On the dangers of the thesaurus and The Great Gatsby

I got a personal message on Goodreads the other day by somebody spruiking his new book site. It was great, he said, you can chat to people about books on it. After making the obvious point that he was telling me that on a site where people chat about books, he enthusiastically assured me that if I just went and had a look, I’d see….

So I did. Book-talks.com You need a login to see chat rooms, but you can see books and their blurbs without that. I zeroed in on The Great Gatsby on account of how it’s more or less my favourite book. And this is what I read:

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel composed by American creator F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the anecdotal towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the late spring of 1922. The story essentially concerns the youthful and baffling mogul Jay Gatsby and his eccentric energy and fixation on the excellent previous debutante Daisy Buchanan. The Great Gatsby investigates topics of debauchery, vision, protection from change, social change and abundance, making a representation of the Roaring Twenties that has been depicted as a useful example in regards to the American Dream.

Something odd is going on here. It’s either been written by a non-native person with a thesaurus…or an algorithm? I put a sentence into google and discovered the answer.

The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional towns of West Egg and East Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. Many literary critics consider The Great Gatsby to be one of the greatest novels ever written.[1][2][3][4]

The story of the book primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession with the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan. Considered to be Fitzgerald’s magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that has been described as a cautionary[a] tale regarding the American Dream.[5][6]

The blurb has been taken lock stock and barrel from wiki’s The Great Gatsby entry and a thesaurus loving algorithm has changed some words to make it ‘original’. The comparisons between the two are hilarious. It would make a nice lesson for school kids on understanding what a thesaurus is and the dangers of using it.

8 thoughts on “On the dangers of the thesaurus and The Great Gatsby

  1. Hahaha, I knew it! It smelled of Wikipedia.
    So there’s not any truly good book chat over there? Only refried blurbs?
    I also count The Great Gatsby as one of my all time favorite books.

    • Pleased to hear we share that liking. What do you think of the two movie versions I wonder?

      It could be that if you checked out popular sellers like YA or erotica (as it is called), maybe there would be? But in any case, I wasn’t prepared to sign up in order to investigate further.

      • I ADORE the first movie. I haven’t watched the second in full, but I believe is another stellar adaptation that borrows from the genius of the Redford one. For some reason the book is very cinematographic, don’t you think? And thankfully it fell in the right hands when it was made into a movie. I don’t remember who directed, but both must have been admirers of the book and its essence is well captured. Though one can’t appreciate the movie in full without the background of the book, imo.

        I am also not interested in signing up for anything, it’s scary, lol.

        • I too loved the first when it first came out and still do. It’s perfect. Whereas although Baz’s does some things well, he does so much damage to the story, that I can’t forgive him. Changing Nick into a lush in an institution is awful and I’m pretty sure he does it just so as to give an invented role to Jack Thompson who’s the psychiatrist. I can’t forgive him for that. And he ruined Jordan, who is an important, if minor, character.

          I did try really hard to forget Redford and Farrow while I was watching it and after a while I could see that they were good in their way. But still. He should no more have tried to remake this than take Julie Andrews out of Mary Poppins.

          • Oh, I see. Since I haven’t watched the second one, only scenes, I didn’t know those departures you mention which are unforgivable.

            And don’t get me started on how pathetic Mary Poppins Returns is!

  2. This review is veritably the feline sleeping attire and the apian patellae rolled into one!

  3. The version of the novel that Book-talks.com describes would be a very different experience! Possibly some sort of collaboration between P.G.Wodehouse, Jaroslav Hasek and William Burroughs. “Jeeves and the Baffling Tycoon”, anyone?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s