A different take on The Great Gatsby

I'm getting a weird thrill out of reading this "alternate history" of The Great Gatsby, written by Robert Atwan for The Believer magazine. The story is told from the perspective of Tom Buchanan, and Atwan gets his voice exactly right:
I am a gravely misunderstood man and have been for a very long time, thanks to a perennial bestseller written by a Manhattan bond salesman turned procurer, one Nicholas Carraway, the author of a deceptive and biased memoir that thinly disguises itself as a pseudonymous novel.

“A sly seed,” is how I first referred to him among my circle when we were at school in New Haven, Class of 1915. He was an insidious character, though with some touch of brilliance that enabled him to disarm even discerning people, usually catching them off-guard, and to insinuate his way into their lives and affairs. Although he liked to claim that we belonged to the same senior social club, no one for a moment considered us part of the same social set.
And here, taken from the second chapter of Tom's memoir, is a glimpse of his life fifty-odd years later. Daisy is dying and Reagan has just been elected president:
But on the day before, the nurse came out to the patio, where I was with a golfing pal toasting the Gipper with a gin and tonic, and leaned over to whisper that Daisy wanted to speak with me. I hadn’t visited her bedroom since that morning and I was shocked to see how frail she suddenly looked. The Miami Herald lay open on the bed. Her blue eyes did her smiling for her: “I hope you will be deliriously happy with your Bonzo, dear.” We never agreed on politics.
See? It's perfect. Repellent, but fascinating.

Also, this book cover is the best.
Posted by: Julianka


No comments yet. Be the first!

No new comments are allowed on this post.