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This Side of Paradise

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  56,731 ratings  ·  3,392 reviews
F. Scott Fitzgerald's extraordinary career as a novelist ended abruptly and unhappily, but it began with one of the most brilliant first novels in the history of American literature. Published when its author was just twenty-three, This Side of Paradise is about the education of a youth, and to this universal story Fitzgerald brought the promise of everything that was new ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published 1996 by Everyman's Library (first published March 26th 1920)
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Lynsey I LOVE the Great Gatsby, but I found this one harder to understand and get through; it's quite repetitious to me.…moreI LOVE the Great Gatsby, but I found this one harder to understand and get through; it's quite repetitious to me. (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…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
Ive always thought that English teachers need to take a lesson from drug dealers: hook kids while theyre young with good product. In this analogy, F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby is pure, high-grade cocaine, given away at the nearest street corner. It is an acknowledged classic, always in the running for the Great American Novel. It is accessible, with prose that is simple yet beautiful. The story is straightforward and relatable and as reductive as a boy trying to impress and win over a ...more
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
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 postWorld 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
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 Fitzgeralds 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 theres more than a bit of satire to his portrait of the vain golden
Jared Logan
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
Jim Fonseca
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was Fitzgeralds first novel, published when he was 23. So its 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 Hes so remarkable looking that a middle aged woman turns around in the theater to tell him so. Hes the football quarterback but hey, who cares, he gives that up. We are told older boys usually detested him.

Hes a big
David Fleming
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
So how is it that this novel, despite its 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 novels 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 Fitzgeralds mastery of the Male Protagonist in a Literary ...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
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.
Lee Klein
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...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
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 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Edward by: Nicole Davison
Note on the Text
Select Bibliography
A Chronology of F. Scott Fitzgerald

--This Side of Paradise

Explanatory Notes
Adrianne Mathiowetz
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
"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
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
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I know myself, he cried, but that is all.

This was Fitzgeralds first novel and the one the catapulted him into fame and riches at the young age of 23. Whilst I dont like it quite as much as I do The Great Gatsby, this still holds all the depth and details that I love in Fitzgeralds 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 see him
Dec 11, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ?
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
People living the good life. One character confesses that she is being deathly afraid of being poor and all I could think of is Orwell saying and I am paraphrasing from Down and Out in Paris and London, that here I was going to the dogs and I found that I could handle it. It was a situation I could live with. I have been in situations in life and I think I identify with Orwell more but I understand the fear of falling. Still, the dreamscape of 1920s affluence, elegance and ennui has a place in ...more
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
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
Giss Golabetoon
This would be my last Fitzgerald book ever.
His writing style is extraordinary and magnificent but as he might have put it: he doesnt write about anything of importance.
Jul 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fitzgerald fans
Recommended to Nikoline by: hardcore Fitzgerald fans
This Side of Paradise by F. S. Fitzgerald is something very different from his other works, however, it also happens to be his first published work which got a lot of negative critique. The reason why I happened to like it was because of the author's never failing language and writing style; no matter what Fitzgerald did, he never seemed to fail his audience in this matter.

As I have already mention, this is his first published novel, and the reason why it is so much different from the rest of
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 Fitzgeralds 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.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The circumstances of the novel have blurred over the years. It is certain that I finished the book at a White Castle, perhaps avoiding aspects of my life which had veered problematic. I recall highballs, many of them. The drinks were in the novel, of course. My own problems involved living in the wrong place and that finding the reciprocity of a relationship was corroding my self-esteem. There is an echo of that within the pages. That was a funny time. Does my smile appear forced?
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
Nov 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Side of Paradise captures a pretentious man's plight from childhood into the sunken sorrows of young adulthood. Amory, an over-zealous academic who resembles not only Fitzgerald but also every I-take-myself-too-seriously student in America, seeks to find his identity in a nation that already has pre-determined what characterizes a "gentleman:" becoming an Ivy-League student; getting drunk with friends and sleeping with girls; having a witty manner; and writing well. But even living within ...more
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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 ...more

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