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2.22.2016

Book Report - Snobs and The Great Gatsby

Here's a couple more books that I read last year as part of the Pop Sugar 2015 Reading Challenge (which I completed, see here). Snobs by Julian Fellowes marked off "A book with a one-word title" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby, marked off "A book with bad reviews."

First up, from the man who brought us Downton Abbey, Snobs by Julian Fellowes.
When the lovely Edith Lavery, daughter of relatively successful parents, catches the eye of Charles, the Earl of Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, rumors fly whether she is actually in love with him, or just in love with his title and the large estate that goes with it. Afterall, she's a city girl who loves to socialize and he's a traditional English countryman who likes the quiet of his estate. What could they possibly even have in common? Snobs gives an inside look into the world of the modern aristocrat and all the expectations and complications that go along with it.

I had high hopes for Snobs being such a fan of Downton Abbey, but I'm afraid the book fell far short of my expectations. It's hard to love a book where you don't particularly like any of the characters. It did employ an interesting tactic though, as the entire book was narrated by an unnamed man, an actor who is a friend of Edith's and runs in the same social circles as her and the other characters of the book. Gossip plays a big part in the novel, so having the entire story told from an outsiders point of view was a clever stylistic choice. It wasn't enough to save the story though. There was no real character development (except for maybe the narrator, maybe). Most of the characters were unlikable from the beginning and stayed that way the entire novel. With no one to root for, there was not much pulling me back to the story each day.

Funnily enough, I actually could see this making an interesting television show instead - Downton Abbey set in the modern world if you will. The settings and costumes would be amazing, and with multiple seasons to work on character growth...there's potential here.

That could just be the Downton Abbey withdrawal talking though. Only one more episode!!! What am I going to do?!?

I guess, just move on to, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic, The Great Gatsby!

Aspiring writer, Nick Carraway, settles in New York in a little cottage next door to the infamous millionaire, Jay Gatsby. They're right across the bay from his cousin and her philandering husband, Daisy and Tom Buchanan. In love with Daisy for years, Gatsby befriends Nick in the hopes of drawing her into his life again. Before he knows it, Nick, is sucked into Gatsby's world of lavish parties and fast cars; but will it be enough to win over Daisy? Or, is the game they are playing far too dangerous for anybody to win?

It's hard to believe that The Great Gatsby was so ill-received when it was originally published in 1925, as it is such a beloved classic now. It's always been a favorite of mine, and like Pride and Prejudice, I read it often. I don't think I have a bad word to say about it other than I wish it was longer!! It's pretty much perfection.

What have you been reading lately? Are you a Gatsby fan? Are you sad Downton's almost over?    

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