Synopses & Reviews
First published in 1920, This Side of Paradise marks the beginning of the career of one of the greatest writers of the first half of the twentieth century. In this remarkable achievement, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays his unparalleled wit and keen social insight in his portrayal of college life through the struggles and doubts of Amory Blaine, a self-proclaimed genius with a love of knowledge and a penchant for the romantic. As Amory journeys into adulthood and leaves the aristocratic egotism of his youth behind, he becomes painfully aware of his lost innocence and the new sense of responsibility and regret that has taken its place.
Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for--and fear of--change.
A very enlivening book indeed, a book really brilliant and glamorous, making as agreeable reading as could be asked . . . There are clever things, keen and searching things, amusingly young and mistaken things, beautiful things and pretty things . . . and truly inspired and elevated things, an astonishing abundance of each, in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE. You could call it the youthful Byronism that is normal in a man of the author's type, working out through a well-furnished intellect of unusual critical force.
--The Evening Post, 1920
An astonishing and refreshing book . . . Mr. Fitzgerald has recorded with a good deal of felicity and a disarming frankness the adventures and developments of a curiousand fortunate American youth. . . . It is] delightful and encouraging to find a novel which gives us in the accurate terms of intellectual honesty a reflection of American undergraduate life. At last the revelation has come. We have the constant young American occupation--the 'petting party'--frankly and humorously in our literature.
--The New Republic, 1920
From the Paperback edition.
One of themost brilliant first novels in the history of American literature, the book that launched F. Scott Fitzgeralds literary career.
Published in 1920, when the author was just twenty-three, This Side of Paradise recounts the education of a youth, and to this universal story Fitzgerald brings the promise of everything that was new in the vigorous, restless America of the years following World War I. Amory Blaine— egoistic, versatile, callow, and imaginative—inhabits a narrative interwoven with songs, poems, dramatic dialogue, questions and answers. His growth from self-absorption to sexual awareness and personhood is described with continuous improvisatory energy and delight. Fitzgeralds formal inventiveness and verve heighten our sense that the world being described is our own, modern world.
About the Author
F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, was born in 1896 and died in 1940.