For me, "The great Gatsby" is most of all a proof that a great story can be both short and simple.

Nick, the narrator, tells about his neighbor, Gatsby - a very rich guy that is first presented as a mysterious organizer of massive parties. This mystery is, however, quickly resoved as it becomes clear that he does it in order to find a girl he loves. This brings me to an important point about this book - all mysteries are eventually resolved, everything is very clear, and (once again) simple. The reading just "flows through" the plot without stopping.

It is an entertaining account of the lives of rich people in the gay 20s in the United States. I'm not familiar with that era, but it seems that the people were generally prosperous in the pre-1929-crisis years. Technological advances start to creep into their lives - telephones, cars, various machines. The rich, young people seem careless and fun seeking - parties, private parties, cars, movies, more parties...

The superficiality of the relations between married couples is also shown. Tom cheats on Daisy without much effort to conceal it. His mistress also cheats on her husband in a pretty explicit way (Tom comes to their house often and secretly offers her to meet at places). It's funny how Tom fights for Daisy in the end, even though he knows she has feelings for another man.

The story of Mrs. Wilson's death is humorously intertwined, in my opinion. A whole series of random events brings to her death, and it's not even obvious who is responsible.

There's also some tragedy, I think. Gatsby's love for Daisy is tragic, he is "stuck in the past" and pays for it eventually.

On my "best books of the 19-20the centuries" reading list, this one appears in the top 5. I wasn't dissapointed, though I can't say it's one of my most favorites. It's a very good novel, magic in some ways - a well recommended read.