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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 7 September 2017
This is definitely a young man's novel, Fitzgerald's first and written when he was just 21 or so himself. It's easy to see why it burst onto the literary scene in the way that it did, challenging older values which still prevail. Fitzgerald's characters, privileged and indulged, sweep them away only to find nothing to take their place, and Amory's final vision is of a hollowness and emptiness.

We can see Fitzgerald wrestling, not always successfully, with how to write a novel and this often feels more like a series of vignettes than a totally coherent piece: there are bits of dialogue and play-like scenes, Amory's awful poetry, and set-pieces that appear, better, in later books.

Though flawed and sometimes unbearably dull, this is imbued with a vast energy and some writing that look forward to Fitzgerald's maturer work. While Amory has some of the same backgrounds and experiences, on a superficial level, as Fitz himself (Minnesota, Princeton), he lacks Fitzgerald's self-awareness and penetration that made him such an acute chronicler of the 'Lost Generation.'
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on 11 September 2017
Very nice binding and cover.
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on 2 July 2017
its ok.
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on 27 September 2017
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on 9 March 2016
The book is great, as expected! However the kindle version of this is very poor (words joined together, strange spacing etc) which really distracts from the reading experience. But I guess I can't complain too much for the price!
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on 30 June 1999
Reading some of these reviews has proven to be depressing - in the sense that everyone is focusing on the youthful 'flaws' of this novel. Perhaps it is not comparable in brilliance to Gatsby - but kids-Fitzgerald was a rarest of species-he was a literary genius and Gatsby was his masterpiece! 'This Side'...may have been his first attempt out but never the less a marvelous portrait of being young in the 20th Century. It's shameful that people constantly compare this story to Gatsby, his Sistine Chapel of novels. No, this is simply a terrific story - and it truly is. Amory Blaine is an exceedinlgy likeable protagonist(something all the 'young hip'writers of today seem to forget to have), his images are portraits and his prose are just beginning to blossom. Indeed, this a youthfully 'flawed' novel by a young genius - which still equals an excellent work of fiction. - Oh, and if one reads this book and does not like Amory Blaine, that someone either forgot what it was to be young - or simply doesn't want to be reminded. Ciao.
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on 14 March 2017
not what was advertise
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VINE VOICEon 5 April 2012
To fall in love with Fitzgerald at first sight start with The Great Gatsby; to fall slowly by degrees start with The Beautiful and Damned, then Tender is the Night; and if you've false-started here with This Side of Paradise, then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. The novel, written as it was when Fitzgerald "didn't know how to plan or write a novel" is not representative of his brilliance. 5 years later Fitzgerald himself bemoaned its literary borrowings, "faked references and intellectual reactions" whilst praising its "enormous emotion". It is difficult for readers today to touch much except the novel's emotional life but to 1920s America it was a book of its time, one of the first to tap into the Jazz Age's jugular and spill the blood of a generation "grown up to find all gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken...."

Amory Blaine is our protagonist, young, handsome, male, convinced of his own potential for greatness and beset by the concomitant doubts of trying to realise this. It's this formula that we can all relate to (Princeton graduates and male readers in particular perhaps) of youth's vacillations between splendour and debacle; the freshness of first love; the negotiation of social status; the desperation to "be" someone. Blaine is romantic, nostalgic and contemptuous as he makes his way through prep-school, Princeton and out the other side to stand beneath a "crystalline, radiant sky" and utter the novel's famous last lines.

The structure of the novel fights against itself; Bruccoli (Some Sort of Epic Grandeur) notes in the introduction its mishmash being due to the fact that it is a cobbling together of previously written dramas, poetry and shorts from Fitzgerald's published writings at Princeton. It's difficult not to feel this distraction, especially if you have first read and savoured the sublime precision of Gatsby. Nevertheless, Paradise is liberally sprinkled with gorgeous prose: merciless in its description of character and beautiful in that of place. It is the prose, and the truths of youth it renders in all their larger-than-life self-indulgence, that are the beating heart of this novel today.

For those of us who believe Fitzgerald to be one of the finest American writers, Paradise is a tantalising stepping-stone on the way to Gatsby and is worthy of being read on the strength of that alone. There's a pleasure to be had from its rawness and lack of sophistication when compared with his more accomplished works; moreover, Amory Blaine is a figure to be remembered despite the inauspicious surroundings of his conception (or perhaps because of them). In Blaine and Paradise we have the dreams of the young Fitzgerald--he of the Princeton boast of becoming "one of the greatest writers that ever lived"--in all their unkempt glory.
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on 16 April 2012
As a growing Fitzgerald fan, this is the last of his work I have got around to reading and although I wouldn't say I had left the best till last, I was far more impressed than I expected. This was a great book and I will definitely be reading it again and again throughout my life. I decided on this particular version after being impressed with the Dead Dodo Kindle release of The Beautiful and Damned, and again, I couldn't fault the formatting, menus, etc. I recommend.
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on 6 January 2012
"This Side of Paradise" is Fitzgerald's first novel and is my all time favourite. It tells the story of a young man who has a lot of money, enough charm so as to have confidence in himself, the peace of mind of the wealthy, the aristocratic selfishness. Amory Blaine is a very impressive character and that is what I love about the book. Rarely have I read a book where the author succeeded in making so real a creature out of words. The main character really is alive in my mind. F. Scott Fitzgerald is a fine master, he knows well how people's imagination works, and somehow knows the way to make us imagine things perfectly and to have the feeling we live in times that passed and we never knew. I read the book and remained with the feeling I know the character Amory Blaine well and this familiarity made it my favourite book out of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work. It is not a pretty book to say so, or a nice great man this Amory, but the world he lives in is depicted so as to become very real. I really love Fitzgerald for one other thing: his writing is very sincere or at least gives that impression. The author doesn't hesitate to be ironical about himself and also leaves the impression he knows and understands the people and the American society after the first world war, because he is part of it and he is just like it.
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