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‘F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby the Essential Graphic Novel’ (review)

Adapted by Ted Adams
Art by Jorge Coelho
Based on the book by
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published by Clover Press


Everyone reading this likely also read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby in high school.

In fact, I’m wondering if anyone ever decides to read it on their own anymore or if one ONLY reads The Great Gatsby when assigned in high school.

Still, the Jazz Age story of the mysterious young millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsessive love for a woman named Daisy is a bona fide classic, and I’m not going to review the book.

What I’ll review here is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby the Essential Graphic Novel, as adapted by Ted Adams and Jorge Coelho.

I have to say this particular book would not have been my first choice of a classic to adapt to the comics format. I then have to follow that up by saying how surprised I was that it works so well! Not much to say about the text as most of it is literally taken from the original novel. I’m not sure how much input Adams had on the visual layout of the story but it’s all extremely well-done.

In fact, that’s where this adaptation truly shines.

What could well have been a book dominated by talking heads—and there are, of necessity, plenty of those as it is—has been opened up with creative storytelling and layouts to emphasize the artwork. Color, darkness, lighting, split-screens, unique panels, and other techniques all keep the talky script from ever seeming dull. Coelho’s assured art carries the story along at a solid pace and every so often he gets in a beautifully drawn full-page illustration that’s a real treat to linger over.

Overall, this book is still Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

You know it and you either love it or hate it. But this version is also Adams and Coelho’s The Great Gatsby, and if you haven’t read it since high school, might I suggest that this adds whole new layers to the classic.

Booksteve recommends. 


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