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This Side of Paradise

Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
This Side of Paradise
Print
Random House, Inc.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s cherished debut novel announced the arrival of a brilliant young writer and anticipated his masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. Published in 1920, when the author was just twenty-three, This Side of Paradise recounts the education of young Amory Blaine—egoistic, versatile, callow, imaginative. As Amory makes his way among debutantes and Princeton undergraduates, we enter an environment heady with the promise of everything that was new in the vigorous, restless America after World War I. We experience Amory’s sailing hopes, crushing defeats, deep loves and stubborn losses. His growth from self-absorption to sexual awareness and personhood unfolds with continuous improvisatory energy and delight. Fitzgerald’s remarkable formal inventiveness couches Amory’s narrative among songs, poems, dramatic dialogue, questions and answers. The novel’s freshness and verve—praised upon publication, now renowned by history—only heighten the sense that the world being described is our own, modern world.



Baker & Taylor
Amory Blaine, a handsome and spoiled Princeton student, makes his way through school and abroad, a life journey that culminates in his entry into the First World War and his emergence as a bitter and cynical product of his generation.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2009
Edition: 1st Vintage Classics ed
ISBN: 9780307474513
0307474518
Branch Call Number: CLASSICS FIC F
Characteristics: 264 p. ; 21 cm.

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This book is worth the read as an early glimpse of the author, and his narrative. When I first went to college I pulled out a sheet of loose leaf, and mapped out eight perfect semesters. Life deviates in strange ways. Having illuminated his emergence F. Scott Fitzgerald spilled more of the beans than I suspect he would have cared to further on down the road based on my limited knowledge of his treatment of his emergence later in his career. Cliché as it sounds, this is also true: the odometer alone does not define the journey; the paths taken counts for much. He is spoken of, and his work recreated as cinema still to this day, but are the inheritors of his mentors dreams proud of the body of his work, and the criticisms? Much effort was expended staking this young man on his literary journey. In the first hundred pages he drops character examinations with his typical sly wit, and then he tortures himself. Then he walks out on thin ice, and survives. If you've ever been in the position to write something on any of the empty, or partially scribbled on leaves of paper that can confront us, and wondered what will happen to them, this is one of the better literary journey at a start books out there. If you haven't, it is still a good read, though you might not recognize the struggle.

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Amory Blaine grows from a indulged child to a mature adult, living through prep schools, Princeton, love affairs and World War I.

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This Side of Paradise
Fitzgerald, F. Scott, 1896-1940
This Side of Paradise

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