This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

Synopsis

This Side of Paradise is the accomplished and heartbreaking first novel that catapulted F. Scott Fitzgerald to literary fame at the age of twenty-three. Considered scandalous (and brilliant) when it was published in 1920, it describes the intellectual, spiritual, and sexual education of young Amory Blaine in the tumultuous America of the early 1900s. Highly sophisticated yet hopelessly romantic, Amory flounders from prep school to Princeton to glittering Jazz Age New York, confident that he is destined for greatness but unsure how to go about it. Fitzgerald's razor-sharp re-creation of a defiant, disillusioned generation "grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken" makes This Side of Paradise a timeless autobiographical novel of youth and alienation. It moves from tenderness to cynicism to hope with the grace and power that stamp Fitzgerald as one of the greatest of American writers.

Excerpt

AMORY BLAINE inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while. His father, an ineffectual, inarticulate man with a taste for Byron and a habit of drowsing over the Encyclopedia Britannica, grew wealthy at thirty through the death of two elder brothers, successful Chicago brokers, and in the first flush of feeling that the world was his, went to Bar Harbor and met Beatrice O'Hara. In consequence, Stephen Blaine handed down to posterity his height of just under, six feet and his tendency to waver at crucial moments, these two abstractions appearing in his son Amory. For many years he hovered in the background of his family's life, an unassertive figure with a face half-obliterated by lifeless, silky hair, continually occupied in "taking care" of his wife, continually harassed by the idea that he didn't and couldn't understand her.

But Beatrice Blaine! There was a woman! Early pictures taken on her father's estate at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, or in Rome at the Sacred Heart Convent-- an educational extravagance that in her youth was only for the daughters of the exceptionally wealthy--showed the exquisite delicacy of her features, the consummate art and simplicity of her clothes. A brilliant education she had--her youth passed in renaissance glory, she was versed in the latest gossip of the Older Roman Families; known by name as a fabulously wealthy Amer-

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