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Judging ‘Gatsby’ by Its Cover(s)
NYT ^ | 4/26/2013 | JULIE BOSMAN

Posted on 04/26/2013 1:58:11 PM PDT by Borges

“The Great Gatsby” has united generations of American readers with its crash-and-burn tale of empty elegance and impossible love on Long Island in the 1920s.

Now the novel is dividing the nation’s booksellers with dueling paperback editions: the enigmatic blue cover of the original and the movie tie-in book that went on sale Tuesday, a brash, flashy version with Leonardo DiCaprio front and center.

The new edition is timed with the 3-D film adaptation, directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Mr. DiCaprio, that will arrive in theaters on May 10.

So far this year, sales of the paperback with the original jacket art — a glowing cityscape and a pair of floating eyes — have been extraordinary. On Thursday, it was the top-selling book on Amazon.com. At Barnes & Noble stores last week, no other paperback book sold more copies. It has landed on best-seller lists for independent bookstores.

***

“It’s just God-awful,” Kevin Cassem, a bookseller at McNally Jackson, said on Tuesday. “ ‘The Great Gatsby’ is a pillar of American literature, and people don’t want it messed with. We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: thegreatgatsby
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1 posted on 04/26/2013 1:58:11 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Is it just me or was the book ridiculous and depressing?


2 posted on 04/26/2013 1:59:46 PM PDT by Williams (No Obama)
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To: Williams

It isn’t just you.

And the mere fact that the film stars Leonardo DiCrapio and was directed by Baz Luhrman would keep me from seeing it even if I did like the book.


3 posted on 04/26/2013 2:01:13 PM PDT by ZirconEncrustedTweezers (Some people take there grammar way to seriously.)
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To: Williams

Not as depressing as DiCaprio..


4 posted on 04/26/2013 2:02:18 PM PDT by stephenjohnbanker
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To: Williams

It’s a tragedy so ‘depressing’ depends on the context.


5 posted on 04/26/2013 2:02:20 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Williams
I don't see how either of these perfectly valid takes on the book should impede enjoyment of it. Here, try this out.
6 posted on 04/26/2013 2:03:31 PM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: ZirconEncrustedTweezers

I don’t mind Leonardo’s acting. However, I cannot stand Tom Cruise.


7 posted on 04/26/2013 2:04:28 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: Borges

It’s about empty people living empty lives, of course it’s going to be depressing, that’s the point


8 posted on 04/26/2013 2:07:39 PM PDT by OnlyTurkeysHaveLeftWings
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To: Williams

The story is ridiculous and depressing.


9 posted on 04/26/2013 2:08:07 PM PDT by stanne
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To: stanne

Like most “classics” it’s boring crap.


10 posted on 04/26/2013 2:12:54 PM PDT by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: Jonty30

I am opposite, I can tolerate Cruise on a very limited basis but cannot stand DiCaprio.


11 posted on 04/26/2013 2:15:03 PM PDT by Resolute Conservative
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To: Mmogamer

What would you propose schools teach instead?


12 posted on 04/26/2013 2:15:49 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Dunno but who wants to read bone dry dull stuff like that?
Like trying to read Faulker. Just ugh.


13 posted on 04/26/2013 2:17:55 PM PDT by Mmogamer (I refudiate the lamestream media, leftists and their prevaricutions.)
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To: Mmogamer

Faulkner at his best is awesome and not remotely dry. TGG is not dull at all. It’s not plot-centric if that’s what you’re talking about.


14 posted on 04/26/2013 2:19:06 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Williams

Somehow looks like they have the female lead character right (Daisy?). Also DeCaprio does a good job looking like a gangster on the cover. Expected it to look laughable but I think DeCaprio does a great job actually. Maybe his hair stylist helped him accomplish the look. Maybe those poker games he was reportedly playing in helped him here.


15 posted on 04/26/2013 2:22:00 PM PDT by Freedom of Speech Wins
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To: Borges

Only a literati dingus gets worked up about a book’s cover. There’ve been a lot of covers for the book over the years. These guys need to get over themselves.


16 posted on 04/26/2013 2:22:08 PM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: discostu

Thing is, the cover of Gatsby is just about as famous as the text itself. It’s a special case.


17 posted on 04/26/2013 2:23:15 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

Well we can always pick books from the same time period: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/672954.All_Quiet_on_the_Western_Front

Or we can go for very, very old classics in very modern translations: http://www.amazon.com/Iliad-Homer/dp/0872203522/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1367011366&sr=8-1&keywords=iliad+stanley+lombardo

http://www.amazon.com/Aeneid-Vergil/dp/0300151411/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1367011383&sr=1-1&keywords=sarah+ruden+aeneid


18 posted on 04/26/2013 2:23:27 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Borges

Every episode of VH1s old “Behind the Music” tells basically the same story. I like Gatsby but I don’t see it as necessary reading for anybody.


19 posted on 04/26/2013 2:24:12 PM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: vladimir998

In an American Lit Class it’s an obvious choice. Short and pretty much perfect.


20 posted on 04/26/2013 2:24:28 PM PDT by Borges
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To: discostu

It’s not the subject it’s what you do with it. Besides Gatsby is about a lot more than the ‘rise and fall’ narrative. What fiction is ‘necessary reading’ these days?


21 posted on 04/26/2013 2:25:50 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges
It was great to read, and even great to see the previous film adaptations.

Finding out that literally everybody who went to high school read the same book and heard the same stuff about the emptiness of the American Dream was definitely a downer.

Baz Luhrman produces glittering trash. Once you know what to expect, though, maybe the movie won't be so bad. Maybe it will, but you'd have to see it if you want a definite answer.

The novel will survive the movie -- as Romeo and Juliet survived his earlier film. Whether either really survives being taught in the schools is less certain.

22 posted on 04/26/2013 2:26:07 PM PDT by x
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To: Borges

The CURRENT cover of Gatsby, as I said there have been many https://www.google.com/search?q=gatsby+cover&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=vPB6UZe4DYb9iQKmnoH4Dg&biw=1133&bih=665&sei=vvB6UdrcOO75igLFuYHwDg . It’s not a special case, it’s a book cover. Whenever a movie gets made of a book there’s a movie tie-in cover, it’s part of the industry.


23 posted on 04/26/2013 2:26:11 PM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: Resolute Conservative

Whereas I get hot and cold thrill chills all over at the sight if Tom Cruise, but see DiCaprio as a boiled potato.


24 posted on 04/26/2013 2:26:13 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Williams
Yes, it was depressing and that was Fitzgerald's intention.

One can't portray the rich and prosperous as happy and productive people, you know.

25 posted on 04/26/2013 2:27:29 PM PDT by what's up
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To: Borges

I could give you a 100 book list - but you’d have to pay me $10,000.


26 posted on 04/26/2013 2:27:44 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Borges

There’s lots of stuff I wish kids WOULD read, but I’d never push it the way English teachers do, because the first thing they do is suck all the joy out of a book by making you pay attention to the wrong stuff.


27 posted on 04/26/2013 2:28:32 PM PDT by discostu (Not just another moon faced assassin of joy.)
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To: Borges

Disagree strongly. It’s not a good novel.


28 posted on 04/26/2013 2:29:35 PM PDT by kabumpo (Kabumpo)
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To: Freedom of Speech Wins; Williams

I was very happy with the casting. They looked the parts so well. Which is why I was disappointed to see the trailer with its modern day music. Gatsby was set in the 1920s. Why ruin the ambiance to show your creative ability.

Yes, I am one of the few who liked The Great Gatsby. I have read it many times and there are many life lessons in there.


29 posted on 04/26/2013 2:30:03 PM PDT by HungarianGypsy
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To: Borges

So, Gatsby is “necessary reading”? For what exactly? I mean, I suppose, for American Literature majors in college sure, but it doesn’t seem all that necessary for the rest of us.


30 posted on 04/26/2013 2:30:30 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: kabumpo; Borges

Or, for less than $20, you could simply get a copy of Mortimer Adler’s How to Read a Book with its excellent book list at the end.


31 posted on 04/26/2013 2:32:19 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: Mmogamer; stanne; Williams

There are some comic book versions you might like better.


32 posted on 04/26/2013 2:37:11 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Mmogamer

Okay, now I have to say, I teach classic lit. When you see a bunch of formerly sneering 7th grade girls opining loudly about the creepiness versus virtue of Tom Sawyer, or dishing dirt on the characters in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or witness a classroom full of tenth graders hanging on every word Taylor utters to Burton in the film after they’ve done the work of going over the play, “The Taming of the Shrew” then they don’t have to admit it, literature is full of great characters and situations.

But F. Scott and this Gatsby in particular no. I fight it and Hemmingway and Steinbeck every year they try to throw it at me.

“The Old Man and the Sea” KAK! It’s vapid. It’s supposed to be so enlightened to recognize the beginning of the decline in culture. NO.

Middle and HS boys love the stories of Homer, Shakespeare (the war stories esp) and R. L. Stevenson if they’re introduced in the right way.

But NOT Gatsby and whoah I do not want to see DiCaprio’s attempt to pull us further down the vapid anti family pit.


33 posted on 04/26/2013 2:38:25 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Mmogamer

do try “Spotted Horses”


34 posted on 04/26/2013 2:39:18 PM PDT by stanne
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To: kabumpo
Disagree strongly. It’s not a good novel.

And I disagree with strongly with you:

Most of the big shore places were closed now and there were hardly any lights except the shadowy, moving glow of a ferryboat across the Sound. And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes — a fresh, green breast of the new world. Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

One of the finest paragraphs in all of American literature.

35 posted on 04/26/2013 2:40:06 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Williams

For a better (IMO) novel of that time, I recommend “The Old Bunch” by Meyer Levin.

For a general sense of the era (and a rollicking good read to boot), you can’t get much better than “Only Yesterday: A Social History of the 1920s” by Frederick Lewis Allen.


36 posted on 04/26/2013 2:40:15 PM PDT by M1903A1 ("We shed all that is good and virtuous for that which is shoddy and sleazy... and call it progress")
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To: vladimir998; Borges

That’s what I’ve got my tenth graders reading. It’s great in every way especially to their education.


37 posted on 04/26/2013 2:41:46 PM PDT by stanne
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To: vladimir998

Necessary for people who care about the English language or the American story, or human beings. If none of this applies to you, by all means return to whatever it is you people do.


38 posted on 04/26/2013 2:42:56 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: Williams

I never cared for it. I read it once, and I swear all I remember was that I think someone drowned and I think someone was hit by a car. But I’m not sure and I don’t care enough to read it again.


39 posted on 04/26/2013 2:46:23 PM PDT by A_perfect_lady
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To: discostu

I make them study the list of characters and how they relate to the main character. We don’t go ahead until everyone can at least pretend to get this.

Then we read every day and fast, move it along. And we focus on behaviors and decisions and they all get to opine and they’re not allowed to (they try) make fun of each others’ ideas in class.

Then we see the film if there is one.

There’s nothing worse in school than making people focus on minutae in a book just to prove they’ve read it.

A mystery of mine is why, when we take parts and read a play like the glass Menagerie or Romeo and Juliet, why the boys jump up and take on the female roles.

They crack me up.


40 posted on 04/26/2013 2:50:57 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Borges

Yes, you wanted to commit suicide about 3/4 of the way through.

Pray for America to Wake Up


41 posted on 04/26/2013 2:51:57 PM PDT by bray (Surviving to spite Obama)
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To: FReepers
Democrat Useful Idiots


Click The Pic To Donate

Support Common Sense, Donate To FR

42 posted on 04/26/2013 2:53:48 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
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To: Williams

ITA Read it in HS and it was simply BORING.


43 posted on 04/26/2013 2:53:58 PM PDT by bonfire
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To: what's up

Huh? No great novel is depressing. Besides The problem with Jay Gatsby wasn’t that he was rich but that he didn’t see it as anything but a status.


44 posted on 04/26/2013 2:59:25 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges
We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”

Marketing genius.

Read it in high school. Can't remember a single thing about it, except being happy that it ended.

45 posted on 04/26/2013 3:02:13 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas
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To: stanne

Old Man is EH at his near worst. Judge him by his short stories.


46 posted on 04/26/2013 3:02:27 PM PDT by Borges
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To: what's up

Depressing can have a reason, I said ridiculous and depressing because I think the plot is ridiculous.

IIRC, build an estate and hold parties hoping someone who lives nearby will show up? As opposed to knocking on the door, a letter, mutual acquaintance.


47 posted on 04/26/2013 3:02:52 PM PDT by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way!)
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To: Romulus

Pshaw! I TEACH Shakespeare-

to high schoolers. And American lit.

I resist an attempt from the Admin to make me drag them through deconstructional depressing dopey Old man and the Sea, Of Mice and Men Tender is the Night.

We read these guys but I choose.

Red Pony, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, excerpts from For Whom the Bell Tolls.


48 posted on 04/26/2013 3:05:37 PM PDT by stanne
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To: Andrei Bulba

He saw it as a lifestyle.


49 posted on 04/26/2013 3:06:02 PM PDT by Borges
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To: Borges

I know. Hill Like White Elephants is brilliant. The theme is way not good for HS.


50 posted on 04/26/2013 3:06:37 PM PDT by stanne
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