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Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Five seems to be the correct number of book purchases in one visit, at least whenever we wander into a bookshop with the aim of adding to the already burgeoning piles of to-read books. In this case we already had four when I asked the assistant if they had a copy of [b:Gatsby|17465049|The Great Gatsby|F. Scott Fitzgerald|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1364777365s/17465049.jpg|245494] (there's a film coming out after all). He returned with two copies: one a movie tie-in edition with Leonardo DiCaprio leering out at me; the other this fantastic retro edition, a lurid red and yellow cover, yellowed pages, a Robert Redford look-a-like with a dame on each arm on the cover, and just under the title it read "When it came to loving ... He knew which Daisy to pick!". This was obviously the edition for me.

Pulp! The Classics is a relatively new imprint by the looks of it, reprinting eight classic works of fiction with eye-grabbing pulp styling. Deliberately styled to look both old and aged, it appears to convince people. On my first day of reading it I turned up for work to receive comments on the 'age' of my book. Even when assured it was new, they assumed I meant only new to me and were only convinced once they'd examined it.

The story itself? I thoroughly enjoyed it, racing through it in just two days. Narrated by Nick Carraway, recently moved to the made up West Egg just slightly east of New York. His wealthy neighbour, Jay Gatsby, throws regular parties to which everybody comes – invited or not. Across the water, in East Egg, Carraway's cousin Daisy and her husband Tom Buchanan live their mean little lives. Tom's having an affair with Myrtle, Gatsby had an affair with Daisy before she met Tom (which he'd like to rekindle). Gatsby's all new money and dubious past – money he made specifically because all those years before he believed that Daisy wouldn't be interested in him unless he was rich. Once he'd made his money though, five years had passed. Daisy had married Tom, and Gatsby had plenty of time to build up a rich fantasy about how they would fall in love and she'd be wonderful. Instead she's just a little bit sordid and grubby.