On the 100th anniversary of Ulysses, authors and critics at The Sunday Times picked the finest novels published since Joyce’s classic, and at the very top of that list? The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Now, what you need to know about us is that we are obsessed with F. Scott Fitzgerlad, and The Great Gatsby is our absolute favorite, so if you’ve not yet read it, or if you’re considering reading it for the 50th time, we just know you’ll appreciate the collective list of our favorite lines from the book. Let’s get started!
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
Can you think of a better, more poetic way to describe the changing of the seasons?
“Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”
We can feel all of these feelings.
“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”
Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re hardcore bibliophiles and we love the writing style of so many authors, but we’re pretty convinced that nobody writes like this anymore.
“He smiled understandingly–much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced–or seemed to face–the whole eternal world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.”
We’re not crying, you are.
“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties, there isn’t any privacy.”
“In his blue gardens, men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars”
We want to be in a beautiful blue garden with gardenias and magnolias while we enjoy champagne. In the 1920s. And we don’t think we’re asking too much.
“Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.”
“In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
This is how the book begins, so we immediately knew we were in for a literary treat.