This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Audio CD, 8 disks (9 hours)
Published August 25th 2007 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1920)
ISBN:  1423310888 (ISBN13: 9781423310884)
original title:  This Side of Paradise

4 stars overall / 4(ish) stars audio narration

Fitzgerald’s first novel, reprinted in the handsome Everyman’s Library series of literary classic, uses numerous formal experiments to tell the story of Amory Blaine, as he grows up during the crazy years following the First World War. It also contains a new introduction by Craig Raine that describes critical and popular reception of the book when it came out in 1920.

My thoughts:
Never have I read a more elegantly written novel about…well…pretty much nothing. Amory Blaine – the Romantic Egotist – is consumed with himself, lazy, idle, and bored with everything except his own opinions & women. This is the entire focus of This Side of Paradise, and I am astonished that Fitzgerald could find this much to say about so little. Nevertheless, the writing is witty & clever, and as such makes a spectacularly unlikeable character almost palatable. I enjoyed it, even when I was wanting to slug Amory. There’s something to be said for an author who can provoke that reaction.


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