This Side of Paradise
This Side of Paradise tells the story of Amory Blaine as he grows from pampered childhood to young adulthood, and learns to know himself better. F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, it made him instantly famous and stamped him as the bard of the Jazz Age.
The wise writer, I think, writes for the youth of his own generation, the critic of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.
Following the education and young life of Amory Blaine, from indulged only child to disillusioned war veteran, This Side of Paradise is a thinly veiled account of Fitzgerald's time as a Princeton undergraduate and an aspiring writer set against the turbulent background of adolescence, first loves, and the outbreak of World War I. Amory moves through a dynamic whirl of exuberant youth, university escapades and adventures home and abroad as one of a new, restless American generation.
This Side of Paradise ensured immediate fame as well as notoriety for F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only Fitzgerald's bestselling novel during his lifetime, it was also the work against which each of his later novels was measured. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of This Side of Paradise: without it, the writing career of one of the twentieth-century's most popular novelists would have been immeasurably different. Brilliant and original in style and structure,
brimful of literary experimentalism and fearless originality, it was a spectacular launching for Fitzgerald's career, and instantly stamped him as the bard of the Jazz Age.