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Book review: “Nick” sheds new light on “Great Gatsby” character’s life

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“Nick” by Michael Farris Smith

“Nick” by Michael Farris Smith, Little, Brown and Company, 2021, 292 pages, $27

“Nick,” the new novel from Michael Farris Smith, is being touted as a prequel to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic from 1925, “The Great Gatsby.”

The flyleaf for the new book proclaims that Smith “pulls Nick Carraway out of the shadows and into the spotlight in this fascinating look into his life before Gatsby.” The book certainly achieves that, but its major triumph is that, while it does pay tribute to the Fitzgerald masterpiece, “Nick” is masterful enough to stand on its own as it examines the dilemma of much of the world as it comes of age in fits and starts at the beginning of the 20th century.