The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald Hard to believe I was an English major and was never made to read this book! Although I probably appreciate it more now than I would have back then. I think one of the criteria for a "Great American Novel" is that it is timeless. So many attitudes from this novel prevail today, such as the over-indulgence and self-absorption. I kept thinking that someone should be a re-make of the movie and set it in present-day Hollywood.
Anyway, if you're one of those that thinks "Great American Novels" are boring and mere long passages of description, read this one, you'll be pleasantly surprised. And if you like satire, this is the benchmark for that genre.
I'm still not convinced though that this is "The Great American Novel", as others are enclined to label it. Personally, I'm still partial to East of Eden and Grapes of Wrath, which I think more encompasses the American experience.