Customer Reviews for

This Side of Paradise

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2010

    Confusing, but impossible to put down

    F. Scott Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paradise" was written in the typical excessive Fitzgerald style, with lots of confusing allusions and very lengthy, wordy descriptions. However, the satisfaction in reading this comes mostly in the voyeuristic, almost "E! True Hollywood Story"-like glimpse into the main character, Amory Blaine's life. The main character was probably the sole thing that kept me interested while reading this - the book made me want to know everything there was to know about Amory, and by the end, I did know everything about him and I wanted him to see the things in himself that I saw in him, thanks to the author's masterful description of him and his personality.
    I also found myself kind of desperate for Amory to be happy in a relationship for once - I could have sworn that Rosalind was going to work out, but typical of Fitzgerald, like in "The Great Gatsby", nothing happens like we want it to.
    My favorite part in this book was the entire Rosalind arc, from the mad, passionate love that he shared with her (that never really ammounted to anything by today's standards) to the point where she shot him down and he was crushed - this was probably the one point where I really emotionally connected with the character and felt just as miserable as he was when he lost his love.
    My least favorite part was in the middle of the story, where it felt like absolutely nothing was happening. I understand that this feeling is probably what Fitzgerald wanted the reader to feel, since this was the point where Amory was in the army for the war that none of the snobbish Princeton boys cared about, including Amory, but still - it felt very dry and boring, and I wanted to skip ahead where I felt sure something exciting was going to happen.
    Overall, this was a great book. The language is hard to follow at times and there are parts where it gets pretty boring, but all of this is overshadowed by the incredible insight we get into the psychology of the character, his development, and his ultimate dismaying self-realization.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2007

    A Forgotten Classic...

    This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald In F. Scott Fitzgerald¡¯s first and semi-autobiographical novel, This Side of Paradise, he portrays the eccentric coming of age of Amory Blaine. Fitzgerald reveals his personal life struggles through Amory. Because of this, the reader is exposed to intense and honest prose regarding each of Amory¡¯s situations. His internal desire for pretentious social hierarchy and his external displays of idleness and hubris close many doors that would otherwise have been open. This struggle, lined with the excitement racy youth and post-war extravagance bring with it, embodies This Side of Paradise and makes it a must- read classic. F. Scott Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on September 24, 1896. He enrolled in Princeton, but was unable to graduate due to joining the army. He started his first novel, This Side of Paradise, while stationed at a Kansas military camp. In 1920 he married Zelda Sayre and together they raised their only child, Scottie. Fitzgerald and wife Zelda were said to have been attracted to and active in the New York aristocratic social scene. After publishing The Beautiful and Dammed in 1922- and The Great Gatsby in 1925, Fitzgerald suffered from alcoholism, and Zelda was institutionalized due to her emotional breakdowns. Fitzgerald worked in Hollywood as a scriptwriter before he died on December 21, 1940 of a heart attack. This book, although not as highly revered as The Great Gatsby, remains amongst a very short list of great American classics- and with reason. It is a beautifully executed, honest projection of an era that is otherwise filled with illusion and policy. This Side of Paradise holds within its bind a history lesson far deeper than that found in any text book. Fitzgerald elegantly and vividly portrays the young idealism of the ¡°Flapper age.¡± Fitzgerald writes, ¡°Ten o¡¯clock found them penniless. They had suffered greatly on their last eleven cents and, singing, strolled up through the casinos and lighted arches on the boardwalk, stopping to listen approvingly to all bang concerts.¡± Like this small excerpt, the books¡¯ entire diction is bubbled with young hope and exuberance. The experience and emotions Fitzgerald provides to the reader are precise and consistent. It is like the fountain of youth- flooding with the promise of handsomer times. Anyone who reads it is bound to feel a little bit livelier. This book is recommended to all history students, for all the social climbers who wish to empathize or to be empathized with, and to all those who need to be reminded about the purities of youth.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2003

    Beautiful Writing

    When it was published someone famously called this book 'the collected writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald' and the wag who made the quip had a point. Still, it is a beautiful and interesting portrait of a priviledged and Romantic child's coming of age. The passages describing Princeton are the most lyrical. This book showed the world the potential Fitzgerald had for lyrical prose and writing fine novels, potential fulfilled in Gatsby and Tender is the Night.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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