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This Side of Paradise

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book Overview: 

This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald, taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is a wealthy and attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature and has a series of romances that eventually lead to his disillusionment. In his later novels, Fitzgerald would further develop the book’s theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .A voice from somewhere called the inevitable formula, "Stick out your head!" below an unseen window. A hundred little sounds of the current drifting on under the fog pressed in finally on his consciousness.

"Oh, God!" he cried suddenly, and started at the sound of his voice in the stillness. The rain dripped on. A minute longer he lay without moving, his hands clinched. Then he sprang to his feet and gave his clothes a tentative pat.

"I'm very damn wet!" he said aloud to the sun-dial.


The war began in the summer following his freshman year. Beyond a sporting interest in the German dash for Paris the whole affair failed either to thrill or interest him. With the attitude he might have held toward an amusing melodrama he hoped it would be long and bloody. If it had not continued he would have felt like an irate ticket-holder at a prize-fight where the principals refused to mix it up.

That was his total reaction. . . . Read More

Community Reviews

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

Amory Blaine, a mid-Westerner and middle class, begin what feels like the start of the rest of his life, in the place he feels he is meant to be, and on his arrival at Princeton (university) he feels at his life's greatest moment. This is his story, via a mix of narrators, styles, even genres, the s

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 sta

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 nov

[Revised, shelves and pictures added, spoilers hidden 7/24/2022]

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-likable egotistical young god. “…he wondered how people co

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 o

here is my original short review of this book from a hundred years ago (both when it was published and when i wrote about it):

"i read it in pieces during the summer, and it was good brain food in the middle of wispy beach fiction."

i used to actually, like, try at this. there was a time when i didn't

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, A

View More Reviews