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This Side of Paradise (Modern Library Classics) [Kindle Edition]

F. Scott Fitzgerald , Susan Orlean
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (198 customer reviews)

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Kindle Price: $5.65
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

First published in 1920, This Side of Paradise marks the beginning of the career of one of the greatest writers of the first half of the twentieth century. In this remarkable achievement, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays his unparalleled wit and keen social insight in his portrayal of college life through the struggles and doubts of Amory Blaine, a self-proclaimed genius with a love of knowledge and a penchant for the romantic. As Amory journeys into adulthood and leaves the aristocratic egotism of his youth behind, he becomes painfully aware of his lost innocence and the new sense of responsibility and regret that has taken its place.
Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for--and fear of--change.
"A very enlivening book indeed, a book really brilliant and glamorous, making as agreeable reading as could be asked . . . There are clever things, keen and searching things, amusingly young and mistaken things, beautiful things and pretty things . . . and truly inspired and elevated things, an astonishing abundance of each, in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE. You could call it the youthful Byronism that is normal in a man of the author's type, working out through a well-furnished intellect of unusual critical force."
--The Evening Post, 1920
"An astonishing and refreshing book . . . Mr. Fitzgerald has recorded with a good deal of felicity and a disarming frankness the adventures and developments of a curious and fortunate American youth. . . . [It is] delightful and encouraging to find a novel which gives us in the accurate terms of intellectual honesty a reflection of American undergraduate life. At last the revelation has come. We have the constant young American occupation--the 'petting party'--frankly and humorously in our literature."
--The New Republic, 1920


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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.

From Publishers Weekly

Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1263 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; 1 edition (August 5, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002KBNEGE
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,310 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The more things change... October 15, 2002
Format:Paperback
After 80 years, what can be said about Fitzgerald's first novel that hasn't already been said? The first thing that struck me on reading this was the timelessness of its subject matter, no matter how dated the setting is. The Ivy League of Fitzgerald's indifferent hero, Amory Blaine, is a thing of the past, with only the faintest reminders of its aura of American royalty remaining today. Reading about Amory's days at Princeton is a bit like looking at the ancient photographs of 19th century football teams that every university seems to have on display in some corner of the campus, with the added twist that most of those long-ago jocks were presumably the sons of bankers and senators. And yet, Fitzgerald's depiction of a whirlwind of exhilaration, alienation, eagerness for the future and a sense that it should all be more meaningful is still all too recognizable to those of us who are just a few years out of college. So like all the best fiction, the story works both on a historical and a contemporary level.
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.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The first display of Fitzgerald's talent March 10, 2008
Format:Paperback
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels are a one trick pony in the sense that he writes about the same time period (the 1920's), the same kind of people (rich or successful Americans) and protagonists who suffer the same fate (men whose ultimate failures are the result of their own shortcomings and the influence of women). His works are also highly autobiographical. Thus to read Fitzgerald with understanding one should start at the beginning (This Side of Paradise), move to the full bloom of his talent (The Great Gatsby) and culminate at the end (Tender is the Night). It would help to read a good biography along the way. The other option is to just read Gatsby which is one of the finest American novels ever written.

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.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book for the young, or young at heart June 5, 2004
Format:Hardcover
This was one of my favorite books when I was 15 years old. I read it several times and carried it with me around the dreary halls of the oppresive, boring land called High School. Even as a kid I sensed Fitzgerald's amazing writing gift: his effortless way of painting a visual picture in the mind of the reader. He was always extremely funny, off-beat and his charactizations are usually on the mark. Though Amory Blaine's psyche wanders a trifle after the first hundred pages, it's impossible not to gravitate towards him, the things he says and the stunts he pulls.
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.
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39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unperfected Prose... A Perfect Story June 29, 1999
By "mi22"
Format:Paperback
Reading some of these reviews has proven to be depressing - in the sense that everyone is focusing on the youthful 'flaws' of this novel. Perhaps it is not comparable in brilliance to Gatsby - but kids-Fitzgerald was a rarest of species-he was a literary genius and Gatsby was his masterpiece! 'This Side'...may have been his first attempt out but never the less a marvelous portrait of being young in the 20th Century. It's shameful that people constantly compare this story to Gatsby, his Sistine Chapel of novels. No, this is simply a terrific story - and it truly is. Amory Blaine is an exceedinlgy likeable protagonist(something all the 'young hip'writers of today seem to forget to have), his images are portraits and his prose are just beginning to blossom. Indeed, this a youthfully 'flawed' novel by a young genius - which still equals an excellent work of fiction. - Oh, and if one reads this book and does not like Amory Blaine, that someone either forgot what it was to be young - or simply doesn't want to be reminded. Ciao.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Novel and Introduction to Fitzgerald
Having only read one of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels, "The Great Gatsby," in high school, I was not sure what to expect when picking up "This Side of Paradise. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Jay Holzapfel
2.0 out of 5 stars The roaring twenties dissappoint
Very out-dated but even so it is hard to understand how this book ever became a best seller in its day. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy J. Crowley
2.0 out of 5 stars I never saw the illustrations -- they were not in the book itself and...
No real development of character or follow-through on situations. I think it may be a little old-fashioned compared to books now a days. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jone Augustin
3.0 out of 5 stars Certainly not of The Great Gatsby quality
Certainly not of The Great Gatsby quality. Difficult read, hard to follow at times. I did finish reading it just for my own satisfaction.
Published 2 months ago by Joan C. Teglas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 2 months ago by Jane M Judd
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Nice book
Published 3 months ago by NayNay
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed. Guess he hadn't gotten into Zelda's journals or ...
It was his first and jumped around and he wrote part of it as one would a play. Disappointed. Guess he hadn't gotten into Zelda's journals or diaries. Meow.
Published 3 months ago by MaryAnn Dodd
1.0 out of 5 stars I expected some wear and tear as this was being ...
I expected some wear and tear as this was being sold as a used item, but this book is so mangled and bent that I may need to flat iron it before it can be opened properly to read.
Published 3 months ago by PAflyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinnacle of a Protagonist
Two things about 'This Side of Paradise' will leave a lifelong impression on me. I've only just finished the novel, but I already know that its marks will remain embedded in me... Read more
Published 3 months ago by N. Trandahl
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I should have stopped with Gatsby.
Published 3 months ago by William Snyder
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