Saturday, 30 March 2013

This Side of Paradise: Teenager's Philosophy?

This is the first time I read anything from F. Scott Fitzgerald. I won it in a spin, haha. And it has also been a long long time since I read anything like this. I read modern novels every once in a while, but most of them are detective/crime stories, and not “normal” slice of life stuff as This Side of Paradise happens to be.

I dragged myself through the first part of it. I must say that, it's kind of cool for me, like a cloudy day. No, I don't know what I'm talking about. I mean the story is monotonous, and I must say I don't care a bit for Amory Blaine. Perhaps the first part lacks thrill in it. But I kept going, because (1) I have to finish the book anyway, (2) there are many references to poetry, and I love poetry.

The second part, however, is more interesting. Actually I love to see how the character tries hard to find himself, to be, as the book say, a “personage” rather than “personality.” His philosophy flaws here and there, and he knows well of that, exclaiming now and then that he doesn't really know what he's talking about. It's a good way to describe the way young people think.

The ending is not a conclusion. Call me a child, but I love stories which end well. It doesn't necessarily mean happy, but at least well. A chaotic series of events ending with a conclusion. But although This Side of Paradise gives a conclusion philosophically, the plot doesn't satisfy me.

Being fond of adventurous stories, I must say that I don't enjoy the book as much as I enjoy Dumas of even Robin Hood Ballad. It doesn't mean I give up on Fitzgerald. I will still read the Great Gatsby sometime before May, and I do enjoy a change in my reading habits. Talking about modern writers, I still have Wilde and Thoreau (if it's counted as 'modern'), and I hope I will enjoy their works.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I'm about 50 pages into it myself, and I don't like Amory either. I'm not sure I'm going to finish it, but it's good to hear that it gets better in the second part.