- File Size: 1003 KB
- Print Length: 291 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: B089M2H4YV
- Publisher: AmazonClassics (October 31, 2017)
- Publication Date: October 31, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B075176DHR
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,588 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
This Side of Paradise (AmazonClassics Edition) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Kindle, October 31, 2017||
|$2.99 to buy|
|Length: 291 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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About the Author
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896–1940), an American novelist, short-story writer, and screenwriter, was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota; was educated at preparatory school in New Jersey; and briefly attended Princeton University, where he nurtured his love of writing. Fitzgerald launched an advertising career in New York City and began selling short stories, but it was his excursions to Europe, notably Paris, that fueled his literary ambitions.
Fitzgerald’s successful debut novel, This Side of Paradise, was followed by The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. Lured to Hollywood with the promise of a more lucrative career as a Hollywood screenwriter, Fitzgerald was inspired to write The Last Tycoon, which was unfinished at the time of his death and published posthumously.
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Fitzgerald finally has material he feels strongly about: Zelda's breakdown, and his own deterioration. He has a store of painful emotions to draw from. Dick Diver is ruined by the rich at the simplest level, but the true source of his collapse is his need to be loved and admired, leading him to squander his emotional capital. He succeeds at curing his patient-wife at the cost of his own career.
The subject of rapidly changing life and the disillusionment of the protagonist in his own generation and its values and views is delivered superbly, just like Amory’s character development, who grows and gradually transforms in front of the reader’s eyes from a careless and even shallow “egotist” (as Fitzgerald himself calls him) into a thinker and even somewhat of a disillusioned philosopher who searches for the meaning of life and completely reevaluates his own in the very end of the novel. That uncertainty in which he’s left, that somewhat of an open ending is an excellent tool in delivering the idea that maybe nothing is lost yet for this new generation, and that maybe with more young men like Amory it will find itself and reinvent itself once again, abandoning its old, traditional and rotten materialistic form.
A truly magnificent literary work that everyone needs to read at least once in their life. Highly, highly recommended.
The Kindle transfer is littered with run together words, and a bit of tenacity is required to sort them out. It's a thing you can get the hang of, and as a worthwhile literary work, I recommend it. An appendix at the end sort of splanes how this happens, but I'd rather just have had it fixed than splaned.
F. Scott Fitzgerald's real, full name was Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald. Really. You can look it up.
Top international reviews
"Then, rather gradually, she realized without turning about that she was not alone in the room. In an inhabited room there are refracting objects only half noticed: varnished wood, more or less polished brass, silver and ivory, and beyond these a thousand conveyers of light and shadow so mild that one scarcely thinks of them as that, the tops of picture- frames, the edges of pencils or ash-trays, of crystal or china ornaments; the totality of this refraction — appealing to equally subtle reflexes of the vision as well as to those associational fragments in the subconscious that we seem to hang on to, as a glass-fitter keeps the irregularly shaped pieces that may do some time — this fact might account for what Rosemary afterward mystically described as “realizing” that there was some one in the room, before she could determine it. But when she did realize it she turned swift in a sort of ballet step and saw that...." - what on earth is all that about? - why not: "Sensing that she was not alone in the room, she turned and saw that...."?
In terms of swimming, which is close to what this novel starts with, some novels race towards the finish, like a swimmer doing a fast front crawl; some novels move more gradually to the finish, like a swimmer doing a steady breaststroke; this novel is like someone treading water for a while, then doing one or two half hearted strokes of doggy paddle, then treading water for a while, then....
Sadly, at 43% of the way through, I cannot be bothered with it any more and have ended up with a rare DNF.
Tender is the Night has a quite different structure - and there are no villains at all. I tackled the book again a week or so back at the urging of a friend and published author whose views I much respect, and who rated the book greater than Gatsby. I read it once, and at the end of this first reading quite frankly didn't see the point: medical charlatan marries young, beautiful, rich patient and gets his comeuppance. But, respecting my friend's views, I persevered: and half-way through the second time I began to get an understanding. Now, having read it in full three times in succession I can see why it can be considered to be greater than Gatsby.
The triptych structure is essential to the book. The first part shows Dick and Nicole Diver at the height of their existence: glamour and attractiveness seen through the perceptive eyes of a young (seventeen) but self-assured young actress, Rosemary, who falls heavily in love or infatuation with Doctor Dick. He rises nobly to resist her attempt at an affair without offending her, and clearly expressing his responsibilities to the wife and children he loves.
The second section is a flashback explaining how their relationship came to be, and the perilous quicksands upon which it is built. Dick is a serious young psychiatrist with a dazzling future ahead of him - but he is poor. Nicole, then sixteen, becomes his patient and over time they fall in love and marry: she is emotionally damaged, but very rich. Taking this history in the second part gives you cause to reflect upon the dazzling impressions of the first part, and to suspect the weaknesses that underlie it.
In part three, the finale, the edifice of their life together crumbles and eventually their marriage falls apart. They separate, divorce; with Nicole now strengthened to independence and Dick descending into alcohoiism and a succession of appointments in small towns where his charm can disguise the failure of his talent. Nicole still loves him for what he meant to her, and you know that he still loves her - but that there is no way back. Both Dick and Nicole terminate their relationship with a dignity that confirms that their relationship, although flawed, was nevertheless something of value.
I now, and somewhat to my surprise, agree with my friend's assessment that it is greater than Gatsby - but it requires more effort than a casual flipping through.
The thing with his books is that I always feel like I am part of the story, as if I am an observer watching the characters. Needless to say, I always get upset when I notice I am almost at the end of the book. I won't give away the story here,but it is set between Europe and the US, over the span of a few years.
Regarding the actual book, I was pleased with the aesthetics of it; it's hard back, the pages are fairly heavy and the black and silver cover makes it very elegant.
If you haven't read Tender is the Night before, it's a longer and more challenging work than The Great Gatsby, more ambitious and more rewarding in my mind. You can see the influence of Sigmund Freud and notions of madness. I would recommend you Google 'Hemingway's Letter to F Scott Fitzgerald' to see what another great writer thought about this classic book.
Had also recently re-read Gatsby and loved it second time around, so, I suppose my expectations were high for this FSF re-read, and they were dashed. Hate not finishing a book so forced myself through it.
Bit gutted, in all honesty!
PS - Totally agree with another reviewer, the missing odd parts of words etc in the Kindle edition really didn't help!! Grrr.
His wife, it emerges, was one of his patients, in a clinic because she was a victim of incest. Diver has a brief relationship with a young film star and eventually he and his wealthy wife part and he's last heard of in Upper New York State working as a GP. No great tragedies but a little sad
Just for your information - this is the original version of the book - the one that starts at the hotel - and not the later version with the potted history at the beginning. Most people think that this original version was the better one, and F Scott Fitzgerald should have left it alone.
Well not really no. It is a work of moments rather than a consumate masterpiece in its own right. Not that those moments are fleeting or sparse. Although a work of rather grand ambitions in its seventy or so chapters, they are for the most short, concise and rich in content and emotion. I'm sure fans of Gatsby are so because of its near perfect structure and pace, with each sentance holding insight, drama and pure beauty in its verse like prose. It has no fat to be trimmed to be sure.
This is where Tender has some failings. The three part strucutre feels a little needless. The real meat of the story lies in the second and third parts as we learn more of Dick and Nicole's past, future ambitions and ultimately the realisation of the failure of their respective needs in their doomed marriage. Part one by comparison does little but set the scene of idealism, through both the serene and virbrant Riviera backdrop and the virginal eyes of the young Rosemary Hoyt. And indeed Rosemary herself, despite being such a central and integral character in the story, never really develops beyond plot device. Her unfaltering imfatuation with Dick and her somewhat creepy obedience to her mother's wishes sits somewhat uneasy with the reader. It isnt until she leaves the story and the end of this first part, that the story and Fitzgerald's writing and insight picks up emotional pace.
By the close Dick Diver himself can be held in the same vein as Gatsby to some extent as a doomed and tragic figure, in the failure of his overeaching ambition and eventual demise (albeit not an actual deat this time). But while Gatsby is painted by Nick Carraway as somekind of enigma, an innocent of soul in a soceity of the morally redundant, by comparison Dick Diver's eventual decent into alcoholism and general misanthropy is somewhat more nasty and creul. There is no sugar to help this pill go down. Interesting that this was written toward the end of Fitzgeralds life, when commercial failures and personal demons plagued him, while Gatsby was written when he was younger, on the up and full of a burning ambition still. Maybe this is the point. Maybe I am still to young to fully appreciate this. I'll come back to it in twenty years maybe when I am as bitter and twisted as Dick Diver is by the end of his marriage and career.
I read it on my 7" Kindle and found the layout and formatting to be just perfect, while the choice of photographs added something to my reading experinece as well.