The Great Gatsby follows a cast of characters living on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion and obsession with the beautiful former debutante Daisy Buchanan.
Considered to be Fitzgerald's magnum opus, The Great Gatsby explores themes of decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval and excess, creating a portrait of the Roaring Twenties that's been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream.
When published in 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly, selling only 20,000 copies its first year. Fitzgerald died in 1940, believing himself to be a failure and his work forgotten. However, the book experienced a revival during WWII, and became a part of American high school curricula and numerous stage and film adaptations in the following decades. Today, the novel's widely considered to be a literary classic and a contender for the title of the "Great American Novel."
The novel's US copyright will expire on January 1, 2021, when all works published in 1925 enter the public domain in the US.