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F. S. Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | F. S. Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    F. S. Fitzgerald(Author),Francis Scott Fitzgerald(Author)

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Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking.

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Review Text

  • By Atty Tude on October 5, 2012

    I consider myself a pretty well-read person, and I'm always willing to give a book a chance. But try though I may, I could not finish this mess. It was like trying to plow through concrete.It is Fitzgerald's first attempt at literature and it shows. The book sounds like a lot of notes the author jotted down and then put together in a hurry, without bothering to go through it more carefully before submitting it for publishing. Amory Blaine is a vapid, self-centered, insecure, silly young man who seems incapable of sticking to one subject or idea for too long. He considers himself superior to others (no, don't ask me why), but at the same time envies his friends and craves their approval. He is a political dilettante, who babbles a lot of nonsense that sound like a pastiche of ideas snatched hurriedly and superficially from conversations with his friend Burne (very much like the format of this book). In short, Amory is not a likeable or even intriguing character. I don't care a straw for political correctness, but yes, this young man is racist, xenophobic and discriminating. I found him obnoxious, tiresome, and finally exasperating. If Paradise - the reward for a righteous life, we're told - is as boring as this side that Fitzgerald shows us, you might as well indulge in wickedness and get your fun while you can.This novel is just further proof that even the most exalted authors in literature are human, therefore, fallible, which is why nobody should expect ALL their work to be perfect. Praising this book just because it was "written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald" is as pretentious and fatuous as going into raptures over a boring musical piece just because it falls under the category of "classical." I'm going to pick up The Great Gatsby again and remind myself why Fitzgerald made it to the hallowed grounds of American Literature.I read it somewhere that this novel was a roaring success upon publication in 1920. Really? Well, no wonder they called it The Lost Generation.

  • By Bobjfs on June 30, 2013

    F. Scott Fitzgerald was still cutting his teeth as a writer at the time. He fills his first novel with many situations and characters. Many characters exist only in books, and yet feature in the telling of the tale. If people are not familiar with these literary figures, the references are likely to fly over their heads as a few did for me.The key reference for the piece is Frederick Nietzsche and, though not mentioned, the essays, "The German Ideology," "Thus Spake Zarathustra," and to a lesser extent, "Twilight of the Gods." You might want to read or at least find a decent summary of these so you understand what Fitzgerald is essentially debunking.This is somewhat of a comeuppance story. A character who begins the story completely vain and self-infatuated is ultimately dealt with by life and loses faith in himself, to the point of hallucination (a plot point found inhis short story, "Benediction," published about the same time as this novel... was Scott seeing and hearing things? Alcoholic delirium?).Clearly, this novel shows a Roman Catholic in conflict with his carnal nature and the idealism of amoral atheism, of the self above all else. It's worth the read.

  • By John Cullom on March 12, 2008

    It's an enormous comfort to find that the 24 year old Fitzgerald did not produce a perfect novel. It's not as comforting to know that the 29 year old Fitzgerald did. Ah well, the Beatles were done being the Beatles before they were 30.This book is no pleasure to read unless you're interested in seeing FSF develop, and this is his start. This is an interesting lens on Gatsby and reveals some of the more subtle techniques by being used crudely here. The primary similarity is the use of satire in the real old Satyricon sense. In both novels, there's a devoted attempt to meticulously record his surrounding in order to hold their trappings up to ridicule.The problem with This Side of Paradise is that it's a bildungsroman and a fairly autobiographical one at that. The self-criticism and self-knowledge that is necessary to declare one's own quest for adulthood as absurd isn't available to one immediately upon entering it (See Stephen in Ulysses for a successful version - decades older). That's sort of the problem with the whole work. F keeps falling in and out of admiration for Amory, and consequently, Amory is never a reliable lens on his world. It's kind of a wreck.This book made Maxwell Perkins's career at Scribner, and so TSOP could be said to have been crucial to the development of Hemingway, Wolfe, et al. What made Perkins think that this was so revolutionary? Perhaps some was scandalous - She's been kissed many times! - it's not so shocking now. Perhaps it showed a world not seen before, St. Paul's, Princeton. Perhaps he was the first voice of a generation. Maybe Perkins just had an unbelievable eye for talent. The evidence is there if you look hard enough. It's up to the duly warned potential reader to decide whether they want to.However, as an inspiration to young writers out there. Get going. Write a bad book. Write another bad book. Then write a great one.


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