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This side of paradise [NOOK Book]

This side of paradise

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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940022218954
  • Publisher: New York, C. Scribner's sons
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Digitized from 1920 volume
  • File size: 482 KB

Meet the Author

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Inseparably associated with a point in history he claimed to despise, F. Scott Fitzgerald is both the quintessential Jazz-Age writer and perhaps the era’s harshest critic. However, the complexity and sheer timelessness of classics such as The Great Gatsby has ensured that Fitzgerald’s work will never be regarded as mere period pieces.

Biography

The greatest writers often function in multifaceted ways, serving as both emblems of their age and crafters of timeless myth. F. Scott Fitzgerald surely fits this description. His work was an undeniable product of the so-called Jazz Age of the 1920s, yet it has a quality that spans time, reaching backward into gothic decadence and forward into the future of a rapidly decaying America. Through five novels, six short story collections, and one collection of autobiographical pieces, Fitzgerald chronicled a precise point in post-WWI America, yet his writing resonates just as boldly today as it did nearly a century ago.

Fitzgerald's work was chiefly driven by the disintegration of America following World War I. He believed the country to be sinking into a cynical, Godless, depraved morass. He was never reluctant to voice criticism of America's growing legions of idle rich. Recreating a heated confrontation with Ernest Hemingway in a short story called "The Rich Boy," Fitzgerald wrote, "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different."

The preceding quote may sum Fitzgerald's philosophy more completely than any other, yet he also hypocritically embodied much of what he claimed to loathe. Fitzgerald spent money freely, threw lavish parties, drank beyond excess, and globe-trotted with his glamorous but deeply troubled wife Zelda. Still, in novel after novel, he sought to expose the great chasm that divided the haves from the have-nots and the hollowness of wealth. In This Side of Paradise (1920) he cynically follows opulent, handsome Amory Blaine as he bounces aimlessly from Princeton to the military to an uncertain, meaningless future. In The Beautiful and the Damned (1922) Fitzgerald paints a withering portrait of a seemingly idyllic marriage between a pair of socialites that crumbles in the face of Adam Patch's empty pursuit of profit and the fading beauty of his vane wife Gloria.

The richest example of Fitzgerald's disdain for the upper class arrived three years later. The Great Gatsby is an undoubted American classic, recounting naïve Nick Carraway's involvement with a coterie of affluent Long Islanders, and his ultimate rejection of them when their casual decadence leads only to internal back-stabbing and murder. Nick is fascinated by the mysterious Jay Gatsby, who had made the fatal mistake of stepping outside of his lower class status to pursue the lovely but self-centered Daisy Buchanan.

In The Great Gatsby, all elements of Fitzgerald's skills coalesced to create a narrative that is both highly readable and subtly complex. His prose is imbued with elegant lyricism and hard-hitting realism. "It is humor, irony, ribaldry, pathos and loveliness," Edwin C. Clark wrote of the book in the New York Times upon its 1925 publication. "A curious book, a mystical, glamorous story of today. It takes a deeper cut at life than hitherto has been essayed by Mr. Fitzgerald."

Gatsby is widely considered to be Fitzgerald's masterpiece and among the very greatest of all American literature. It is the ultimate summation of his contempt for the Jazz-Age with which he is so closely associated. Gatsby is also one of the clearest and saddest reflections of his own destructive relationship with Zelda, which would so greatly influence the mass of his work.

Fitzgerald only managed to complete one more novel -- Tender is the Night -- before his untimely death in 1940. An unfinished expose of the Hollywood studio system titled The Love of the Last Tycoon would be published a year later. Still The Great Gatsby remains his quintessential novel. It has been a fixture of essential reading lists for decades and continues to remain an influential work begging to be revisited. It has been produced for the big screen three times and was the subject of a movie for television starring Toby Stephens, Mira Sorvino, and Paul Rudd as recently as 2000. Never a mere product of a bygone age, F. Scott Fitzgerald's greatest work continues to evade time.

Good To Know

In 1937, Fitzgerald moved to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting career. He only completed a single screenplay Three Comrades during this time before being fired for his excessive drinking.

He held a very romantic view of Princeton before attending the university in 1913. However, his failure to maintain adequate grades or become the football star he dreamed to be lead to an early end to his studies in 1917.

Fitzgerald owes a his name to another famous American writer. He was named after Francis Scott Key, the composer of "The Star Spangled Banner," who also happened to be a distant relative of Fitzgerald's.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 24, 1896
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Date of Death:
      December 21, 1940

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 79 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 24, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This is what Fitzgerald should be known for!

    I have read this inumerable times! My all time favorite book, especially by my favorite author. Never quite understood how The Great Gatsby can overshadow this amazing work of literature! The life of Amory Blaine is fascinating, following through his school days, the reader actually feels like they are there with him. Highly reccomended to anyone and everyone!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2011

    Not a clear ebook

    Download another version, this one has too many typos to be clearly understood.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 12, 2012

    Fascinating Glimpse into the 1920s

    Fitzgerald's semi-autobiographical novel was utterly fascinating; as a 22 year old, I find it baffling that someone my age could have written such a cutting and spot-on description of everyday life. I could go into the fact that he was one of the first truly modern authors, how he is one of America's greatest authors, etc. but what I found most powerful was that his work is still relevant today. I've been in similar situations, I've felt the same way Amory felt (in relation to being better than everyone, in relation to "acting" at being into someone) which serves to highlight how timeless this novel truly is. I was captivated from start to end.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2006

    An American Classic

    F. Scott Fitzgerald's picture of the 'jazz age' is not unlike much of today's more youthful generations. While this book is overshadowed by 'The Great Gatsby'it definitely should be read. It gives us a little insight to what the generation before WWI was up to before the depression and WWII.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fitzgerald is one of the staple writers of American Literature,

    Fitzgerald is one of the staple writers of American Literature, especially for Modern American Literature. Fitzgerald is probably best known for his Beautiful and the Damned and The Great Gatsby, both of which are superb books.
    I feel like I am losing a sense of who I am by writing a review of a great writer here. Who am I to judge Fitzgerald in all his greatness and the skills he has mastered as a superb writer? I, who has not published anything is judging Fitzgerald's first novel. How pretentious?
    IF I am not wrong Fitzgerald wrote this book when he was in his early twenties and still inexperienced. However I feel that we must judge each book separately with it's own merits and not against other comparisons; whether it be against other writers or the other works of that particular writer. It is true there are some flaws with this book; but let's be honest, which book doesn't? There are no perfect books on which everyone will agree on. Everyone's best of classics will always be different.

    I however love this book. The characters are well designed and it reflects the 1920s through a young artist's eyes who is in the work of becoming one, though not yet one. The heartaches, the difficulties, mentalities and thought patters are carefully observed and presented, not always in the clearest way, however always there. Amory's awakening feels real, happening not in a fast paced story that seems to be based on too many coincidences. We don't just hit a wall and then a bulb doesn't go off in our heads. The influence of his parents, particularly of his mother, his religious mentor, his friends and the countless women who go in and out of his life. They all shape him separately in different directions in which his confusion becomes profound and relatable. Descriptions, monologues are enlightening, creative and original. No body does the Jazz era better than Fitzgerald, with hits glam and it's gloom.

    So, what was wrong with it? I don't think at any given time a student at Yale could be so carefree without having to work so hard at his studies. Sometimes the plot doesn't feel as established, solid and well planned out. There aren't always particularly something happening, or something being set up. (not that all plots needs to be this way, however for a novel of this length, sometimes it makes a reader feel like the writer is just dragging it on and is not authorized) to write the book. Some characters don't always seem to particularly have a purpose of being there. The book could have been shorter, the space utilized more efficiently. All in all though, it's a great book that is to be recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2006

    Wowza!

    This book is such a classic! In the first chapter, which is conveinently segregated into titled bits, I got this feeling of literary genius. I immediately got this groovy Catcher and the Rye sensation right when the main character, Amory Blaine, began an in depth analysis upon all his education. Amory Blaine is such an amazingly conceited and zealous character he thinks he is completely amazing when in reality he is a lazy optimist, this is where the reader picks up hillarious emotions that allow loud outbursts of laughter. I absolutely adore this novel what a feat from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I dare yell OUTSTANDING!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    For some reason characters always drunk has no appeal

    And very much so includes that paris bunch of "lost" they seemed able to always find a drink

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Scoure

    Yo ayone here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Sincerely

    Sincerely,

    The Suicidal Bastard, Miss Bit<_>ChyPants, and the Weird One.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Amanda

    "So I'm the Weird One? Awesomesause." She disaflopped.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Gale

    *walks in laughing * wow this is awesome *laughs

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Amanda to maddi add-on

    Timey wimey.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Maddi

    No

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Rose

    "You know what I hate? When people use your name for idiotic sh<_>it like drama. O-O This is why I don't go to prom's or party's."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Lorin

    Looks at Scott "Looks like it huh?" She puts her hair over her shoulders

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Brynn

    She sighed and instead of putting on pop music, she put on Stache by Zedd

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Zoe

    "What Keith?"

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Jaeger

    Dispoofed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    April

    Dispoofed. Baiii dessies...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Ansley

    I am

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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