Summer Reading List: This Side of Paradise

Inspired by Bob Dylan to read all of F. Scott Fitzgerald novels (I had only read The Great Gatsby previously), I decided to go back to the beginning and read This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald’s best selling debut novel that made him a celebrity overnight, won the affections of the girl he was in love with, and ushered in a new era in American literature. I was a bit confused by the dramatic shifts in style throughout the book, but the ending was brilliant and I can’t resist sharing a paragraph of it:

Long after midnight the towers and spires of Princeton were visible, with here and there a late-burning light- and suddenly out of the clear darkness the sound of bells. As an endless dream it went on; the spirit of the past brooding over a new generation, the chosen youth from the muddled, unchastened world, still fed romantically on the mistakes and the half-forgotten dreams of dead statesmen and poets. Here was a new revery of long days and nights; destined finally to go out into that dirty gray turmoil to follow love and pride; a new generation dedicated more than the last to the fear of poverty and the worship of success; grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken…


About mjbutterworth

Coffee. Books. Bicycles.
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2 Responses to Summer Reading List: This Side of Paradise

  1. Cassie says:

    You should DEFINITELY read their letters to one another – they’re lovely. I have only read The Great Gatsby and their letters, but I want to read this as well. How did Bob Dylan inspire you – that’s intriguing.

    • Ha. The Dylan thing is a bit of a joke. He has a lyric in “Ballad of a Thin Man” where he sings “You’ve been through all of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books”. I will definitely check out their letters, sounds interesting.

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