Lee's Reviews > This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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's review
Feb 21, 2008

really liked it
Read in February, 2008

Of all the writing by writers in their early 20s I've read (and written), this book is down the street and around the corner from most. I wish I'd read about the Romantic Egotist before I wrote a book called Incidents of Egotourism in the Temporary World that also takes place in the Princeton area. (I loved when Amory Blaine biked at night with a friend from P'ton to my hometown.) Fitzgerald writes sharp, swervy, gorgeous, clever sentences, pretty much always with his eyes on the socio-existential prize. Also, really funny: 30 LOLs, at least. Self-consciously episodic in structure, with a conventional, linear, there-and-back again, rising arc (NOT lacking structure, as so many muffinheads on here say; the plot is propelled by Amory's thoughts about his emotional/intellectual progression more than old-fashioned conflict/resolution). Also, I think he's conscious of most of the things people on here level at him re: class -- he seems to me more often critical than complicit (eg, the end of his relationship with Rosalind, not to mention the final rant in the car). It's a lot like Tolstoy's Confession, but here the Egotist steps into the labyrinth of the rest of his life and realizes he knows himself and nothing else. Looking forward to the other F. Scott novels and then re-re-re-reading Gatsby.
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03/22/2016 marked as: read

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