by Michael Farris Smith
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.
Helen says: 🤓 🤓 1/2
I was really excited to read this prequel to The Great Gatsby. It was such a let down! I felt like I was reading someone’s random dream weaving back and forth from World War I and then interacting with random rednecks in New Orleans. It did not grab me. Don’t waste your time.
I absolutely love everything about The Great Gatsby, but NOT Nick. I did not even understand this book – way, way too dark and depressing, and I actually like dark (and a little depressing). There are no likeable characters, including Nick, who was such a wonderful and grounding character in The Great Gatsby, and no character connections for the reader. I really wish I had not read this book and let my thoughts, if any, of Nick’s life before West Egg up to my own imagination.