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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

entry arrow5:44 PM | Gatsby for the Young

Caitlin Macy’s The Fundamentals of Play updates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to New York in the 1980s, and infuses it with the charms and conceits that made Whit Stillman’s Metropolitan such sheer joy. Only this time, the recognizable yuppie-ish characters from a certain segment of high society are a little more lost, a little more existential, a little more hard-edged. It’s a comedy with a bite, and it comes fully dressed in Ralph Lauren. We soon recognize the mishmash of the people (and events) we know from Fitzgerald’s novel, but what Macy does is to turn all these on their heads and our expectations, and gives them a twist — and comes away with a winning novel that also delights because of the sheer beautiful language that graces every single page of this debut novel. This is the kind of novel I wish I have written. I’m not sure there is a real story here actually. There is only an evocation of an attitude and an atmosphere, but so engaging is the experiment that we don’t frankly mind the shallowness in the plot. Because it is certainly not a shallow novel, for some reason. This is a delight.

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