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This Side of Paradise  By  cover art

This Side of Paradise

By: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Narrated by: Robertson Dean
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Publisher's Summary

If the Roaring Twenties are remembered as the era of "flaming youth", it was F. Scott Fitzgerald who lit the fire. His semiautobiographical first novel, This Side of Paradise, became an instant best seller and established an image of seemingly carefree, party-mad young men and women out to create a new morality for a new, post-war America. It traces the early life of Amory Blaine from the end of prep school through Princeton to the start of an uncertain career in New York City.

Alternately self-confident and self-effacing, torn between ambition and idleness, the self-absorbed, immature Amory yearns to run with Princeton's rich, fast crowd and become one of the "gods" of the campus. Hopelessly romantic, he learns about love and sex from a series of beautiful young "flappers", women who leave him both exhilarated and devastated.

Fitzgerald describes it all in intensely lyrical prose that fills the novel with a heartbreaking sense of longing, as Amory comes to understand that the sweet-scented springtime of his life is fragile and fleeting, disappearing into memory even as he reaches for it.

Public Domain (P)2010 Tantor

What listeners say about This Side of Paradise

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Narration Was Dry Like Reading a Dictionary

I would prefer reading the book itself than listening to this version of the audiobook. The narration was haste, dry, detached, and emotionless. It takes away what enjoyment a reader could have derived from the literature itself.

7 people found this helpful

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still relevant

amazing how contemporary the ideas and political philosophy are today with the socialist-democratic party we have now.

6 people found this helpful

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To Understand Princeton

I am a current Princeton PhD student, and I listened to this book while walking about campus. It's a pleasure to see this place through the eyes of someone who was here a century ago---to understand viscerally the war plaques scattered about campus, to see how the struggle to attain influence has both relented and remained, to see the enduring power of institutions like the Prince and the eating clubs, to know that grad students were filled with wild political and religious ideas then as they are now, and to feel a connection to the youthful experiences of generations of alumni and many a late night well-lived. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to understand Princeton.

4 people found this helpful

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  • 11-02-20

Fitzgerald fan

I love all Fitzgerald’s novels. Ranking them, Tender is the night ranks first because it is powerful with great psychological depth. The beautiful and the damned is second because the story is interesting. This side of paradise is third because some scenes are great and others boring. The great gatsby is his worst in my opinion because the characters aren’t that complex and the protagonist is way too passive.

4 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story

This book involves some deal of philosophy struggles and thinking, yet is very entertaining to read(or listen). If you like to dig deep into yourself, you might enjoy the life of Amory and his self analyzes.

3 people found this helpful

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a long boring book but well read

I struggled to finish this one. it was more of a gloomy monologue of a man's life and how selfish he is. it ended as mundane as it began. the reader however did an excellent job considering the material he had to work with

2 people found this helpful

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yippee

wonderful

at least 15 words needed at least 15 words are needed here. Fauci is in control

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Disappointed

The Narrator was fantastic, but the main character and story were not for me. My expectations were very high because I love 'The Great Gatsby', and have wanted to read more by Fitzgerald; but I couldn't relate to this story or character at all. He was strange and the whole of the story was lacking.

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God and man at Yale; Fitzgerald at Princeton

F. Scott Fitzgerald's first published novel - published in 1920 - published so as to impress his girlfriend (later wife) Zelda. Fitzgerald wanted to be a famous writer - Zelda wanted to be associated with someone famous.

Good, not great novel - tells the story of an elite Princetonian (lightly disguised story of Fitzgerald himself) - who tries 'n' things - education, a Second Lieutenant in WWI - writing copy in an Advertising firm. The main character flirts with Religion; flirts with revenge against the Capitalist System (not quite Socialism)- and flirts with women (*4) - and then becomes 'disillusioned'.

Narratives are especially interesting and show very great promise. The character's relationship with women (....almost flappers) - indicates the soon-to-upon-them change in 'what becomes acceptable' behavior concerning single women. The rules of acceptability are about to change with the emergence of the 'flapper', Charleston Dance (after 1923), shortening of skirts, Jazz Age, etc. It has already been observed that this novel documents ..."how a flapper thinks...." The underlying theme of oncoming social change is relevant today.

Additionally, some snippets of the narrative about disillusionment is relevant today - something like:

...."All of life is a muddle.
It is like a football game where both sides are simultaneously offside
It is like a football game where they've done away with referees...."

A snapshot of the then contemporary society - where elites went to Princeton - and then 'found themselves' - made a good marriage and proceeded into the downstream of their lives, accumulating wealth and friends. Fitzgerald's character Amory Blaine lives this life - becomes 'disillusioned' and 'thinks his way' [at very great cost] out of this situation - after having had bad relationships with women, work and other things - and in the end - becomes 'graced' with self-knowledge.

Good, not great introduction to Fitzgerald.

Should be of interest to those who read U S 20th Century Contemporary Novels..

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Perfect book for a trip to Princeton

It’s not The Great Gatsby, but clearly demonstrates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s gift as a writer.