In homage to F. Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age classic,
this graphic novel adaptation brings to life the glitter,
the melancholy and the grand and crumpled dreams of
Fitzgerald's unforgettable characters.
Daisy, Nick, Tom, Jordan and Gatsby himself are rendered
true to Fitzgerald's original characterisation, with
a difference: they are not human. Inhabiting the authentic
setting of 1920s New York, they join a throng of fantastical
creatures to play out the drama, the wry humour and
the tragedy of the novel.
Why not humans? To me, Fitzgerald's characters are
so incisively rendered, their personalities, movements
and voices so immediate and true, that an ordinary human
representation does not capture the essence of the written
characters. In imagining the physical form of each creature
- Nick's shy antennae and soft body, the lift of Daisy's
dandelion head on her slender neck, Jordan's languid
tentacles - my aim was to make their physical attributes
embody and illuminate their personalities, that "series
of successful gestures" so sharply drawn by Fitzgerald.
Similarly, the images do not give a simple recital
of the story, but visually interpret the novel's physical
and emotional landscapes: Daisy's face appears in the
clouds over the water; guests tumble on a sparkling
wave of champagne at Gatsby's party; Dr Eckleburg's
eyes silently shift their gaze. These images are integrated
with original text from the novel.
The book is presented in the form of an old photograph
album, with the snapshots forming the "frames"
of the story. In this way, the reader is invited into
the private world of the characters, while sharing the
sense of nostalgia and loss that pervades the novel.
Fittingly for the defining novel of the Jazz Age, I
like to think of this interpretation in jazz terms -
as an energetic and entertaining, but also thoughtful
and subtle, "arrangement" of the original
piece of music. And I would like it to inspire readers
to visit - or revisit - the original book with fresh
and curious eyes.
"Bizarre, absorbing and very funny, Nicki Greenberg
casts a surrealist eye over Fitzgerald's world of careless
money, social politics and misplaced ambition. It's
a bold idea that works to great effect, where frivolous
and monstrous natures are plain to see and enjoy, while
all the while a much darker current flows ominously
beneath the surface."
"Greenberg's The Great Gatsby is
a pure delight... it's a work of art; every page is
"That we quickly accept this surreal bestiary...
is a credit to Greenberg's delicate, expressive artwork,
deft period recreation and precise, sympathetic storytelling,
which effectively capture the novel's glittering surface
and melancholic undertow."
THE WEEKEND AUSTRALIAN - REVIEW
The Great Gatsby - a graphic adaptation is published
in Australia and New Zealand by Allen & Unwin. Release
date: September 2007. For more information, please go
The book will be released in Canada in April 2008,
published by Penguin Canada.
For copyright reasons this book is not available for
sale in the USA or UK.