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Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: The Great Gatsby

June 12, 2017

My oldest daughter has several books to choose from on her summer reading lists, and one of them is The Great Gatsby. She’s leaning toward it because it’s short and there’s a recent movie. I would tell her those are lousy reasons to choose a book, but I wouldn’t mind if she reads it, and I’ve chosen books because they were short and there were movies.

Dysfunctional Literacy

This is a library copy with a giant blood(?) stain on page 102. Even a great author can write an occasional bad sentence.

When I first read The Great Gatsby decades ago, I didn’t question anything about it.  Everybody I knew who read books said it was a great book, so I assumed I was reading a great book.  As far as I was concerned, if F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote it, if Hemingway or Steinbeck or Twain or Dickens wrote it, then whatever it was must have been great.  I didn’t question these things.  Who was I to question the writing of a great novelist?

I started reading The Great Gatsby a couple weeks ago, but I had to stop because of some of the sentences.  I don’t know how critical to be of sentences in a great, influential book.  I hesitate commenting on The Great Gatsby because I criticized Holden Caulfield last week, and I don’t want to come across as constantly nit-prickety.  But at…

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From → The Repeats

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