The Great Gatsby: Adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard

The Great Gatsby: Adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard

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The Great Gatsby adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard is a great way to make The Great Gatsby more accessible in a graphic novel format. I enjoyed the slight changes the author makes to the source material, and the art style makes elements such as mood and symbolism much easier to understand. However, I also felt as though the story is rushed, and the art also makes the text difficult to read at times. Despite this, I still appreciated what the book accomplishes in terms of making The Great Gatsby easier to digest.

The Great Gatsby: Adapted by K. Woodman-MaynardTitle: The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald, K. Woodman Maynard
Illustrator: K. Woodman-Maynard
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genres: Retelling, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: three-half-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

From the green light across the bay to the billboard with spectacled eyes, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 American masterpiece roars to life in Katharine Woodman-Maynard’s exquisite graphic novel—among the first adaptations of the book in this genre. Painted in lush watercolors, the inventive interpretation emphasizes both the extravagance and mystery of the characters, as well as the fluidity of Nick Carraway’s unreliable narration. Excerpts from the original text wend through the illustrations, and imagery and metaphors are taken to literal, and often whimsical, extremes, such as when a beautiful partygoer blooms into an orchid and Daisy Buchanan pushes Gatsby across the sky on a cloud.

This faithful yet modern adaptation will appeal to fans with deep knowledge of the classic, while the graphic novel format makes it an ideal teaching tool to engage students. With its timeless critique of class, power, and obsession, The Great Gatsby Graphic Novel captures the energy of an era and the enduring resonance of one of the world’s most beloved books.

A sumptuously illustrated adaptation casts the powerful imagery of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel in a vivid new format.

Amazon “iBooks”

❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

The Great Gatsby: Adapted by K. Woodman-Maynard

This book is a graphic novel adaptation of The Great Gatsby that makes the classic story more appealing for a modern audience. I always love to see classics being made more accessible, and the visual form of this book does a great job of this. This is an adaptation, so of course it is not identical to the source material, but I found it mostly faithful, and I liked the changes that the author did make. However, I also found the story a bit rushed, and the events happen so quickly that there is not much time to process them. The original novel is also quite short, which may have influenced this, but this makes the story hard to follow, and I’m not sure I would recommend this one for those who are unfamiliar with the original story.

❀ Gorgeous Art

The art style of this graphic novel is gorgeous, and I loved the use of watercolours. This style feels light, and it makes all the literary elements of the novel much clearer. I particularly enjoyed the way the colours reflect the mood of each scene and how the shapes of the text bubbles match each of the characters’ personalities. I also appreciated the use of quotes from the original that stand out.

❀ Muted colours

That being said, I also think the art style can be considered a weakness. The placement of the quotes, while visually appealing, can be difficult to read because of their intricate shapes. These more eloquent quotes also contrast with the short, simple sentences in the dialogue, which breaks the flow of the story. I am also unsure if the use of watercolours really do Gatsby’s lavish parties justice, as the colours in this book are more muted.

❀ Confusing to Read

I appreciate the efforts of the graphic novel, The Great Gatsby by K. Woodman-Maynard, to make the original story more accessible to today’s audience. This adaptation follows the source material closely, and I enjoyed the moments where the author strayed from it. However, I am still unsure how I feel about this book as a whole. I enjoyed the art style’s ability to make literary elements more obvious, but at times, the story can be difficult to read and confusing. I would recommend this one to those who already know and love The Great Gatsby, as an addition to their collection.

About K. Woodman Maynard

K. Woodman Maynard

K. Woodman-Maynard is a graphic novelist and graphic designer who works in a combination of digital and traditional mediums. She is co-creator of TKAMI: Talk to Kids About Mental Illness (, a resource for helping adults talk to kids about mental illness through comics.

K. Woodman-Maynard studied animation at Harvard and worked as an animator in San Francisco before moving into comics and design. The Great Gatsby is her debut graphic novel.

She's a native of Minnesota and lives in New Hampshire with her husband and cat. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and hit the trails by ski or foot.

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Olivia ❀ Canadian YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, & professional bibliophile.

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