The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation Book Poster Image
Abstract adaptation captures energy, debauchery of Jazz Age.

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Great Gatsby is one of the most famous novels in the English language. It presents a vivid picture of the mid-1920s and addresses issue of power, class, and obsession. It offers opportunities to discuss the concept of the American Dream.

Positive Messages

The Great Gatsby delivers few positive messages. It warns against the temptation to relive the past and shows the hollowness of wealth.

Positive Role Models

The characters in Gatsby act irresponsibly, with only a few exceptions. Tom is a bigoted bully. Daisy is a neurotic adulterer. A Jewish character is seen as sinister. Jordan drives without thinking about the safety of others. Gatsby's past is a mystery,and many people suspect he's a criminal. Nick seems to be a moral person, but even he can be petty and cowardly.


Violence is limited to a couple of scenes. A car accident kills a supporting character. A man commits murder and takes his own life.


Tom conducts an affair with Mrs. Wilson. Gatsby and Daisy embark on an adulterous romance, forcing Nick to become a go-between. There's kissing and flirting, but nothing too graphic.


An instance of "God-damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Gatsby hosts decadent parties at which nearly everyone drinks illegal liquor and smokes. On the day before her wedding, Daisy gets "as drunk as a monkey." People suspect that Gatsby is a bootlegger.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation, captures the energy of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic Jazz Age novel. Author/illustrator K. Woodman-Maynard takes a more abstract approach to the art. There's little violence -- a hit-and-run car accident, a murder/suicide. The adult characters flirt, kiss, and have affairs. Swearing is limited to an instance of "God-damn." The party scenes feature drinking and smoking.

User Reviews

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Teen, 14 years old Written bykatnisseverdeen74 January 18, 2021

Interesting read, not convincing enough for me

The Great Gatsby's storyline is basically this: It is told from a young man recently moved into the town of his married cousin, Daisy. A posh millionaire,... Continue reading

What's the story?

As this graphic adaptation of THE GREAT GATSBY begins, Nick  Carraway moves into a boarding house next to a huge mansion owned by millionaire Jay Gatsby. Gatsby is a mysterious figure -- no one knows how he made his money -- but they don't mind attending his fabulous, booze-soaked parties. Nick learns that Gatsby is obsessed with Daisy Buchanan, a neurotic socialite married to brutish bigot Tom Buchanan. Gatsby wants to rekindle his romance with Daisy and forces Nick into acting as their go-between. The lovers think they can return to the past, but tragedy awaits as they embark on their selfish pursuits.

Is it any good?

Not every classic lends itself to a successful comics adaptation, and this version of the Jazz Age masterpiece often feels stiff and slightly off the mark. Author/illustrator K. Woodman-Maynard's graphic adaptation of The Great Gatsby hits all the expected beats and illustrates the story in lovely watercolors. She uses unusual spaces for captions and dialogue and sometimes leans toward the abstract. Though not a substitute for the original novel, this comics version is likely to spur many readers to explore F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterwork, which can only be a good thing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Great Gatsby and its themes about the American Dream. What is the American Dream? Do people still believe in it?

  • Why does Gatsby think he can regain Daisy's love? What is the danger of hungering for the past?

  • Is Nick a reliable narrator? Do you agree with his interpretation of events?

  • How are African Americans and Jewish people depicted in the book? What kinds of disparities have worsened since the 1920s?

Book details

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