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This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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This Side of Paradise

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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This was my first Fitzgerald. The author came up in conversation and, having realized I had never read anything by him, the next time I was at the library I went to the fiction section and this was the only Fitzgerald currently on the shelf (my branch is one of the smallest in the county; much of what I read I have transferred in from the other locations).

I had heard of This Side of Paradise, but I have no idea whether it's a good introduction to the author. As I read, I felt like I needed someone smarter than me to tell me what was important about the book.

I noticed the changes in writing style: at times the story was told in third person, at times it was a play, at times a poem, and there was a brief couple of pages that were first person.

I've read other fiction that takes place when this book does (the nineteen-teens), but most of it was historical fiction, while Paradisewas actually realistic fiction when it was published: a coming of age story about a young man growing up as the world around him is experiencing growing pains.

I liked it, and I felt the writing was good, but I was alternately bored and interested. I couldn't figure out why the main character's two years at war were almost completely ignored (but I wasn't disappointed by the fact, that's for sure).

I think my next Fitzgerald will be The Great Gatsby, for no other reason that it's the most famous. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
This was my first Fitzgerald. The author came up in conversation and, having realized I had never read anything by him, the next time I was at the library I went to the fiction section and this was the only Fitzgerald currently on the shelf (my branch is one of the smallest in the county; much of what I read I have transferred in from the other locations).

I had heard of This Side of Paradise, but I have no idea whether it's a good introduction to the author. As I read, I felt like I needed someone smarter than me to tell me what was important about the book.

I noticed the changes in writing style: at times the story was told in third person, at times it was a play, at times a poem, and there was a brief couple of pages that were first person.

I've read other fiction that takes place when this book does (the nineteen-teens), but most of it was historical fiction, while Paradisewas actually realistic fiction when it was published: a coming of age story about a young man growing up as the world around him is experiencing growing pains.

I liked it, and I felt the writing was good, but I was alternately bored and interested. I couldn't figure out why the main character's two years at war were almost completely ignored (but I wasn't disappointed by the fact, that's for sure).

I think my next Fitzgerald will be The Great Gatsby, for no other reason that it's the most famous. ( )
  dysmonia | Apr 15, 2014 |
I read this while on a trip to Washington and made no note on what I thought of the reading. My memory is that it was OK. ( )
  Schmerguls | Oct 23, 2013 |
http://andalittlewine.blogspot.com/2013/09/review-this-side-of-paradise-by-f-sco...

I've never loved The Great Gatsby. I have not yet seen the movie, though I might once it's on Netflix. Unlike one of my friends, I do not have a tattoo of the famous green light.

But Fitzgerald is so often held up as the epitome of his genre, and at a certain point it's hard to consider yourself a fan of 20th century American literature, particularly a fan of the literature that explores the construction of masculinity, if you've never picked up more of Fitzgerald than Gatsby and a few odd short stories.

This Side of Paradise left me cold, which I found charming. We are not supposed to like Amory Blaine, the brilliant but erratic con-man in training who is the novel's anti-hero. Money and power are the central movers of Amory's world, and the two spin around each other like water down a drain. The pursuit of both syphons all kindness from Amory, especially when his focus is power over the women he pursues.

Why would I like this book? It's misogynistic, materialistic, mean spirited. Amory is self-involved and self-aggrandizing. But I found This Side of Paradise funny.

I read it ironically, as a man in the 21st century should. Like Main Street (published the same year) or The Damnation of Theron Ware (written in 1896), Fitzgerald's characters are too much larger than life to be believable in the realist/ naturalist tradition. And, like other great works of satire, it robs the protagonist of any lasting triumphs. ( )
  jscape2000 | Sep 20, 2013 |
This Side of Paradise
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Introduction and Notes by Sharon G. Carson
This Side of Paradise originally published in 1920 by Scribner
Barnes & Noble Classics trade paperback edition published in 2005 (by Barnes & Noble)
Classics

WHO: Amory Blaine,…
WHAT: recounts his life as he comes of age, goes to boarding school, college, war, and falls in love a couple of times.
WHERE: Blaine hails from the Mid-West, goes to Princeton and makes occasional forays into New York City to participate in social life.
WHEN: The narrative covers roughly ten years, from 1908-1918, with very little time spent on Blaine’s military service in 1917.
WHY: Blaine seeks to define himself philosophically…
HOW: by taking into consideration his experiences, what he has been taught formally and through the mentorship of a priest.

+ This Side of Paradise is a unique diary in form that functions as a thinly disguised autobiography of F. Scott Fitzgerald himself.
- Without an academically informed approach, This Side of Paradise comes across as a self-indulgent account of a spoiled brat. With bad poetry.

OTHER: I purchased paperback copy of This Side of Paradise (by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Introduction and Notes by Sharon G. Carson ) from Barnes and Noble (the retail store in Medford, OR.) I did not read theIntroduction and Notes by Sharon G. Carson. I learned to never do that when reading the Classics (unless the Classic is a re-read) as the academics who write these things often include spoilers. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. ( )
  Tanya-dogearedcopy | Aug 13, 2013 |
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"it bears the impress, it seems to me, of genius. It is the only adequate study that we have had of the contemporary American in adolescence and young manhood."
added by GYKM | editChicago Tribune, Burton Rascoe
 
"The glorious spirit of abounding youth glows throughout this fascinating tale. . . The whole story is disconnected, more or less, but loses none of its charm on that account. It could have been written only by an artist who knows how to balance his values, plus a delightful literary style."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times (May 9, 1920)
 
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Epigraph
. . . Well this side of Paradise! . . .
There's little comfort in the wise.
---Rupert Brooks

Experience is the name so many people give to their mistakes.
---Oscar Wilde
Dedication
TO SIGOURNEY FAY
First words
Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684843781, Paperback)

Fitzgerald's first novel, reprinted in the handsome Everyman's Library series of literary classic, uses numerous formal experiments to tell the story of Amory Blaine, as he grows up during the crazy years following the First World War. It also contains a new introduction by Craig Raine that describes critical and popular reception of the book when it came out in 1920.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This classic novel, first published in 1920, tells the story of Amory Blaine's moral education and sexual awakening, brilliantly capturing the rhythms of postwar America and the spirit of a generation dedicated to the pursuit of excitement, sophistication, and success.… (more)

» see all 21 descriptions

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Audible.com

Ten editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141185570, 014119409X

The Library of America

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Urban Romantics

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