The Spectacular Gatsby
Considering the enormous success F. Scott Fitzgeralds Great
Gatsby has met with, why is it that no one ever chose to capitalize
upon it with a sequel? For instance, perhaps Gatsby didnt
die after all, or perhaps he could be resurrected in a book-long
seance. Or perhaps Fitzgerald could have written about Gatsbys
evil brother, the Great Batsby.
Overall, Gatsbys demise is of little concern from a marketing
perspective when we simply consider the value to be gleaned from
the necessary prequels which would serve to offer us delightful
backstory and novelty yarns. After all, when nearly every student
in the United States is required to read ones book, it seems
like a prime idea to capitalize upon.
Perhaps Gatsby stories should be manufactured in the spirit of
the Star Trek and Star Wars franchises, with books that keep coming
out every week and branch off into a lucrative Gastby franchise,
and even a weekly, animated television show (such as Gatsby-9;
or Gatsby Voyager, or Gatsby P.I., or Turner &
Hooch & Gatsby; or perhaps all of them).
Why hasnt anyone ever thought of making The Great Gatsby
into a movie? Its simply ridiculous. I would suggest a young
Robert Redford for the part of Gatsby, and Courtney Love for the
part of Daisy. It seems to me that shes already proven her
delicate acting mettle in Remains of the Day and numerous
And what better way to provide literary material (a difficult commodity
to come by) than with spin-off novels regarding Gatsbys friends?
Perhaps one could involve a cross-country car race with Nick and
his faithful dog Millie, who are pitted against the evil Baron von
Ruckenheimer, who is intent upon capturing Nicks faithful
dog companion and turning him into gold. A hibernating bear could
be inserted for comic relief. A talking pigeon could be inserted
for more comic relief. And a drunken porter and dancing koala could
attempt to convince Nick not to murder King Duncan. They could appear
in his dreams as Nicks conscience; or they could just keep
appearing at gas stations and Nick could keep driving off in the
middle of their speeches, and he could keep running over the koalas
foot each time he drives off. It could be a running theme throughout
the story. And then, at the very end, just before Nick is going
to run over the koalas foot again, the koala could step back
a few paces, satisfied that hes safe, and then a giant safe
could fall on his head; and the porter could shrug.
Another book could be a prequel involving Gastby and a pie eating
contest. And Gatsby could find a gold ring in his pie and then spend
the remainder of the novel searching for the owner of the ring and
a cache of lost, Martian pirate treasure on Neptune. It would be
a perfect fit for Gatsbys elusive character.
Also, theres much talk of the Great War in The
Great Gatsby, an event that apparently occurred prior to the
events of the book. This in itself sounds like creative gold, with
the potential to be expanded into a prequel trilogy and possibly
even movie series. What happened in this mysterious Great
War? Where clones involved? Why arent there any Jedi
around? Were they all defeated in the Great War? Did
Gatsby have anything to do with it?
The title itself, The Great War, heralds wonderful
imagery of greatness and ultimate war. Though a slightly hokey contrivance,
Fitzgerald can be forgiven this faux pas as it leaves open a variety
of exciting possibilities. The cliche of epic wars has yet to be
fully explored and may even lead, perhaps, to The Great War
II or The Ultimate War; or a series of
wars in which the war is modified in each case by a pulpy, yet compelling,
adjective. Perhaps it could be fractured into a series of alphabet
murder mysteries such as M is for War, and Q is for War,
and so on.
One of the obvious downsides to The Great Gatsby is that
theres an awful lot of talking going on. Too much time is
spent pining for Daisy, developing pointless characters, narrating...
and not enough time is spent explaining to the reader just how great
Gatsby is: extreme sports, extreme lion taming, Gatsbys stint
with Her Majestys Secret Service, the time Gatsby killed Hitler,
the time Gatsby located the Holy Grail and bonded with his father,
And just when you think youre going to see some blood, the
chatter starts up again:
Oh Mr. Bingley! We will find a suitable wife for you in our
Mr. Darcy, your pride is without bounds!
Well, Ms. Bennet, youre prejudice and overt racism sickens
me. I shall kindly leave you now and say good day.
Oh Mr. Bingley!
This tract of dialogue could just as simply have been replaced
with a gigantic picture of my butt. The reader would immediately
have captured the precise intent and overwhelming essence of Fitzgeralds
point in that case.
The reason for this dialogue probably has something to do with
women. As Fitzgerald himself worried: the book contains no
important woman character and women control the fiction market at
Interestingly enough, Fitzgerald didnt realize what a truly
revolutionary notion it was to purify the book of women. This ethnic
cleansing campaign of Fitzgeralds would prove significant
to the future of literature and society. Fitzgerald was the first
to, unconsciously, inquire: why do women need to read books?
As such, his psyche felt that it was necessary to form a deliberate
shift in the market, to veer women away from reading books and educating
themselves, and to lead them more safely toward subservience and
vapidity and golf. Had this not been the case, it is made clear
that the much feared race wars discussed in Fitzgeralds
novel would have been granted the most appropriate climate to come
to fruition. The academic community can only speculate as to the
validity of the claims of Fitzgeralds fervent subconscious.
And so, with the extent of material available to us, it is a puzzlement
why we do not proceed to expand upon the fascinating Gatsby universe
with a series of novels and short stories, movies and television
programs, to delight and tantalize and enlighten.
The Spectacular Gatsby, The Amazing Gatsby, Gatsby
the Insurmountable, Gatsby the Invincible, Gatsby
the Destroyer, Conan the Brave, Gatsby in Japan.
One day, Gatsby will enter into the public domain. Until then,
I shall bide my time.