(E-)Book Read! THIS SIDE OF PARADISE by F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (1920).

First sentence: “Amory Blaine inherited from his mother every trait, except the stray inexpressible few, that made him worth while.”

P. 99: “The fundamental Amory, idle, imaginative, rebellious, had been nearly snowed under.”

Last sentence: “‘I know myself’, he cried, ‘but that is all.'”

From Wikipedia: This book is written in three parts.

“Book One: The Romantic Egotist”—the novel centres on Amory Blaine, a young Midwesterner who, convinced that he has an exceptionally promising future, attends boarding school and later Princeton University. He leaves behind his eccentric mother Beatrice and befriends a close friend of hers, Monsignor Darcy. While at Princeton he goes back to Minneapolis where he re-encounters Isabelle Borgé, a young lady whom he met as a little girl and starts a romantic relationship with her, but after a few days he becomes disillusioned by her and returns to Princeton.

“Interlude”—Following their break-up, Amory is shipped overseas, to serve in the army in World War I. Fitzgerald had been in the army himself, but the war ended while he was still stationed on Long Island. Amory’s experiences in the war are not described, other than to say later in the book that he was a bayonet instructor.

“Book Two: The Education of a Personage”—After the war, Amory Blaine falls in love with a New York debutante named Rosalind Connage. Because he is poor, however, this relationship collapses as well; Rosalind decides to marry a wealthy man instead. A devastated Amory is further crushed to learn that his mentor Monsignor Darcy has died. The book ends with Amory’s iconic lament, “I know myself, but that is all.”

I tried this book, because so many people think Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest writers of the early 20th century, and I didn’t really like The Great Gatsby.  But I can’t say I am convinced now.    This Side of Paradise is an okay read, but I don’t see the greatness of the writer.  Probably it is just me not getting it.

Oh, well, what is not meant to be, will never be….

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2 Comments

  1. You’re like me. I can’t quite seem to get the hang of Fitzgerald. Either he’s not really all that, or I can’t ‘see’ it. Imma keep trying though!

    • No, I can’t seem to get into Fitzgerald, but I will keep trying… Perhaps one day… 🙂
      Thanks for your comment!

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