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Extended Audio Sample So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures, by Maureen Corrigan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maureen Corrigan Narrator: Maureen Corrigan Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Fresh Air book critic investigates the enduring power of The Great Gatsby—“the Great American Novel we all think we’ve read, but really haven’t.”

Conceived nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, The Great Gatsby is now a revered classic and a rite of passage in the reading lives of millions. But how well do we really know The Great Gatsby? As Maureen Corrigan, Gatsby lover extraordinaire, points out, while Fitzgerald’s masterpiece may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power.

Offering a fresh perspective on what makes Gatsby great—and utterly unusual—So We Read On takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel’s hidden depths, a journey whose revelations include Gatsby‘s surprising debt to hard-boiled crime fiction, its rocky path to recognition as a “classic,” and its profound commentaries on the national themes of race, class, and gender.

With rigor, wit, and infectious enthusiasm, Corrigan inspires us to re-experience the greatness of Gatsby and cuts to the heart of why we are, as a culture, “borne back ceaselessly” into its thrall. Along the way, she spins a new and fascinating story of her own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Corrigan’s research was as intrepid as her analysis is ardent and expert, and she brings fact, thought, feelings, and personal experiences together in a buoyant, illuminating, and affecting narrative about one depthless novel, the transforming art of reading, and the endless tides that tumble together life and literature.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A literary love letter…[Corrigan’s] tone is lively and bright and her enthusiasm for the novel is infectious. You’ll feel as if you’re attending a lecture by your favorite prof or chatting with a brainy, bookish friend. Bursting with intellectual energy and fun facts, this paean to the ‘great American novel will appeal to fans of Corrigan’s book critiques and Jazz Age scholars, and will, one hopes, impel readers to pick up the brief work for the first (or fourth, or 14th) time.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “NPR reviewer Maureen Corrigan’s voice is familiar and agreeable, and her account of her long interest in—and near obsession with—Fitzgerald’s matchless novel is a feast for those who share her passion. At ten hours, her discussion of ‘How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures’ is just about the length of the novel itself—and even shares the cover art of a familiar paperback edition. The novel, Fitzgerald’s life, and a near-century of assessments of both book and author are the interlocking pieces of a story that is sad, and even pathetic at times, but in dozens of ways enhances our affection for both for the novel and its author.”


  • A Library Journal Best Book of 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
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About the Author

Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air, the critic-in-residence at Georgetown University, and winner of the Edgar Award for Criticism. She is the author of Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading.