This Side of Paradise, the novel that established F. Scott Fitzgerald as the voice of his generation, was written while he was in the army, extensively revised, and finally published in 1920 when he was only 23 years old. The young "romantic egoist" Amory Blaine—vain, shallow, and self-absorbed—whose progress from prep school to Princeton frequently parallels Fitzgerald's own life, is the quintessential youth of the postwar "Lost Generation." Fitzgerald's unsparing portrait of a young man who takes himself far too seriously makes This Side of Paradise one of his most endearing and entertaining books. Upon its publication, Fitzgerald became an instant literary superstar, and this early fame—and his inability to mature—helped bring about the downfall, only 20 years later, of a major American writer.
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