Ballad For F. Scott Fitzgerald*

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

gatsbyAs this is posted, it would have been F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 120th birthday. His best-known work, The Great Gatsby, has been examined from a number of different perspectives, and it’s widely considered his finest novel (although, speaking strictly for me, Tender is the Night is excellent, too, if bleak). For years, it’s been part of school curricula, and sometimes students groan about having to read it.

I wonder what they might think about the novel if it was taught as a crime novel. There’s a real argument, I think, that there are several elements of the crime novel, in particular the noir novel, in The Great Gatsby. That may not have been Fitzgerald’s primary goal when he wrote it, but I think those elements are there.

To begin with the obvious, there’s a murder in the novel. Granted, it doesn’t come until close to the end of…

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