The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by F. Scott Fitzgerald, adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by F. Scott Fitzgerald, adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard. Candlewick, 2021. 9781536213010

Format: Hardcover graphic novel

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Realistic/classic fiction

What did you like about the book? This handsome volume brings the classic story of love and betrayal to a graphic novel format. Using art deco motifs – swirls and other design elements – and a pastel palette that evokes the life of the ultra rich of the 1920’s, the author/illustrator has produced a riveting adaptation. A few liberties were taken with the sequence of the story, but it feels seamless to me. Most inventive about the adaptation is the occasional placement of text in the shadows and negative spaces of the art, creating the feel of a concrete poem using Fitzgerald’s rich writing. The hard, square face of Tom Buchanan, the vacuous smile of Gatsby, the ingenue posture of Daisy – these visuals really brought the personalities to life for me. I liked the author’s note detailing the process of refining the text into graphic novel format. Although not a replacement for the classic book, this take on the story can help enrich the understanding of its complex relationships and social mores.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For teens and adults who crave a fresh experience of a beloved text, and to supplement understanding of it for classroom work.

Who should buy this book? High school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Teen and adult collections

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: March 5, 2021

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