F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic Jazz Age novel The Great Gatsby celebrates its 90th anniversary on April 10. It may be nearly a century old, but the tale of a man who’s desperate to make something of himself to win the woman he’s always loved still resonates today. Jay Gatsby, the mysterious millionaire, and the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, remain fascinating to readers of all generations—witness the recent dizzyingly visual film adaptation from Baz Luhrmann, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Wouldn’t we all love to live like Rockefellers and throw parties every day?
Of course, every story of a hero or heroine who strikes it rich through hard work, luck, or marriage is also a cautionary tale that tell us: “Be careful what you wish for,” and “Money can’t buy happiness.” In real life, we’d love the chance to prove that saying wrong, but in these classic books, there’s a steep price to pay for trying to have it all.
The Great Gatsby film still courtesy Warner Bros.