10 Books Like ‘The Great Gatsby’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends

10 Books Like The Great Gatsby

There’s something captivating about the roaring 20’s; the glitz and glamour, the pursuit of the American Dream, and the disillusionment that often followed.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby perfectly captures this era, and its themes of wealth, love, and the emptiness of materialism continue to resonate with readers today.

If you’re looking for more books that explore similar themes and evoke the spirit of the 1920s, here are ten recommendations that will transport you to a time of extravagance, ambition, and shattered dreams.

The Day of The Locust by Nathanael West

In Nathanael West’s The Day of The Locust, we’re taken to 1930’s Hollywood, where dreams are manufactured and crushed with equal brutality. The novel follows Tod Hackett, a young artist who becomes entangled in the lives of the desperate and delusional inhabitants of Los Angeles. West’s vivid writing brings to life a cast of characters who are chasing their own versions of the American Dream, only to find themselves trapped in a nightmarish world of disillusionment and decay.

The novel explores the dark underbelly of Hollywood, exposing the hollowness of its glamorous façade. West’s incisive social commentary and bleak portrayal of humanity make Day of The Locust a haunting read that mirrors those themes of disillusionment and despair found in The Great Gatsby.

Garden by The Sea by Merce Rodoreda

Garden by The Sea by Merce Rodoreda is a novel set in post-war Catalonia that follows the intertwined lives of several wealthy and eccentric families. At the core of the novel is Senyoret Francesc and his wife Senyoreta Rosamaria, a wealthy Spanish couple who, along with several friends, spend their summers at their Villa on the Sea. However, their lovely vacation is disrupted by the arrival of a rich family and their beautiful, mysterious daughter.

Roboreda’s novel is a poignant exploration of the themes of desire, wealth and social class, a similar theme found in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. With its lyrical language and nuanced characters, Garden by The Sea transports readers to a time and place where dreams and reality collide, echoing the bittersweet beauty found in Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.

Catcher in The Rye by J. D. Salinger

While J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye may not be set in the same time period as The Great Gatsby, it shares a similar sense of disillusionment and the search for meaning in a world that often feels alienating. The novel follows the iconic character of Holden Caulfield, a disenchanted teenager who rebels against the phoniness and conformity of society.

Salinger’s masterful storytelling and Caulfield’s distinctive voice make Catcher in The Rye a timeless coming-of-age tale that resonates with readers of all generations. Like Jay Gatsby, Holden is a complex character who longs for authenticity and connection in a world that seems superficial and empty. Both novels explore the themes of identity, alienation, and the struggle to find one’s place in society.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto takes readers to a different time and place, yet it shares common themes with The Great Gatsby. Set in an unnamed South American country, the novel follows a group of guests attending a lavish party, only to find themselves held hostage by terrorists.

Both novels explore the fragility of human connections in the face of external forces. Patchett’s lyrical prose and poignant exploration of love and longing make Bel Canto a compelling read that resonates with the themes of ambition, desire, and the quest for something more that is central to The Great Gatsby.

The Chosen and The Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo’s The Chosen and The Beautiful reimagines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic through a fresh and unique lens. Set in the 1920s, the novel follows Jordan Baker, a Vietnamese adoptee who navigates the opulent world of the American elite.

The novel delves into themes of identity, race, and societal expectations, while also capturing the spirit of rebellion and longing that permeates both The Great Gatsby and The Chosen and The Beautiful.

By offering a new perspective on familiar characters and themes, Vo’s novel invites readers to revisit the world of Gatsby with fresh eyes, highlighting the timeless nature of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece and its continued relevance in today’s world.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence transports readers to high society New York in the 1870s, a world of strict codes and hidden desires. The novel follows Newland Archer, a young lawyer torn between his passion for the unconventional Countess Ellen Olenska and his duty to conform to societal expectations.

Like The Great Gatsby, The Age of Innocence explores themes of love, desire, and the struggle between personal freedom and societal constraints. Through Newland Archer’s journey, Wharton exposes the hypocrisy and emptiness of the upper class, offering a critique of a society that values appearances over authenticity. The novel’s exploration of unfulfilled desires and the limitations of societal norms makes it a compelling companion to Fitzgerald’s iconic work.

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy is a sprawling epic that explores the themes of ambition, class, and fate. The novel follows Clyde Griffiths, a young man from a poor family who becomes entangled in a love affair that leads to tragic consequences.

Similar to The Great Gatsby, An American Tragedy delves into the pursuit of the American Dream and the corrupting influence of wealth and social status. Dreiser’s meticulous attention to detail and his exploration of the complexities of human nature make the novel a rich and immersive experience. The novel’s exploration of the dark side of the American Dream makes it a compelling companion to Fitzgerald’s masterpiece.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray takes us to the decadent world of late 19th-century London, where beauty and sin collide. The book follows the young and handsome Dorian Gray, who remains eternally youthful while a portrait of him ages and bears the marks of his debauchery.

Like The Great Gatsby, the novel examines the corrupting influence of wealth and the emptiness that can lurk beneath a beautiful exterior.

Through Dorian Gray’s journey, Wilde invites readers to reflect on the nature of beauty, morality, and the consequences of one’s actions. The novel’s examination of the dark side of human nature makes it a captivating companion to Fitzgerald’s iconic work.

The Sound and The Fury by William Faulkner

William Faulkner’s The Sound and The Fury is a complex and challenging exploration of memory, time, and the disintegration of a once-great Southern family. The novel is divided into four sections, each narrated by a different character and offering a unique perspective on the Compson family.

Similar to The Great Gatsby, The Sound and The Fury explores the themes of decay, loss, and the impossibility of recapturing the past. Faulkner’s experimental narrative style and his exploration of the characters’ inner thoughts and motivations make the novel a profound and thought-provoking read.

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road offers a bleak and uncompromising portrait of suburban life in 1950s America. The novel follows Frank and April Wheeler, a young couple who struggle to reconcile their dreams of a fulfilling life with the realities of their mundane existence.

Like The Great Gatsby, Revolutionary Road explores the disillusionment and emptiness that can come from the pursuit of the American Dream. Yates’ razor-sharp prose and his unflinching portrayal of suburban discontent make the novel a powerful and haunting read.

These are just a few stories that echo the themes and thoughts of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work. Have you read any of these or The Great Gatsby? Or do you have any other recommendations? Comment below and let us know!

You can check out more of our book reviews here! 

Leave a comment