Thursday, September 15, 2016

The seven most disastrous parties in fiction

Jeff Somers is the author of the Avery Cates series, The Ustari Cycle, Lifers, and Chum (among many other books) and numerous short stories.

At the B&N Reads blog he tagged seven parties in books among the worst ever thrown, including:
Every Single Party in The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Not only are the expensive and decadent soirées thrown by Gatsby (in an attempt at attractive Daisy to his opulent home) sad and somewhat horrifying in their empty spectacle, a great deal of the tragedy of the book’s final pages is set in motion early on when Tom brings Nick to a small party with his mistress Myrtle in an apartment in the Valley of Ashes that appears to have been built out of sin and regret. Parties are supposed to be fun, but despite Gatsby’s money, none of the parties in this brilliant novel are events you want to attend—you either must attend, or you stay home and appreciate the simplicity of your life.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Great Gatsby appears among four books that changed Jodi Picoult, Joseph Connolly's top ten novels about style, Nick Lake’s ten favorite fictional tricksters and tellers of untruths in books, the Independent's list of the fifteen best opening lines in literature, Molly Schoemann-McCann's list of five of the lamest girlfriends in fiction, Honeysuckle Weeks's six best books, Elizabeth Wilhide's nine illustrious houses in fiction, Suzette Field's top ten literary party hosts, Robert McCrums's ten best closing lines in literature, Molly Driscoll's ten best literary lessons about love, Jim Lehrer's six favorite 20th century novels, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best clocks in literature and ten of the best misdirected messages, Tad Friend's seven best novels about WASPs, Kate Atkinson's top ten novels, Garrett Peck's best books about Prohibition, Robert McCrum's top ten books for Obama officials, Jackie Collins' six best books, and John Krasinski's six best books, and is on the American Book Review's list of the 100 best last lines from novels. Gatsby's Jordan Baker is Josh Sorokach's biggest fictional literary crush.

--Marshal Zeringue