I have managed to go through my life without knowing anything about this book, so I went into it without any preconceptions. Although the prose was very endearing and absorbing I found it very difficult to like any of the characters. This is a short book, but it took me a while to finish because I simply couldn't bring myself to care about Gatsby (even the narrator didn't particularly seem to like him).
That being said, the moral of the story is a powerful one, and I was left thinking about the story for a long time after I had finished it. There are strong themes of: the selfishness of the rich, the repercussions for every action, and 'what goes around, comes around'.
The parties, the wealth and the splendour really come to life from the pages, as does the hot, arid, unpleasant climate of the era. Through reading 'The Great Gatsby' I feel I have been given an interesting glimpse into the past, warts and all, and I really enjoyed that aspect of this story.
This is not a book that should be read just because it is a classic, because it will probably leave you disappointed. I would recommend this book to you if you are after something short to read that gives you a glimpse into history.