"When someone asks, “Which three books have meant the most to you?” I can answer without having to think: The Great Gatsby , Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov , and Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye . All three have been indispensable to me (both as a reader and as a writer); yet if I were forced to select only one, I would unhesitatingly choose Gatsby. Had it not been for Fitzgerald’s novel, I would not be writing the kind of literature I am today (indeed, it is possible that I would not be writing at all, although that is neither here nor there).
"Whatever the case, you can sense the level of my infatuation with The Great Gatsby . It taught me so much and encouraged me so greatly in my own life. Though slender in size for a full-length work, it served as a standard and a fixed point, an axis around which I was able to organize the many coordinates that make up the world of the novel. I read Gatsby over and over, poking into every nook and cranny, until I had virtually memorized entire sections."