The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Photo: Philip Friedman/Studio D

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The Great Gatsby
180 pages; Scribner
"This is a book that manages to distill the idea of America," says David Duchovny. Estimating that he has reread the novel about once a decade since high school, he mentions a passage on the final page in which the narrator imagines an early explorer in a state of wonder as he sees America. "The brilliance of Fitzgerald is that, for Gatsby, Daisy was something commensurate with his capacity for wonder," Duchovny says. "So it's the biggest story and the smallest story. It's about the human imagination being sparked by nature and God, but also by this woman." What's more, the story seems to tell itself. "His writing is so clear and simple. I don't like watching people work if they're making art. Fitzgerald makes it look like it flows out."
— As told to Karen Holt