Is The Great Gatsby difficult to read? Watch

hali0112
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Hey everyone,

I was thinking of reading The Great Gatsby. I was wondering if anyone has read it and if anyone thought the language was difficult? I find that with some classics the English can be impossible to understand. I found that while reading Jane Austen's books. But not at all with To Kill a Mockingbird or The Crucible.

Thanks
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Ndella
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I'm reading it for A2 English and its certainly easy to read - did you think it would be in Shakespearean or something lol?
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tom10
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No its not difficult, I'm not a massive reader but found it relatively easy to understand. Some of the themes aren't particulally clear to begin with but it all becomes clear at the end, its a really good book.
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Changing Skies
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Not at all, it's very easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable

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maskofsanity
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No, it's very manageable.

And if difficult prose is your worry then I would recommend Orwell, Fante, and Hemingway.
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hotliketea
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(Original post by hali0112)
Hey everyone,

I was thinking of reading The Great Gatsby. I was wondering if anyone has read it and if anyone thought the language was difficult? I find that with some classics the English can be impossible to understand. I found that while reading Jane Austen's books. But not at all with To Kill a Mockingbird or The Crucible.

Thanks
i think it's fine - it's more the incomprehensibility of why he would choose so many adjectives but that's representative of the debauchery he is trying to depict

it's definitely manageable especially as it's so short - i read it in the same amount of time it took me to watch the film

always better on the second read and even better on the third etc
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hali0112
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(Original post by Ndella)
I'm reading it for A2 English and its certainly easy to read - did you think it would be in Shakespearean or something lol?

(Original post by tom10)
No its not difficult, I'm not a massive reader but found it relatively easy to understand. Some of the themes aren't particulally clear to begin with but it all becomes clear at the end, its a really good book.

(Original post by Lucy96)
Not at all, it's very easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable

Posted from TSR Mobile

(Original post by maskofsanity)
No, it's very manageable.

And if difficult prose is your worry then I would recommend Orwell, Fante, and Hemingway.

(Original post by hotliketea)
i think it's fine - it's more the incomprehensibility of why he would choose so many adjectives but that's representative of the debauchery he is trying to depict

it's definitely manageable especially as it's so short - i read it in the same amount of time it took me to watch the film

always better on the second read and even better on the third etc
Thanks everyone Lool ... I guess I did think it would be like something Shakespearean but only cos it's a classic. But seeing as it wasn't written that long ago, I reckon that the language wouldn't be that different to ours in the present day. I noticed that the Wordsworth publication of the book is only 100 words but others are longer. Each version has a different number of pages, which is interesting
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Ronove
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(Original post by hali0112)
Thanks everyone Lool ... I guess I did think it would be like something Shakespearean but only cos it's a classic. But seeing as it wasn't written that long ago, I reckon that the language wouldn't be that different to ours in the present day. I noticed that the Wordsworth publication of the book is only 100 words but others are longer. Each version has a different number of pages, which is interesting
Of course they have different numbers of pages, they probably use different size paper, different fonts, different point sizes, different margin sizes and so on and so forth...
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hali0112
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(Original post by Ronove)
Of course they have different numbers of pages, they probably use different size paper, different fonts, different point sizes, different margin sizes and so on and so forth...
I thought each version was edited differently. I didn't think of that. You're probably right. But from my experience of reading Jane Austen, different publications varied slightly in content due to whether they were abridged/unabridged.
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Ronove
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(Original post by hali0112)
I thought each version was edited differently. I didn't think of that. You're probably right. But from my experience of reading Jane Austen, different publications varied slightly in content due to whether they were abridged/unabridged.
I think you're greatly overestimating how many works of fiction are published in abridged form. A quick Google has come up with one abridged version of The Great Gatsby, by Longman Fiction. It is for 'younger readers' aka children, and young people without native English.

Edit: Do you not see how ridiculous it would be to alter an author's work and publish it in multiple versions for no discernible reason?
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Old_Simon
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It is written by an American of course. Different ball game !!! LOL
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Ogle
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I'm a non-native, and it's my favourite book, so most likely it is not too difficult. The laguage is beautiful and it even has a plot, so what else is there to need?
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Катя
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Not at all!

The beginning I found to be a bit clumsy (first few paragraphs, was instantly put off — but this was four years ago, haha), but otherwise no, it's a stunningly short and wonderfully written book. A bit overhyped by English teachers, but great nonetheless.
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Old_Simon
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(Original post by Катя)
Not at all!

The beginning I found to be a bit clumsy (first few paragraphs, was instantly put off — but this was four years ago, haha), but otherwise no, it's a stunningly short and wonderfully written book. A bit overhyped by English teachers, but great nonetheless.

Generally students go "oh yeah cool book - and hey it's a movie too with that Caprio dude................. "

But what is the book really about ?
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Катя
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(Original post by Old_Simon)
Generally students go "oh yeah cool book - and hey it's a movie too with that Caprio dude................. "

But what is the book really about ?
The movie had too much glitter and Jay-Z in it tbh.

The shallowness of The Dream™, the myth of meritocracy, etc.
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member841230
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I think one of the book's great strengths is its simple and precise language. You shouldn't have a problem with it. The ending was mildly confusing though
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Mackay
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The Great Gatsby is many things - indeed, it's my favourite book - but hard to read is not one of them.
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The Empire Odyssey
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It's easy to read. However, I detest that novel. I could not stand it!
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great_surreal
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It's not hard... I can vouch for that, but I couldn't bear the book, I couldn't feel any sort of connection towards the character to be bothered when anything happen.
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Waterloo Sunset
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It's not hard to read at all, the plot and characters can be frustrating at times but Fitzgerald's writing is wonderful. His short stories and other novels (especially Tender Is the Night) are also great.
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