Little, Brown. Jan. 2021. 304p. Tr $27. ISBN 9780316529761.
This eponymous novel introduces readers to Nick, an American soldier, so captivated by a woman in Paris that that he contemplates not returning to the horrors of the battlefield. This imagining of the life of The Great Gatsby’s Nick Carraway includes flashbacks to a childhood with his deeply depressed mother leading to a difficult journey that includes numerous traumas, from events in the trenches and tunnels that would send him home with well-deserved and understandable PTSD, to the loss of his lover and their baby. Nick, initially presented as a young, educated man, commenting that his favorite books were written by Dostoyevsky and Turgenev, has a postwar life that is no easier. He finds himself in pre-Prohibition New Orleans, a world of drugs and violence. There, he becomes unwittingly involved in another doomed romance, through which he will be given a way to see his world and the part he has played in it, preparing him to start a new life. The text also grows more literary as Nick matures, beginning with large sections made up of short, choppy sentences and long, rambling run-on sentences that omit punctuation marks such as quotation marks, commas, and hyphens.
VERDICT A book that libraries with and readers of The Great Gatsby will want to have in their collection.

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