Sunday, August 25, 2013

Careless people

Having seen the film, which I enjoyed, a few months again I have recently reread The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.

I was therefore interested to find in the library this new analysis of the book written by Sarah Churchwell. Subtitled: murder, mayhem and invention of the Great Gatsby, Careless people looks at events, including crimes, that occurred in New York, particularly in 1922 when the novel is set but also in 1923 and 1924, which possibly served as background for events in F Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel published in 1925. In the latter part of 1922 the Fitzgeralds lived in Great Neck (West Egg in the novel). The period after the First World War for many of the affluent in New York was a time for parties and living for the sake of living. It was also a time of transition with the return of servicemen after the war. Prohibition in the United States was in force though there was not a shortage of alcohol for those who knew where to obtain it. Life was not easy for everyone, however, and Churchwell describes the poorer areas, especially around the Ash Heaps. Churchwell provides a long list of notes with references to many newspaper and magazine articles providing additional information as well as an extensive bibliography.

No comments: