If we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past, then so does Fitzgerald’s most noted work. We can’t seem to leave it alone. Since the original publication in 1925 (where Fitzgerald remarked “the title is only fair, rather bad than good”) the “badly” titled book sales have increased from an initial 20,000 to over 500,000 per year. Likewise the cover art of “The Great Gatsby” is constantly re-imagined. The latest iteration, showcasing the Hollywood stars and starlets in all Baz Luhrmann’s Art Deco Goldenratti, has been likened to a travesty.
“It’s just God-awful,” says Kevin Cassem, a bookseller at McNally Jackson via the NY Times. “‘The Great Gatsby’ is a pillar of American literature, and people don’t want it messed with. We’re selling the classic cover and have no intention of selling the new one.”
Intentions aside, if a little bow-tied and dapper DiCaprio is all it takes to get kids reading what is often considered the greatest piece of American Lit, should we be spending so much time judging a book by its cover?
Click through to peep ten of our favorite found Gatsby covers (plus a few reader inspired covers).