The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Many people think this is the greatest American novel ever written. After teaching for quite a few years, I think I believe it. It just gets better every time. (Yes, I actually re-read the novels I teach!). It seems so casual, almost thrown together, but its informality belies its precision with language, structure, and point of view. Nick Carraway might be the perfect narrator, and who can't love-to-hate and hate-to-love the book's despicably appealing cast of characters? And even though the Roaring Twenties are long gone, the novel's prophetic vision of wealth, status, class, and dreams gone awry seem to have as much to do with Skagit County as they do with East and West Egg of Long Island. It's a crazy ride! Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.