Thursday, June 17, 2010
Coffee Table Book: F. Scott Fitzgerald's "This Side of Paradise"
Reading This Side of Paradise carried a lot of the same sentiments for me. I appreciate the character development throughout the book, but most of the time the philosophical blabbing really detract. I don't need a novel loaded with action sequences, love affairs, addictions, war, etc. BUT! I do need a strong enough plot to keep my interest as well as a healthy balance of plot and philosophy.
This book was mildly entertaining at its best. As the book continues, I found it more of a challenge to keep coming back to it. At the very end, it was really just a test to see if I would force myself to finish it (not just to say I had, but to see if it redeemed itself, if even at the very very end).
The most provoking thing I can say (at this pre-coffee moment in time) is that the book did make me think more about men's names. The main character is a young man named Amory. I love that name for a man and have never met one. The tail-end of the Victorian Era was a time for fantastically unique names, especially men's in my opinion. Other men's names in This Side of Paradise are Alec, Burne, and Kerry. Other popular names during that time were: Harland (love the sound of it as a slightly Southern "Hah-lon"), Garrett, Wyatt, and Alistair.
Conclusion: Amory's quest for knowledge, comfort in society, and finally, self-awareness is Fitzgerald's first (and long-winded) attempt at addressing failure (in love and in life) and the overall effect of power in many forms. I'm excited for a change of pace...
Posted by Cafe Groenhout