This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

March 26, 1920

This Side of Paradise chronicles the life of Amory Blaine from his childhood up through his early twenties. Born the son of a wealthy and sophisticated woman, Beatrice, Amory travels the country with his mother until he attends the fictitious St. Reg...

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Novel

268 Pages
4.4

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paperback


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This Side of Paradise chronicles the life of Amory Blaine from his childhood up through his early twenties. Born the son of a wealthy and sophisticated woman, Beatrice, Amory travels the country with his mother until he attends the fictitious St. Regis prep school in New England.

This Side of Paradise is the debut novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1920. The book examines the lives and morality of post–World War I youth. Its protagonist Amory Blaine is an attractive student at Princeton University who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking, and takes its title from a line of Rupert Brooke's poem Tiare Tahiti. The novel famously helped F. Scott Fitzgerald gain Zelda Sayre's hand in marriage; its publication was her condition of acceptance.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American fiction writer, whose works helped to illustrate the flamboyance and excess of the Jazz Age. While he achieved popular success, fame, and fortune in his lifetime, he did not receive much critical acclaim until after his death. Perhaps the most notable member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s, Fitzgerald is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Four collections of his short stories were published, as well as 164 short stories in magazines during his lifetime.

Film adaptations of works

Fitzgerald's works have been adapted into films many times. One of the earliest Fitzgerald short stories was adapted into a 1921 silent film The Off-Shore Pirate. His short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was the basis for a 2008 film. Tender Is the Night was the subject of the eponymous 1962 film, and made into a television miniseries in 1985. The Beautiful and Damned was filmed in 1922 and 2010. The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years: 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In 1976, The Last Tycoon was filmed by Elia Kazan, with Robert de Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jeanne Moreau and others.

This Side of Paradise chronicles the life of Amory Blaine from his childhood up through his early twenties. Born the son of a wealthy and sophisticated woman, Beatrice, Amory travels the country with his mother until he attends the fictitious St. Regis prep school in New England.

 

Review:

“The glorious spirit of abounding youth glows throughout this fascinating tale. Amory, the romantic egotist, is essentially American, and as we follow him through his career at Princeton, with its riotous gayety, its superficial vices, and its punctilious sense of honor which will tolerate nothing less than the standard set up by itself, we know that he is doing just what hundreds of thousands of young men are doing in colleges all over the country. As a picture of the daily existence of what we call loosely ‘college men,’ this book is as nearly perfect as such a work could be.

 

“The philosophy of Amory, which finds expression in ponderous observations, lightened occasionally by verse that one thinks could have been evolved only in the cloistered atmosphere of his age-old alma mater, is that of any other youth in his teens in whom intellectual ambition is ever seeking an outlet. Amory’s love affairs, too, are racy of the soil, while the girls, whose ideas of the modern development of their sex seem to embrace a rather frequent use of the word ‘Damn,’ and of being kissed by young men whom they have no thought of marrying, quite obviously belong to Amory’s world. Through it all there is the spirit of innocence in so far as actual wrongdoing is implied, and one cannot but feel that the sexes are well matched according to the author’s presentment.

 

“Amory Blaine has a well-to-do father and a mother who lives the somewhat idle, luxurious life of a matron who has never known the pinch of even economy, much less of poverty, and the boy is the creature of his environment. One knows always that he will be safe at the end. So he is, for he does his bit in the war, finds afterwards that his money has all gone and goes to work writing advertisements for an agency. Also, he has his supreme love affair, with Rosalind Connage, which is broken off because the nervous temperaments of both would not permit happiness. At least, so the girl thinks. So Amory goes on the biggest spree noted in the book-a spree which is colorfully described as taking in everything in the alcoholic line from the Knickerbocker ‘Old King Cole’ bar to an out-of-the-way drinking den where Amory is ‘beaten up’ artistically and thoroughly. The whole story is disconnected, more or less, but loses none of its charm on that account. It could have been written only by an artist who knows how to balance his values, plus a delightful literary style.”

 

–The New York Times, May 9, 1920

 

 

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