The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by K. Woodman-Maynard

Like many people, I first read The Great Gatsby when I was in high school. It was a difficult novel to tackle, but once I got into it, I really loved it. (This may sound sacrilegious to some, but what actually helped me the most was watching the movie adaptation & then reading the book. But do yourself a favor & skip the glitzy Leonardo DiCaprio version, and stick with the far superior — and surprisingly faithful version with Robert Redford.)

Now readers can discover (or rediscover) this classic American novel in a new way, with The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by K. Woodman-Maynard. I love the dreamy watercolor illustrations used to bring the story to life, and the visual interpretations of Fitzgerald’s words. Plus, a graphic novel is a wonderfully accessible format for revisiting the story.

That said, I’m not sure how easy it will be for readers who aren’t already familiar with the source material to follow along. I definitely think this is better suited for revisiting the novel, or accompanying the novel — rather than an alternate way of reading the story. (I mean, sure, the larger plot is there to follow along, but I think a lot of the guts may be a little lost in translation unless you already know what’s happening.)

Still, as a longtime Gatsby fan, I loved seeing the story come alive within these pages. The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation is available now. Thanks to Candlewick Press for sending me an advanced copy to review.

From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel–among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud.

This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage students. With its timeless critique of class, power, and obsession, The Great Gatsby Graphic Novel captures the energy of an era and the enduring resonance of one of the world’s most beloved books.


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