Wednesday, May 8, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different: Was the Great Gatsby Broke?

Kevin Roose writes:  Show a little restraint, man!
Baz Luhrmann's screen adaptation of The Great Gatsby has already inspired new interest in the lavish lifestyle of Jay Gatsby, the book's mysterious millionaire protagonist. Gatsby-themed parties are popping up around the country, in somewhat misguided homage to the over-the-top shindigs Gatsby held at his West Egg mansion. These parties were all-weekend affairs, filled with luxury accoutrements: live music, gourmet meals, free-flowing liquor. Nothing, it seemed, was too expensive for Jay Gatsby.

Or was it?  Upon rereading the book recently, I took special note of Gatsby's spending habits. He's described as a wealthy man, but he's still living a very tony lifestyle for someone who made most of his money bootlegging. One over-the-top party, yes. But an over-the-top party every weekend? Even hedge-funders don't live like that.  So I pulled every nugget from The Great Gatsby related to Gatsby's personal wealth and income…..

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