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Extended Audio Sample This Side of Paradise Audiobook, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 53.55 out of 5 3.55 (113 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald Narrator: Wolfram Kandinsky Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781455170555
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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel features Amory Blaine, a handsome, wealthy, spoiled, and snobbish young man from the Midwest who attends Princeton University to acquire a refined sense of the proper “social” values. Lacking all sense of purpose, he interests himself primarily in literary cults, vaguely “liberal” student activities, and a series of flirtations with some rather predatory young ladies. Partially autobiographical, This Side of Paradise was credited with having invented the American flapper.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The glorious spirit of abounding youth glows throughout this fascinating tale…As a picture of the daily existence of what we call loosely ‘college men,’ this book is as nearly perfect as such a work could be…It could have been written only by an artist who knows how to balance his values, plus a delightful literary style.”

    New York Times

  • “A truly amazing first novel—original in structure, extremely sophisticated in manner, and adorned with a brilliancy that is as rare in American writing as honesty is in American statecraft.”

    H. L. Mencken

  • “Bears the impress of genius…Splendid and fascinating.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Animated with life.”

    Bookman, 1922

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monte Lamb | 2/20/2014

    " This seemingly autobiographical book of Fitzgerald's years at Princeton and into the early 1920's did not do much for me. The decadence that he shows so brilliantly in GATSBY was here, but not nearly so well written. I didn't care so much for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 2/19/2014

    " Interesting as Fitzgerald's first novel and as a commentary on the early 1900's, at least the class system that main character Amory Blaine is part of. It doesn't translate well for today's reader due to all the cultural references and names that no longer have meaning in our current times. The novel has many weaknesses, mostly structural and narrative, although there are parts of it that show the talent of a budding literary genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 2/18/2014

    " a story told as only F. Scott Fitsgerald can "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 2/17/2014

    " It was interesting to read this book before reading The Great Gatsby. It also helped to have my sons notes from class - not an easy read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 2/12/2014

    " its amazing how fitzgerald can capture the human nature of a growing young man trying to explore his potential with a chameleon skin to ultimately discover his persona amidst his personality. I really love this book...it is a favorite for sure. And i would say better than great gatbsy. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elese | 2/8/2014

    " According to the front matter in the edition I read, this novel represents an important first step in Fitzgerald's development as a writer. I get that and I see the flashes of brilliance, but overall, this book didn't do it for me. It felt like a writing experiment - important from a literature history perspective but not all that much fun to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Greg Jehle | 2/2/2014

    " Gatsby remains a great novel despite how they shove it down our throats in High School, but I absolutely hated This Side of Paradise. I didn't care one bit about the coming-of-age of this brat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ian | 1/31/2014

    " I like it better than Gatsby (might not be as good, though) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 1/29/2014

    " My word, this was a tough read (and I was actually listening to it!). As I understand, this book was a compilation of a lot of Fitzgerald's poetry woven into a narrative tale. In my opinion, it would have been better just left as a poetry compilation (some of his poetry is really quite pretty), and to have a separate book with the narrative story (could have been an okay story on it's own, without the fluff). The language was too convoluted, which made the characters fairly unbelievable. I'm glad I read it, but I won't read it again. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Weston | 1/29/2014

    " This was an amazing book. Very thought provoking. I absolutely love Fitzgerald's writing. This is the second of his books that I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. The character development in this novel was superb, and the book left me wanting more and more chapters to read. I will definitely revisit this book in the future, and see how my perceptions of the conversations have changed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaron | 1/28/2014

    " I typically enjoy coming of age-style novels, and I have enjoyed much of what I have read from F. Scott in the past, but this was just a little too slow, with just a little too much poetry, for me to fully enjoy. I really wanted to finish without resorting to skimming but it was a difficult task, especially as the end drew near and I just felt in my bones that there wasn't anything resembling a satisfying ending in sight. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crysta | 1/26/2014

    " Fitzgerald's first novel is disjointed, and was cobbled together from some of his early works. Nevertheless, it's an interesting look into his college years and the years immediately following World War I, as Amory flirted with several ideas - and romances. The bits that were written as poetry were a different look at Fitzgerald's writing, but not nearly as good as his prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Mayfield | 1/26/2014

    " I am really struggling with whether to give this book a three or four star rating. Ultimately I will go with a three. I think that the poetry is too much. It adds to the book, but only in certain places. Otherwise it just seems posturing as a Princeton hack. The fact that he wrote it at 24 is astounding, and I see bits and pieces of him come shining through. I wish there would have been some more focus on the war because I think the effect it had on him had to be so much greater than he let's on. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea Gillus | 1/19/2014

    " I read it for a school assignment. I found it to be kind of interesting, but not something I would pick up on my own. Just okay. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sumeet | 1/16/2014

    " For the ones who want to learn how to blow people away with their writing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Katrina | 1/15/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this one. I felt like I was reading a report on someone's life a opposed to a story with a plot and, we'll, a point. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juan Jimenez | 1/13/2014

    " Great coming of age story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joana | 1/12/2014

    " I'm not one to shy away from romantic drivel, but if I ate a candy for every line about Amory's soul, I'd have diabetes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 1/11/2014

    " Pretty good, enjoyed while reading, don't remember much about it now. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 1/8/2014

    " I liked it. I'm not sure if I liked it more than Gatsby. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gene Twaronite | 1/7/2014

    " Not as uniform and polished as The Great Gatsby, but it provides eloquent insights in the life of the author at 23, with some truly breathtaking flights of powerful prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea Gillus | 1/6/2014

    " I read it for a school assignment. I found it to be kind of interesting, but not something I would pick up on my own. Just okay. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Skyla | 1/5/2014

    " Fitzgerald does paint a word portrait of a time, of a class, of a self-absorbed culture. So self-absorbed that I never felt any attachment or interest to the main character and simply stopped reading the book. The editor stated that the book is parallel to Fitzgerald's life. big yawn. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Britums | 1/4/2014

    " I hated this book, the main character is so full of himself and it really just dragged for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Mason | 12/21/2013

    " Im finding this tough going... I havent been "hooked" as I thought I would, but do keep going back to plod through a little more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Catherine | 12/10/2013

    " I read it because it is a classic so I thought I would see what all the hype is about...eh, it was fine. I suppose I would feel differently if I read it in the 1920s and had a better sense of the Jazz Age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 12/10/2013

    " While not as thematically deep as Gatsby, Paradise offers a delicatly (sp?) clear picture of youth, dreams, and the things that deystroy them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ana | 12/8/2013

    " Amory is a lost spoiled brat thus far, and needs to gain life experience in order to realize his blessings. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Orme | 11/25/2013

    " Read this after you graduate from college. It's an incredible depiction of the stage of growing up in your twenties. I was captivated by this book. It needs to be read. Fitzgerald is at his finest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alexis (The Literature Lion) | 11/22/2013

    " Definitely different, but I liked how he was from Wisconsin and then attended Princeton. It's just like one of my friend's brother's. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Collins | 11/12/2013

    " Got to see early Fitzgerald "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lara Rose | 11/9/2013

    " I liked it when I was younger, but this is really not one of Fitzgerald's notable books "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky Boyle | 11/2/2013

    " eh. it was ok . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mckenna | 10/31/2013

    " I want to give this book 3 1/2 stars, but that's not possible! I loved the characters a lot, and the stoyline was great as well. It was a typical Fitzgerald book,to say the least. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cole Jacobson | 10/29/2013

    " one of the most badass works of fiction i've read to date. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Woodington | 9/27/2013

    " Beautifully written, engaging, and deep. A great read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 9/6/2013

    " I read it expecting another Gatsby, but it very much was not. It lacked Gatsby's style and characters! But that perhaps is more my fault than the book itself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Marcus | 6/25/2013

    " This is one I read more for its place in literature than because I was compelled by the story. Not that the story was uninteresting, but the book's value to me was in learning more about Fitzgerald and the generation and time he describes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bobbi | 5/8/2013

    " And its called ""THIS" Side of Paradise"....how can you make that mistake!? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 4/11/2013

    " Interesting if a bit unfocused. Some interesting characters and Fitzgerald proves to be a powerful poetic voice in his first novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mari Stroud | 3/7/2013

    " It speaks to the quality of the writing in this book that I enjoyed it so much in spite of how much I wanted to set Amory on fire. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Eliana | 3/1/2013

    " I tried, really I did. I just hated this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Eldridge | 1/25/2013

    " Fitzgerlds first book, it made literary critics and the public take notice. Definetly hints at the greatness that would come in this mans writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolina | 1/1/2013

    " Cita que describe al libro: "I'm restless. My whole generation is restless"-- Amory Blaine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karl | 12/11/2012

    " Meh. Sort of interesting, sort of why did I waste my time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Sweet | 12/11/2012

    " I believe that This Side of Paradise is a superior story to the Great Gatsby. If you are deciding between the two, I recommend reading this first. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 11/9/2012

    " I quite enjoyed the sentences and paragraphs in this novel; as a whole story I didn't think it quite stuck together - probably first-novel-itis. I'm glad this wasn't my first Fitzgerald but I'm glad I got around to reading it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Friedman | 11/4/2012

    " This Side of Paradise was excellent. I really like all of Fitzgerald's works, but I like 'Paradise' and The Great Gatsby the best. If you haven't read it, you should at some point find time for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelsey | 10/26/2012

    " This may have been the first book to really make me think. At first I was bored of it, of the progress, but Fitzgerald made up for it in the end. If only people spoke like this now, with enthusiasm and intelligence, instead of fallacies and passionless metaphors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tucker Johnson | 9/6/2012

    " F. Scott Fitzgerald started as brilliantly as he finished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 K | 6/6/2012

    " One man's journey from being a snobbish POS to a depressed and disenchanted POS. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leeleewells | 4/25/2012

    " a must read for post college graduates. I only wish i read it sooner. The final chapters really get to the heart of the story from youthful exuberance, disillusionment, to the realities of life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Destanye Baldwin | 1/25/2012

    " Second favorite Fitzgerald book!!! Gatsby is still number one !!!! But this book was great I loved how the story correlated with Fitzgerald's real life !!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miguel | 1/5/2012

    " Made me wish I was a Princeton man "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jyoti | 12/6/2011

    " It started off promising but then it got really boring "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jyoti | 11/26/2011

    " It started off promising but then it got really boring "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Marcus | 10/26/2011

    " This is one I read more for its place in literature than because I was compelled by the story. Not that the story was uninteresting, but the book's value to me was in learning more about Fitzgerald and the generation and time he describes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom Graham | 10/22/2011

    " Interesting but his later novels are better "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenni | 10/9/2011

    " It was better than, The Beautiful and Damned, but both books have sort of a depressing theme that life is without purpose. I want to read The Great Gatsby before the new movie comes out, but I fear it will influence me to go sit in a mud puddle and wait to die. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liam Sr. | 9/10/2011

    " Before Holden there was Amory. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haley | 8/17/2011

    " Nice, but: fire is FAST oxidation, not SLOW. (That's rust!) C'mon, Scott. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Jahelka | 7/12/2011

    " Might be my favorite book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carly Geehr | 7/6/2011

    " While it captured an era beautifully and I can see how this is a classic, I did NOT enjoy this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haley | 6/24/2011

    " Nice, but: fire is FAST oxidation, not SLOW. (That's rust!) C'mon, Scott. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 London | 6/10/2011

    " The Shelf: Accepted. Favored Author status pending. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 5/22/2011

    " Still radical and relevant. A masterpiece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeb | 5/19/2011

    " Compared to his other books, definitely not his best. But compared to everyone else's books? Pretty damned good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Monte | 5/19/2011

    " This seemingly autobiographical book of Fitzgerald's years at Princeton and into the early 1920's did not do much for me. The decadence that he shows so brilliantly in GATSBY was here, but not nearly so well written. I didn't care so much for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wes | 5/19/2011

    " Often overlooked. Very good novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cole | 5/11/2011

    " one of the most badass works of fiction i've read to date. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa | 4/27/2011

    " *2.5

    It was alright, but it was such a long read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott | 4/27/2011

    " This Side of Paradise was excellent. I really like all of Fitzgerald's works, but I like 'Paradise' and The Great Gatsby the best. If you haven't read it, you should at some point find time for it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Magda | 4/15/2011

    " Se proprio devo scegliere, preferisco di gran lunga il Grande Gatsby. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 4/6/2011

    " The writing is a bit experimental for Fitzgerald, but this book really captured me. My favorite of his novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 4/5/2011

    " I actually liked this book better than The Great Gatsby. It was well written and easy to read. A typical Victorian novel but what's not to like about that? I love the mystery in the ending. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Grace | 3/30/2011

    " This book was SO SLOW. I could barely get through it......I was ambitious and wanted to read some of the classics. This wasn't a good one to start with. "

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About the Author
Author F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and educated at Princeton, where he was a leader in theatrical and literary activities. He began writing his first novel, This Side of Paradise, while serving in the army. Its publication in 1920 established him as the spokesman for the Jazz Age. His major novels include The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby, and Tender Is the Night.

About the Narrator

Wolfram Kandinsky (1940–1993) was a popular audiobook narrator whose career spanned the earliest days of commercial audiobooks. He was a familiar voice of the classics for millions of audiobook fans, and his résumé encorporated the greats of American literature, from Mark Twain to Saul Bellow.