Review: The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Title: The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Author: K. Woodman-Maynard, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fiction
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A sumptuously illustrated adaptation casts the powerful imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel in a vivid new format. 

From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel–among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud.

This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage students. With its timeless critique of class, power, and obsession, The Great Gatsby Graphic Novel captures the energy of an era and the enduring resonance of one of the world’s most beloved books.


Nick Carraway moves in next door to the wealthy Gatsby. Nick hears about the famous Gatsby from his cousin Daisy and her husband. Gatsby is known for throwing lavish parties, but no one can recall anything about the actual man, despite attending his parties. Soon, Nick gets swept up in two affairs that Daisy and her husband Tom are having with other people. Not everything is what it seems in the life of the Great Gatsby.

This is a great adaptation of this classic literary novel. The water colour illustrations suited the literary plot which dances around Nick, even though he is the narrator. His position of the unreliable narrator was demonstrated in the images when he would say one thing but the characters did something else. This shows that he can’t be believed.

The way the words were placed on the story were also part of the narrative. Some of the sentences were written on buildings or roads, rather than set aside in speech bubbles. Sometimes they were even curved if the characters were moving a lot in the images. The speech bubbles for women, such as Daisy, were more curvy with waves around the edges, which demonstrated the lighter tone and musical way they spoke. I liked the way this literary novel was adapted into a graphic novel using unconventional techniques.

This graphic novel is a great accompaniment to the novel!

Thank you Candlewick Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Have you read The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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