzgerald's 20th Century Jazz Age masterpiece of love, loss and death.

The goal, said Alesia, is to promote literacy while creating a great sense of community within Oyster Bay. Residents will be invited to join reading groups to discuss the novel that uses Long Island's Gold Coast as a backdrop to the restless tensions of the "Lost Generation."

It might surprise some to learn that "Gatsby" was received warmly by critics when it was published in 1925, but did not sell well. It was during subsequent editions, after Fitzgerald's death, that the novel began its rise in popularity. Some of that is attributed to its free distrubution to soldiers fighting World War II.

Have you read "The Great Gatsby" recently? What do you attribute its lasting endurance to? Did it grab you from the beginning, or were you put off by it and never finished it?

Let's get the conversation going. I, for one, plan to read it again this summer.

What about you?


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