F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise, made him instantly famous, and prefigured the themes and characters in later works such as The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. A thinly disguised account of Fitzgerald's own Princeton years, the novel's frank description of the main character's love affairs shocked and delighted its ...
F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise, made him instantly famous, and prefigured the themes and characters in later works such as The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. A thinly disguised account of Fitzgerald's own Princeton years, the novel's frank description of the main character's love affairs shocked and delighted its first readers, and the book was an immediate success. The book recounts the story of Amory Blaine as he grows from pampered childhood to young adulthood, and learns to know himself better. At Princeton he becomes a literary aesthete and makes friends with other aspiring writers. As he moves out into the world and tries to find his true direction he falls in love with a succession of beautiful young women. Youthful exuberance and immaturity give way to disillusion and disappointment as Amory confronts the realities of life. Jackson R. Bryer's introduction establishes the novel as an important work in its own right, highlighting its enduring strengths for the modern reader, examining the book's interesting composition history, and exploring its initial reception in 1920. In addition, this edition features an up-to-date bibliography of primary and secondary sources and critical material, a chronology of the life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and explanatory notes that provide context for references and allusions. Brilliant and original in style and structure, This Side of Paradise was a spectacular launching pad for Fitzgerald's career, and stamped him as the bard of the Jazz Age. About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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This novel is excellent for Fitzgerald's first and it exerts an aura of beauty. It's language is very beautiful and colorful, very far from achromatic. I'd call it a "glitter" book. I was a bit surprised to find people of color in the book, however, they were simply a part of the scenery, the same level as an adjective almost, which is expected since it WAS written in the 1920's. The main character is likeable, yet complex. Romantic egotist is the perfect description of him. It seems as if he wants to acquire all the knowledge he can, but never seems to be satisfied with any aspect of life. If one were to think deeply on this concept, this book is rather depressing. Though this is my first Fitzgerald book, it is definitely not my last.
Jul 8, 2007
The Romantic Egotist
F. Scott Fitzgerald?s first published novel, This Side of Paradise, masterfully illustrates his ability at a young age to combine fiction with reality within a novel. Although, the novel is loosely based upon Fitzgerald?s own life leading up to and after his time at Princeton University, the novel also contains some of the earliest evidence of Fitzgerald?s ability to write good fiction. The novel tells the story of Amory Blaine coming of age in the roaring twenties. Amory struggles with the trials and tribulations of first love, social, financial and educational status. While the novel chronicles Amory?s education and career, it truly captures the essence of ?young love?, by focusing heavily on Blaine?s numerous love interests. While the novel seems to wander at times, it is only because the novel is a combination of Fitzgerald?s previous short stories and poems. This being Fitzgerald?s first major novel, This Side of Paradise, contains certain elements of rawness and innocence that Fitzgerald?s later works are missing. These elements can also be attested to the age at which he wrote this story, and his own innocence. This novel came before Fitzgerald?s rise and ultimate fall, which affected his later work greatly. This Side of Paradise, is a true literary masterpiece which rings true on so many levels of human experience.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-10-27 People are seldom what they seem in this provocative collection of seven novellas from a writer who has been publishing in the New Yorker since the 1940s and whose Collected Stories was nominated for a National Book Award in 1975. In the one previously unpublished piece, "Women Men Don't Talk About," the children of an Irish-American seamstress spin a powerful myth around her absent husband until a charismatic stranger threatens to tear it apart. Women do most of the talking in all of these tales, while Calisher (In the Slammer with Carol Smith) unfolds around them sagas of infidelity, coming-of-age and family secrets. These novellas are full of complex characters, some worthy of their own full-length novels: the mysterious Dr. Bhatta and his uncomfortable neighbor, John Garner, in "Tale for the Mirror"; the tragic Guy Callendar and his ill-matched friends, Sligo and Marion, in "Extreme Magic"; and Tot and Nola, an unusual couple clinging to the fringes of the exclusive horse-race crowd in "Saratoga, Hot." Although she has sometimes been criticized for the density of her prose, Calisher's descriptions are undeniably evocative: "The air, once past the train-smell, came in pure and lively, the fresh vanilla perspiration of spring." For the sheer reading pleasure and challenge of dazzling writing, this collection is a winner. (Nov.)
Publishers Weekly, 1995-01-30 Fitzgerald's first novel, about a coterie of Princeton socialites, appears in a 75th anniversary edition. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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