To be honest, I think one of the most irritating things for me was that just before I started reading the novel, some idiot on the internet spoiled the ending for me. Obviously I'm not going to say too much, but I really think the climax would have knocked me for six and added a lot to my lasting impression of the book had I not known what was coming.
As the novel progressed the contextual themes and philosophical musings occasionally got a bit heavy-handed, but I did enjoy the insight into the shifts and changes happening in Twenties society. Fitzgerald's careful skewering of rampant materialism and consumerism, of the corruption of wealth, and the poignant emptiness of the façade created by 'new money', is very well done. Jay Gatsby is the embodiment of an ambitious self-made man holding on to an impossible dream, Daisy is a shallow butterfly, and her husband Tom is the epitome of arrogant privilege and entitled cruelty. Of course, we only ever see what the gentle (though clearly biased) Nick Carraway wants to show us, but we can read between the lines.
I liked this novel. I really did. I think I'll get more from it on a second reading, and I'm definitely looking forward to watching a couple of different adaptations to see how they take this dazzling story into a new medium. I quite liked Jay Gatsby in the end, which I think helped cement my enjoyment of the book as a whole, and I very much liked Fitzgerald's smooth writing style. I'll definitely be reading more of his work - probably starting with Tender is the Night - and immersing myself further in the world of flappers and frippery to which he so frequently returns.
"I would never... suggest that even in the most metaphorical way [Nick] ever goes upon his knees before Gatsby to be 'humbuggingly humbugged"...- followed by repeat use of the word 'hankey-pankey', which I'm not going to lie, gave me the 'Uncle Geoffrey from Bridget Jones' creeps. So... yes. Beautiful edition, though!