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This Side of Paradise

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  65,003 ratings  ·  3,696 reviews
This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald's romantic and witty first novel, was written when the author was only twenty-three years old. This semi-autobiographical story of the handsome, indulged, and idealistic Princeton student Amory Blaine received critical raves and catapulted Fitzgerald to instant fame. Now, readers can enjoy the newly edited, authorized version of t ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published July 14th 1998 by Scribner (first published March 26th 1920)
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Megan The writing style is fine, it's the early 20th century slang that I had a hard time with.…moreThe writing style is fine, it's the early 20th century slang that I had a hard time with.(less)
Maegan White I took it to mean actually kissing. As the war went on, kissing became less haphazard and more intentional to "aid" the soldiers through. After the wa…moreI took it to mean actually kissing. As the war went on, kissing became less haphazard and more intentional to "aid" the soldiers through. After the war, a shift in society was noted that girls were no longer reprimanded for kissing (at least as not as much as before). Hence, the flapper population that Fitzgerald is deemed to have "created" with this novel.

He mentions moments between Amory and Rosalind where "you could have had all of me had you just asked it". So, kissing yes, petting yes, sex no...(less)

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Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-novels
“Very few things matter and nothing matters very much.”
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise

Reading The Great Gatsby was an important experience for me, coming as it did at a time when my love for reading was threatening to lapse. Having loved books from a very young age, high school English proved a bucket of cold water for my ardor. It wasn’t that I struggled. Quite the opposite, as I did extremely well with very little effort (the obverse being true in physics). Rather, it was a matter
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Entitlement courses through every word and hemorrhages forth with a youthful flair for dramatics. That a momentary blemish can nearly bring a girl to tears of despair, that looking into the very face of death wrangles only a moment's serious reflection before thoughts are turned back to the senior prom - these scenes seem too fantastical to believe. And yet, I am angered by them. I loath these characters' nonchalance about life and lives. If they were not authored into existence with such undeni ...more
Always Pouting
I wanted to like this book because it has all the trappings of books I tend to enjoy, including gradual disillusionment with life and a character who I relate to, i.e. bad work ethic and excessive emotional reactions. I think the issue is I can't stand when people are condescending or care about status and so it made it hard for me to like the character. On top of that I wasn't quite sure what the plot or purpose of the book was. There was a lot of random poetry included in between the prose and ...more
Jess the Shelf-Declared Bibliophile
Bleh, I tried. I tried SO HARD to like this book! I ended up skimming the last 1/3 or so of it. I love Fitzgerald’s other work, but this first book he wrote was so blasé, with no real plot or emotional connections. It was quite vapid and selfish. It reminded me of A Separate Peace or Catcher in the Rye, neither of which I enjoyed. Life is too short for boring books! On to better reading.
Ahmad Sharabiani
This side of paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940)
This Side of Paradise is the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was published in 1920. Taking its title from a line of Rupert Brooke's poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post–World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و دوم ماه نو
Jared Logan
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
The Great Gatsby is colossal. It's one of those books from your high school reading list that you probably still like. I do. I love Gatsby. When I saw the Baz Luhrman movie was coming out I remembered that I once promised myself I would read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels. This Side of Paradise is his first novel, published in 1920.

It's not a good book, but it's a sincere book. It's an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink book. You can tell young F. Scott Fitzgerald put EVERYTHING HE HAD into th
Glenn Sumi
Mar 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, 1900-1960
An Apprentice Work, With Flashes Of Genius

This Side Of Paradise was Fitzgerald’s first novel, the one that made him, at age 23, a literary star, the unofficial chronicler of the flapper era. It was such a success that his ex-girlfriend, Zelda Sayre, agreed to marry him. And we know how that turned out.

Autobiographical protagonist Amory Blaine is insufferably narcissistic and egotistical. Fitzgerald was clearly aware of this, and there’s more than a bit of satire to his portrait of the vain gold
Jim Fonseca
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was Fitzgerald’s first novel, published when he was 23. So it’s a coming of age novel and semi-autobiographical. Our main character, Amory, is presented to us as a not-very-likeable egotistical young god. “…he wondered how people could fail to notice he was a boy marked for glory…” He’s so “remarkable looking” that a middle aged woman turns around in the theater to tell him so. He’s the football quarterback but hey, who cares, he gives that up. We are told older boys usually detested him.

David Fleming
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: literary
So how is it that this novel, despite it’s shortcomings, was still able to be successful? Ask any New York agent to represent your literary novel with a male protagonist and he'll tell you: “Literary novel’s with a male protagonist are hard sells.” And they are. Think about it: How many literary novels with male protagonists have you enjoyed in the last, say, five years? Probably zero. The key to the success of This Side of Paradise is in Fitzgerald’s mastery of the Male Protagonist in a Literar ...more
after reading: Meh. Meh, meh, meh. See, this is the problem with re-reading books that shine so bright in your memory — sometimes they just don't live up. I mean, there's really no reason I shouldn't have loved this book. It's filled with philosophical musings and snappy, flirty dialogue; it's pleasantly disjointed, very slice-of-life-y; it's definitely full of verve and probably powerful ideas.... but I just couldn't get into it. I was in fact very impatient throughout. I found Amory Blaine to ...more
Oct 14, 2013 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, owned
DNFing this one. Maybe it's because I'm not in the mood, or maybe it's just slow and not my jam in general. Either way, just thinking about picking this book up was not inspiring me to read so I'm done. ...more
Lee Klein
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
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-existenti ...more
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

When published in March 1920, this - Fitzgerald's first novel - was an immediate critical and popular success. It led to success for Fitzgerald in another way too, because when it was accepted for publication Zelda Sayre, who had ended her relationship with Fitzgerald the previous year, agreed to marry him. After the first print run sold out within three days of publication, Fitzgerald wired for Zelda to come to New York City to marry him that weekend. She agreed and they married a week after th
Nov 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I strongly disliked this book and I'm saying no more lest it turn into a rant.

Edit: Okay, some friends have requested the rant, so here goes. I never connected with the main character. The only time we really get insight into what he's thinking is when he's thinking about how much better he is than everybody else. (gag) We follow his romantic adventures as he falls in love repeatedly and we have no idea how he really feels or why he's doing this. The motivations of all of the characters make no
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Side of Paradise was the debut and coming-of-age novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that heralded a new and dynamic author into writing about the gilded age and the emerging jazz age in 1920. This novel is purported to be semi-autobiographical, and at times not a very flattering portrait. And at times the book seems disjointed as Fitzgerald experiments with different structures in the novel resulting in long passages of poetry and prose focusing on socialism, religion and relationships. Amory Bla ...more
"It was always the becoming he dreamed of, never the being."

Thinking back in time, I believe that I must have had ADD as a kid because when I was presented with all of the classics in school, I just didn't appreciate them like I am now, with the exception of Poe. Since I finished reading Of Human Bondage, I have had a thirst for devouring the classics and lucky me: it's like an extended Christmas since there are so many!!

When deciding on which classics to read my mind went first to F. Scott
Adrianne Mathiowetz
Oct 08, 2007 rated it liked it
Someone needed to tell F. Scott Fitzgerald to stop writing poetry and including it in this book as the work of his characters. You have to read it, because it's freaking F. Scott Fitzgerald and you don't skim the man's work, but honestly this was insufferable.

There were passages in this book that I loved, and parts that I couldn't put down: but overall the work seemed uneven. The plot structure wasn't really there. The whole focus of the book is simply one character's development as a person fr
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
“I know myself,’ he cried, ‘but that is all.”

This was Fitzgerald’s first novel and the one the catapulted him into fame and riches at the young age of 23. Whilst I don’t like it quite as much as I do The Great Gatsby, this still holds all the depth and details that I love in Fitzgerald’s work.

In this book we follow Amory Blaine throughout his young years, growing up and going to Princeton, and his young adult life trying to find his way. We see his many attempts at love and his failings and we
E. G.
Mar 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to E. G. by: Nicole Davison
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of F. Scott Fitzgerald

--This Side of Paradise

Explanatory Notes
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charity by: Jonathan
This Side of Paradise primarily suffers from not being The Great Gatsby. And while I know that This Side of Paradise is Fitzgerald's first foray into writing, The Great Gatsby is most people's first foray into Fitzgerald. People have expectations, you know? This Side of Paradise just doesn't measure up. One of TSoP's main flaws is that it has virtually no plot. It does contain the rare snippets of brilliance, but you have to wade through a whole lot of tosh to find them. Still, I can't say that ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant dialogue that still rings true after many years of being published. One has to wonder what he would have accomplished if F Scott Fitzgerald had not died so young ?
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: classics
Equal parts loathed and loved this book by America's most beloved author. I loved the dreamlike quality and the switching of verses from the standard novel, stories, poetry, play, and even a section drafted in Q&A format. Original and provocative, especially given that Fitzgerald was only 23 when he wrote this book. I could feel the greenness of his life, and how frightened he must have been of what the world had to offer.

I hated the arrogance and conceited attitude of the main character Amory
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
At last I have read all the novels of Fitzgerald and now I can officially say that this novel is my favourite. Yes that is true, many professional literary critics consider it to be the most immature and imperfect work of Fitzgerald, but still I like it and nothing will change my opinion.

This novel is a story of Amory Blaine. Or of Scott Fitzgerald? Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between the author and the main characters for there are so many events and people taken from the write
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the things I loved about this book was the character development. We first encounter the protagonist Amory Blaine as a privileged young boy and we accompany him on his journey to prep school, university, and early career. Essentially, this is a coming-of-age novel featuring all of the customary rites of passage.

From the beginning, Fitzgerald describes Amory as a romantic egotist. Only in the last chapter does the egotist evolve into a personage, as he achieves self-understanding. One of t
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it
A very flawed novel but one much adored in its day---in fact, Paradise was FSF's best known work during his lifetime (not Gatsby). Inevitably, biographers pun on it: THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE, EXILES FROM PARADISE, CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE---okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the point.

What's most interesting about TSOP (as we in the Fitz biz call it) is the new type of Bildungsroman it established. Unlike Victorian coming-of-age novels (think Dickens), Amory Blaine's story avoids easy re
There's no denying that F. Scott Fitzgerald was a gifted writer, even in the beginning.

A lot of his problems lay in the thinly-veiled autobiographical nature of his novels.

In "This Side of Paradise," the protagonist--he certainly never does anything heroic--is Amory Blaine. Like Fitzgerald, Amory was born into a family with money, went to prep school then Princeton, drank too much, couldn't find the right woman, and briefly wrote for an ad agency.

The problem with using a bright, young man as a
T.D. Whittle
Unlike most books I re-read decades after first reading them, this one has fallen significantly in my esteem. But, hey, Fitzgerald wrote it when he was twenty-three! I admire that very much. I certainly could not have accomplished such a book, then or now.

But the only writer to whom I feel that I can fairly compare Fitzgerald is himself, and I've only just finished re-reading two of his better novels: The Beautiful and Damned and Tender Is the Night which is my favourite of all his books. Both
I am not giving this book a rating. The reason being is that I had a hard time with the main character Amory Blaine. I tried liking the character, but he just rubbed me wrong.

Aside from not liking the main character, this was a wonderfully written story. I can see why Fitzgerald shot out of the gate with this one. And the big treat of this story is Fitzgerald’s “reading list”. Fitzgerald kept alluding to many of the books that he had read during his early years. And one of them was Robert W. Cha
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be my last Fitzgerald book ever.
His writing style is extraordinary and magnificent but as he might have put it: he doesn’t write about anything of importance.
Fitzgerald has long been one of my literary blind spots. The Great Gatsby is a masterpiece, sure: I studied it in school and have read it another couple of times since, as well as lots of background nonfiction and some contemporary novels that riff on the story line. But everything else of his that I’ve tried (Tender Is the Night was the other one) has felt aimless and more stylish than substantive.

Amory Blaine is a wealthy Midwesterner who goes from boarding school to Princeton and has literary
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini ...more

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