Clever and wonderfully written, This Side of Paradise is a fascinating novel about the changes of the Jazz Age and their effects on the individual. It is a complex portrait of a versatile mind in a restless generation that reveals rich ideas crucial to an understanding of the 1920s and timeless truths about the human need for–and fear of–change.
"A very enlivening book indeed, a book really brilliant and glamorous, making as agreeable reading as could be asked . . . There are clever things, keen and searching things, amusingly young and mistaken things, beautiful things and pretty things . . . and truly inspired and elevated things, an astonishing abundance of each, in THIS SIDE OF PARADISE. You could call it the youthful Byronism that is normal in a man of the author’s type, working out through a well-furnished intellect of unusual critical force."
–The Evening Post, 1920
"An astonishing and refreshing book . . . Mr. Fitzgerald has recorded with a good deal of felicity and a disarming frankness the adventures and developments of a curious and fortunate American youth. . . . [It is] delightful and encouraging to find a novel which gives us in the accurate terms of intellectual honesty a reflection of American undergraduate life. At last the revelation has come. We have the constant young American occupation–the ‘petting party’–frankly and humorously in our literature."
–The New Republic, 1920
“[A] bravura display of literary promise . . . Fitzgerald’s prose is capable of soaring like a violin, and of moving his readers with understated husky notes as well as with notes of piercing purity . . . Fitzgerald knew that glamour was bound to fail, that there is an ineradicable human instinct for it which is utterly mistaken.” –from the Introduction by Craig Raine
Introduction by Patrick O’Donnell
Suggestions for Further Reading
A Note on the Text
This Side of Paradise
Book One: The Romantic Egotist
I. Amory, Son of Beatrice
II. Spires and Gargoyles
III. The Egotist Considers
IV. Narcissus Off Duty
[Interlude: May, 1917 – February, 1919.]
Book Two: The Education of a Personage
I. The Débutante
II. Experiments in Convalescence
III. Young Irony
IV. The Supercilious Sacrifice
V. The Egotist Becomes a Personage