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Sandy dozen: 12 site-specific beach reads

May 25, 2011, 7:12 a.m.
beach, ocean, house

Photo: Tom Mascardo 1/Flickr

2 of 14

North Hempstead, N.Y.

Book:The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

Perfect page-turning locale: North Hempstead, N.Y.

Description: “The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, ‘The Great Gatsby’ (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T.S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the ‘first step’ American fiction had taken since Henry James; H.L. Mencken praised ‘the charm and beauty of the writing,’ as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's ‘best work’ thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, ‘gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,’ it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, ‘The Great Gatsby’ is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.”

Afterword: Although you’ve probably read it at least once — most likely in the confines of a high school classroom — “The Great Gatsby” is always a worthwhile re-read, particularly if you’re sprawled out under the sun on a blanket somewhere in the vicinity of Port Washington (aka East Egg) on Long Island’s North Shore.