Release Date: 24th September 2021
Publisher: No Exit Press
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Critically acclaimed novelist Michael Farris Smith pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this fascinating look into his life before Gatsby.
Before Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s periphery, he was at the center of a very different story-one taking place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of World War I.
Floundering in the wake of the destruction he witnessed firsthand, Nick delays his return home, hoping to escape the questions he cannot answer about the horrors of war. Instead, he embarks on a transcontinental redemptive journey that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance-doomed from the very beginning-to the dizzying frenzy of New Orleans, rife with its own flavor of debauchery and violence.
An epic portrait of a truly singular era and a sweeping, romantic story of self-discovery, this rich and imaginative novel breathes new life into a character that many know but few have pondered deeply. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak, and profound yearning to paralyze even the heartiest of golden age scribes, Nick reveals the man behind the narrator who has captivated readers for decades.
Nick is the beautiful and moving new novel from Michael Farris Smith and is a fascinating look at one of literature’s most famous characters. The story centres around Nick Carraway, the narrator from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We meet Nick long before he moves to West Egg and follow him as he attempts to survive life in the trenches. Struggling with all he has seen, Nick puts off returning home and goes on a journey of self-discovery, visiting Paris before ending up in the wild streets of New Orleans.
The Great Gatsby is one of my favourite books of all time so I was incredibly intrigued to read this story. Nick Carraway is a character we learn very little about so I was excited to see where the author would take this story. One of the things that struck me most was how well Michael Farris Smith fit in with the tone of The Great Gatsby. It was a really compelling story one that really focuses on the horrors of war and the effects this can have on people. It is very different from the glamour and opulence of The Great Gatsby, but I found I was completely wrapped up in the story and did not want to put it down.
Michael Farris Smith has created a really brilliant prequel, one that is well executed. This is my first time reading a book by the author and I am absolutely going to be picking up more. The horrors of the trenches and the sights and sounds of New Orleans all came to life in Smith’s vivid writing and the characters were equally captivating. If you’re a fan of The Great Gatsby, this book is absolutely worth reading.