Tag: The Great Gatsby

great Gatsby

5 Wild Author Rejection Stories

Sometimes publishers reject books for legitimate reasons, like if a book contains immature prose or an uninteresting concept, or if it bears too much similarity to a book the publisher has recently released. But other times, publishers reject books for simply ridiculous reasons, i.e. maybe The Great Gatsby would be better without Gatsby in it.


These five authors were met with outrageous rejections… sometimes with outrageous results.


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Editors famously pitched a pretty serious revision: “you’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.” We’re lucky that F. Scott Fitzgerald decided to stick to his original plans—The Great Dissolution of the American Dream and the Harsh Reality of Class Divisions isn’t quite as catchy. Fitzgerald’s success story wasn’t a matter of delightful revenge. Critics lambasted The Great Gatsby during Fitzgerald’s lifetime: “one finishes The Great Gatsby with a feeling of regret, not for the fate of the people in the book but for Mr. Fitzgerald.” The critics were right about one thing—Fitzgerald’s fate was as tragic as Gatsby’s. He died from side effects of his alcoholism, destitute, at the age of forty-four. If not for the novel’s resurgence during WWII, the novel might have faded into obscurity. Thankfully, it didn’t. Today, half a million copies of The Great Gatsby are sold every single year.


The Thomas Berryman Number by James Patterson


'The Thomas Berryman Number' by James Patterson


James Patterson got thirty-one rejections for his debut novel before his dreams came true. Well, “came true” is a bit of an understatement—Patterson is the world’s highest-paid author and the world’s foremost bestselling author since 2001. He recently took his success to the next level (note: there wasn’t previously a higher level) with a $150 million dollar book deal—the most expensive deal of all time. The Thomas Berryman Number is the first book in Patterson’s bestselling Alex Cross series, which now has well over eighty million copies in print. As for the publishers who rejected him, Patterson is blunt: “I keep a list of all the editors who turned down my first novel. Sometimes they send me books and ask for blurbs. Mostly, though, they’re dead.”


Moby Dick by Herman Melville


'Moby Dick' by Herman Melville


Herman Melville‘s initial rejection came with some unhelpful advice: “first, we must ask, does it have to be a whale?” If you don’t know—yes, the novel is about a whale (it’s also about an extended metaphor). The publisher followed that up with an equally unhelpful suggestion: “could not the Captain be struggling with a depravity towards young, perhaps voluptuous, maidens?” Probably not. The initial sales seemed to confirm skeptical publishers’ fears—the book sold only 500 copies. Today, critics view Moby Dick as one of the most accomplished novels of all time. The book’s enduring acclaim suggests that maidens just wouldn’t have cut it—even some particularly voluptuous ones.


Dubliners by James Joyce


'Dubliners' by James Joyce


James Joyce‘s Dubliners received a startling eighteen rejections, some of which are wild enough to spark their own novels. Joyce had an ongoing rivalry with publisher George Roberts, and their disagreements (read: their outrageous pettiness) lead to publication difficulties. When George Roberts asked that Joyce remove any references to the king in his short story, “Ivy,” Joyce wrote a letter directly to King George V and asked if the passages were offensive. (For some reason, the king was unable to comment.) When Roberts learned of Joyce’s financial desperation, he actively ghosted Joyce, ignoring all of his correspondence to increase Joyce’s panic. Though Dubliners finally earned publication, Joyce’s contract stipulated that he could earn no royalties until the book sold 500 copies. The book sold 499—and in typical outrageous Joyce fashion, the author himself bought 120 of those copies. Fortunately for Joyce, Dubliners is now an international classic and a staple of high school and university curriculums.


The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein


'The Making of Americans' by Gertrude Stein


In perhaps the most passive-aggressive (or possibly just actually aggressive) rejection of all time, one publisher rejected Gertrude Stein‘s The Making of Americans by directly mocking Stein’s writing style. In reading his review, readers can imagine which stylistic choices he found unpleasant:


Dear Madam,

I am only one, only one, only one. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain. Only one being. Being only one, having only one pair of eyes, having only one time, having only one life, I cannot read your M.S. three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.

Many thanks. I am returning the M.S. by registered post. Only one M.S. by one post.


While it’s true that Stein became famous for ignoring punctuation, capitalization, and many other writing conventions, the publisher was wrong about one thing—namely, that Stein became famous. 



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7 Great Gatsby X Mean Girls Memes That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud

The Great Gatsby and Mean Girls are two very different but truly iconic films, the former of which, as we all know, is based on what is often regarded as the Great American Novel. There is just one thing better than each one on its own: putting the two together. If you don’t believe me, scroll down to see why they are a match made in meme heaven.




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Old Sport

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Jay Gatsby

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Bookworm dates

5 Book-Inspired Dates for You and Your Literary Lover

Ah yes, nothing is quite as lovely and dreamy as a first date that you’ve been looking forward to all week. Those butterflies, knowing smiles, and subtle touches can get pretty dreamy. However, if you’re a bookworm or on the more creative side, sometimes dinner and a movie just doesn’t cut it.


You want to get to know your date, but you always want to impress them and show them a little bit about you and how fun you can really be. Well, we’re here to help when it comes to the dream literary date. Everyone wants to feel like they’re in a book, how magical is that? Here are five literary-themed dates to absolutely fall for.


1. Go to a book reading at your local library


Book reading

 Image Via Green Apple Books

This is actually a perfect for a first date or any date really. It could act as the foundation of getting to know one another (things you have in common) or something fun to do when you’ve done it all and need a good idea (getting creative)! Sneak some hand holding in there during all the book’s best parts and make it a goal for you both to talk to the author!


2.  Try a Gatsby-inspired champagne picnic


Everyone loves how adorably awkward Gatsby was when he finally got Daisy to come see him (with the help of Nick of course). We don’t want you to be tripping over yourself though, so this is a bit more laid back than a tea party. Put together a bag of yummy picking goodies and throw in a bottle of bubbly because why not? Or homemade iced tea is lovely. Maybe you don’t have a Gold Coast mansion, but a beautiful park or botanical garden will do just fine.


3. A book-themed bar rendezvous!


Bottoms up people. This could also be a good first date idea, unless you tend to drown your nerves with alcohol, then maybe wait. But crowded bars are my favorite with their fantastic atmosphere, so literary-themed is a bonus. Have a drink or two, order some food, and have a fun playful night discussing your favorite books, adaptations, and beyond. Check out a list of a few hot spots here!


4. Let sparks fly with a sweet A Walk to Remember date




One of my favorites from Nicholas Sparks and a great adaptation. Who the hell doesn’t want to straddle the state line and be in two places at once? In the book Landon and Jamie spend some time taking walks to their local malt shop since it took place in the ‘50s. However, in the ‘90s movie adaptation, it’s double the cuteness. Steal their idea and go to dinner at a place near the water, then spontaneously dance. You could even end up in two places at once or go stargazing! If you’re sentimental, let Jamie and Landon be your guide.


5. Stay in with a literary-inspired homemade meal followed by your favorite movie adaptation


If you don’t want to spend too much money or you’re tired of the typical date scenes, it’s time to brush up on your cooking skills. Turn your kitchen into something bitchin’ by whipping up a literary inspired meal for your date. Ask them what books they like then search away to get some ideas. Set the table up nice and make the theme clear; it’s more fun that way. Following your lovely meal, pop in your favorite movie adaptation (or theirs) and bask in the afterglow of a date well done. You’re welcome.


Feature Image Via Tunefind


5 Picturesque Homes That Look like They’re Straight out of a Book

Sometimes I get so engrossed in a book that I forget how long I’ve been sitting in one spot. I’m sure you are familiar with the feeling. Whatever you’re reading is so much more interesting than wherever you actually are that you wish you could dive into your book and live in its world instead.  While that is, regrettably, impossible, here are five real-life houses that will make you feel like you’re in the pages of your favorite novel. 


1. The “Harry Potter” or “Hogwarts” House


Harry Potter House

Image Via Spacecrafting


This house in downtown Minneapolis is the result of seven years of renovation by the owner. The interior of the three bedroom and bath home looks like a Hogwarts dormitory or the inside of The Three Broomsticks. Guess it gives new meaning to the phrase “a man’s home is his castle.”


2. The Gatsby Mansion


Gatsby Mansion

Image Via InsideHook


This mansion served as inspiration for the 2013 film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel and exists in the real-life location of the fictional story: Long Island, New York. The 14,551-square-foot house has eighteen bedrooms, a wine cellar, and even a hair salon.


3. Chatsworth House, better known as Jane Austen’s Pemberley


Chatsworth aka Pemberley

Image Via Chatsworth House


Although there is some dispute as to whether Chatsworth House or the nearby Wentworth Woodhouse (or both) served as the original inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, it is mentioned in the novel as one of the places that Elizabeth Bennet visits before she arrives at Mr. Darcy’s residence.  Additionally, Chatsworth was used as Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of the novel.


4. Baan Suan Noi, also known as Hobbit House Thailand


Hobbit House

Image Via Nookmag


There are actually numerous “hobbit homes” that have cropped up across the world, but you might not expect one to be located just two hours outside of Bangkok, Thailand. It may be smaller than the other locales included on this list, but it is cozy and has all the amenities a modern-day hobbit needs, and it is only thirty minutes away from a national park.


5. Escala



Image Via Escala Penthouses


Okay, so this last one is a bit of a departure from the other places on this list, but it is the setting for many of the escapades that take place in E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey series, and it is a real place even if James did get some of the details wrong. The penthouse of the Escala Building is a 6,320-square-foot residence that has three bedrooms, a large open-plan kitchen, a library, and many floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Seattle’s skyline. Sorry, there’s no helicopter landing pad on the roof. And no, there’s no playroom either.


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