Title: This Side of Paradise
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Classics | Literary Fiction
Summary: This semiautobiographical story of the handsome, indulged, and idealistic Princeton student Amory Blaine received critical raves and catapulted Fitzgerald to instant fame. Now, readers can enjoy the newly edited, authorized version of this early classic of the Jazz Age, based on Fitzgerald’s original manuscript. In this definitive text, This Side of Paradise captures the rhythms and romance of Fitzgerald’s youth and offers a poignant portrait of the “Lost Generation.”
Final Rating: ♥♥♥
AimalReads Review (Spoiler-Free!)
I didn’t particularly love this book, nor did I hate it. The very fine line in between is how I felt about this book. In less formal terms, it was meh. I felt like the characters were very inaccessible, the romance was unbelievable (oh how I hate insta-love!) and the story didn’t really do anything for me.
Having said that, Fitzgerald offered a very interesting, first-hand account of what the privileged class was like during the early twentieth century. He very directly, without making any excuses, shows his audience that the characters cared more about their immediate, trivial problems more than the issues of poverty and death. The writing was flawless; economical yet detailed, poetic yet very matter-of-fact.
Even though the characters were unrelatable (I am not rich and spoiled, nor am I white, nor do I go to an Ivy League) and much of their allusions went over my head, I really enjoyed the character development that Amory Blaine went through. He’s not a particularly likable character, nor is he someone you would shed a tear for. But it’s still enjoyable to see how he grew up intellectually- how the circumstances shaped his personality. So rather than an engaging story, this novel is an engaging account of a young man’s self-discovery and growth. Which I liked.
Would I recommend? Possibly.
Would I re-read? Perhaps.