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This Side of Paradise (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – April 12, 1996
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Amory isn't the most sympathetic of protagonists. Coming from a non-aristocratic but quite cushy background, he's all you would expect from a Fitzgerald hero: full of himself, indifferent to the less fortunate, somewhat lazy, and at once condescending to and inept with women. But this is a story of young adulthood in the last gasps of the pre-World War I upper-crust, and Amory is the perfect vehicle for illustrating the youth of that time and place. Although the relative lack of details provided about Amory's experience in the war is odd, it adds to his Everyman quality for the generations since his, all of which have had their own reasons for a bleak outlook at some point even if few could match the sheer trauma of 1917-18.Read more ›
This Side of Paradise is his first novel and here we see both the promise of the character, Amory Blaine, and the author. On the very first page of the novel Fitzgerald displays his talent for words in his description of Amory's mother: "All in all Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again; a tutelage measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about; a culture rich in all the arts and traditions barren of all ideas in the last of those days when the great gardener clipped the inferior roses to produce one perfect bud." This lengthy sentence, despite its seeming awkwardness, tells us all we need to know about Beatrice and suggests that the son will share the same qualities. Other examples of Fitzgerald's facility with words follow. On page 45 he describes Isabelle thusly: "She paused at the top of the staircase. The sensations attributed to divers on springboards, leading ladies on opening nights, and lumpy, husky young men on the day of the Big Game, crowded through her.Read more ›
After 25 years I picked up the book again recently. Dusting off my old copy, I re-read the pages that had so captivated me as a teenager. Time dulls many things and people change. But I still love the book and think it's a brilliant first novel. Though it's sappy in spots and it definitely lags at the end, Fitzgerald still had a beautiful ability to harness the emotions of the reader into a world now vanished. It's not his most complete or mature work by a wide margin, but it matters not. This is still a great book, especially for young people or those still a kid at heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was Fitzgerald’s first novel, published when he was 23.So it’s a coming of age novel and semi-autobiographical. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by James W. Fonseca
F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the best authors of his time. I would recommend anything by him.Published 23 days ago by Amazon Customer
Very insightful introspection of the circumstances that made F. Scott Fitzgerald - the man, the author. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Gary Ray Betz
I got wrapped up in reading this more as historical fiction than just a period piece. The Fitzgerald Novels I have read include a car crash which ends being a tragic part of the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Fernandez
This wasn't my favorite Fitzgerald novel, but This Side of Paradise offers an interesting glimpse into the life of a youth coming of age around WWI. Read morePublished 2 months ago by By TES
I did enjoy this novel on its own terms. It is an interesting and an above average reading experience in its own right. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Francis C. Donnelly
As I read This Side of Paradise I often thought of Edith Wharton's House of Mirth and the plight of Lily Bart. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ken Bartsch