What would The Great Gatsby have looked like set in Chelsea? And what if he was Russian? These burning questions you’ve no doubt been asking are answered in Vesna Goldsworth’s ‘Gorsky’
I’m sure many of you will have read The Great Gatsby or, at the very least, be familiar with the story. I first read The Great Gatsby when I studied it for AS Level English Literature and remember being completely awed at the descriptions of wealth and the utter materialism that was going on in East and West Egg. Of course, this still seemed a complete world away from my shabby English classroom so when I started reading Vesna Goldsworth’s ‘Gorsky’ it was refreshing to be taken to a world that, though is still completely out of my reach, exists not all that far from me.
Gorsky is the story of The Great Gatsby set in Chelsea, following the life of Roman Gorsky, an unbelievably wealthy Russian oligarch building an extravagant home across the road from fellow Russian beauty Natalia. Nick, a Serbian who fled to the UK to avoid being drafted, works in a shabby chic bookshop on minimum wage but his fortunes change (for the better?) when he is commissioned by Gorsky to curate an extravagant library of first editions with cost being no object.
There aren’t many big surprises in terms of plot as Gorsky stays fairly true to The Great Gatsby’s original structure, albeit with a few twists to make the story fit better in the new context. I didn’t imagine that I’d enjoy it as much as I did but I was pretty gutted to finish this book! Goldsworth has amazing descriptive writing skills and I loved reading the extravagant descriptions of the novel’s main locations. I found the characters far more likable than in The Great Gatsby too and, though I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the intention, I’m now dreaming of their world!
Gorsky ended up being a really great read and one that was definitely worthy of indulging in. A really clever take on a classic!