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This Side of Paradise [Anglais] [Broché]

F. Scott Fitzgerald


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Broché, 1965 --  

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Softback, ex-library, with usual stamps and markings, in good all round condition.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  195 commentaires
138 internautes sur 143 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The more things change... 15 octobre 2002
Par David A. Bede - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
After 80 years, what can be said about Fitzgerald's first novel that hasn't already been said? The first thing that struck me on reading this was the timelessness of its subject matter, no matter how dated the setting is. The Ivy League of Fitzgerald's indifferent hero, Amory Blaine, is a thing of the past, with only the faintest reminders of its aura of American royalty remaining today. Reading about Amory's days at Princeton is a bit like looking at the ancient photographs of 19th century football teams that every university seems to have on display in some corner of the campus, with the added twist that most of those long-ago jocks were presumably the sons of bankers and senators. And yet, Fitzgerald's depiction of a whirlwind of exhilaration, alienation, eagerness for the future and a sense that it should all be more meaningful is still all too recognizable to those of us who are just a few years out of college. So like all the best fiction, the story works both on a historical and a contemporary level.
Amory isn't the most sympathetic of protagonists. Coming from a non-aristocratic but quite cushy background, he's all you would expect from a Fitzgerald hero: full of himself, indifferent to the less fortunate, somewhat lazy, and at once condescending to and inept with women. But this is a story of young adulthood in the last gasps of the pre-World War I upper-crust, and Amory is the perfect vehicle for illustrating the youth of that time and place. Although the relative lack of details provided about Amory's experience in the war is odd, it adds to his Everyman quality for the generations since his, all of which have had their own reasons for a bleak outlook at some point even if few could match the sheer trauma of 1917-18. The one real flaw in the story is an inconsistent, and often unconvincing, quality when it comes to how and why Amory falls for the several women he endures romantic misadventures with. For all the heartbreak he endures, the reader is often left wondering where his attraction stemmed from in the first place - an odd shortcoming considering how good Fitzgerald was at illustrating that issue in later works. But the romantic episodes that do work are vivid enough to forgive the weaker ones. Also, as usual, Fitzgerald's narrative style is somewhat purple; but he's so good at it that it usually doesn't strike the reader as a problem.
Bleak as it may be, this is a great book for anyone who has survived young adulthood and remembers it honestly. Just try not to laugh or cringe next time somebody wants to talk about "the good old days."
42 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 The first display of Fitzgerald's talent 11 mars 2008
Par John Martin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels are a one trick pony in the sense that he writes about the same time period (the 1920's), the same kind of people (rich or successful Americans) and protagonists who suffer the same fate (men whose ultimate failures are the result of their own shortcomings and the influence of women). His works are also highly autobiographical. Thus to read Fitzgerald with understanding one should start at the beginning (This Side of Paradise), move to the full bloom of his talent (The Great Gatsby) and culminate at the end (Tender is the Night). It would help to read a good biography along the way. The other option is to just read Gatsby which is one of the finest American novels ever written.

This Side of Paradise is his first novel and here we see both the promise of the character, Amory Blaine, and the author. On the very first page of the novel Fitzgerald displays his talent for words in his description of Amory's mother: "All in all Beatrice O'Hara absorbed the sort of education that will be quite impossible ever again; a tutelage measured by the number of things and people one could be contemptuous of and charming about; a culture rich in all the arts and traditions barren of all ideas in the last of those days when the great gardener clipped the inferior roses to produce one perfect bud." This lengthy sentence, despite its seeming awkwardness, tells us all we need to know about Beatrice and suggests that the son will share the same qualities. Other examples of Fitzgerald's facility with words follow. On page 45 he describes Isabelle thusly: "She paused at the top of the staircase. The sensations attributed to divers on springboards, leading ladies on opening nights, and lumpy, husky young men on the day of the Big Game, crowded through her. She should have descended to a burst of drums or a discordant blend of themes from `Thais' and `Carmen.' She had never been so curious about her appearance, she had never been so satisfied with it. She has been sixteen years old for six months." And on page 47 is Isabelle's description of Amory: "she had expected him to be dark and of garter-advertisement slenderness." Only Fitzgerald could come up with such vivid and evocative descriptions.

One fault of the book is that it is too episodic without clear transitions. First Amory is a child, then a student at Princeton, then a soldier (although we really do not see this part of this life and it seems to have not affected him), then a lover of Rosalind, then at loose ends, then has a relationship with Eleanor, then the book ends with Amory alone in the world and spouting socialist maxims. It is hard to picture this individual, who for 200 pages has been totally absorbed with himself, suddenly developing a social conscience!

Another problem I have is that Fitzgerald tries too hard to show his education. The book is full of poetry and literary references. It is written much as a college student would write a paper to try to impress the professor and thus get a high grade, rather than in a manner that is appropriate to the telling of a story. Fitzgerald is, of course, at this point in his life not far removed from Princeton and perhaps is still writing as a college student.

In the end, then, we should read This Side of Paradise for the beauty of the language and not be overly concerned with the story line and characters.
64 internautes sur 71 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Beautiful book for the young, or young at heart 5 juin 2004
Par Candace Scott - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This was one of my favorite books when I was 15 years old. I read it several times and carried it with me around the dreary halls of the oppresive, boring land called High School. Even as a kid I sensed Fitzgerald's amazing writing gift: his effortless way of painting a visual picture in the mind of the reader. He was always extremely funny, off-beat and his charactizations are usually on the mark. Though Amory Blaine's psyche wanders a trifle after the first hundred pages, it's impossible not to gravitate towards him, the things he says and the stunts he pulls.
After 25 years I picked up the book again recently. Dusting off my old copy, I re-read the pages that had so captivated me as a teenager. Time dulls many things and people change. But I still love the book and think it's a brilliant first novel. Though it's sappy in spots and it definitely lags at the end, Fitzgerald still had a beautiful ability to harness the emotions of the reader into a world now vanished. It's not his most complete or mature work by a wide margin, but it matters not. This is still a great book, especially for young people or those still a kid at heart.
38 internautes sur 44 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Unperfected Prose... A Perfect Story 30 juin 1999
Par "mi22" - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Reading some of these reviews has proven to be depressing - in the sense that everyone is focusing on the youthful 'flaws' of this novel. Perhaps it is not comparable in brilliance to Gatsby - but kids-Fitzgerald was a rarest of species-he was a literary genius and Gatsby was his masterpiece! 'This Side'...may have been his first attempt out but never the less a marvelous portrait of being young in the 20th Century. It's shameful that people constantly compare this story to Gatsby, his Sistine Chapel of novels. No, this is simply a terrific story - and it truly is. Amory Blaine is an exceedinlgy likeable protagonist(something all the 'young hip'writers of today seem to forget to have), his images are portraits and his prose are just beginning to blossom. Indeed, this a youthfully 'flawed' novel by a young genius - which still equals an excellent work of fiction. - Oh, and if one reads this book and does not like Amory Blaine, that someone either forgot what it was to be young - or simply doesn't want to be reminded. Ciao.
13 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 from the master of poetic prose 22 mai 2006
Par Fitzgerald Fan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
As much as I would love to give F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel five stars, the fact that it is a mere shadow of "The Great Gatsby" (my all time favorite novel) holds me back.
It amazes me to think that he wrote this when he was only twenty-three years old, and yet the vanity and arrogance expressed by Amory Blaine and his generation is suggestive of youth and the ideas of invincibility.
Without doubt this is a smartly written, witty novel yet also highly indicative of how truth and experience are blindsided by youth, beauty, and the hauteur of the newly educated. Perhaps the best aspect of the novel, for me as a diehard Fitzgerald fan, is his signature of wonderfully poetic prose. There is something about the way he crafts a sentence that allows for every sense to be involved. You can not only hear and see what he says, but smell and touch it as well. Despite the intellectualism involved in his writings, it is his poetic honesty that speaks to me on a visceral level. He is simply a genius in this respect. In reading this work, one can only consider "The Great Gatsby" as a natural progression of the privileged wealth and leisure demonstrated here. And on another note, there is also a great deal of recognizable autobiography going on in the text which adds to the authenticity of the story.
And lastly, this is the book that "sealed" the marriage between F. Scott and Zelda...perhaps the most tragically romantic marriage to date, at least in my opinion.
And with this, I will leave you with a quote from the book:

"While the rain drizzled on, Amory looked futiley back at the stream of his life, all its glittering and dirty shallows. To begin with, he was still afraid--not physically afraid anymore, but afraid of people and prejudice and misery and monotony. Yet deep in his bitter heart he wondered if he was after all worse than this man or the next. He knew that he could sophisticate himself finally into saying that his own weakness was just the result of circumstances and environment; that often when he raged at himself as an egotist something would whisper ingratiatingly--'No. Genius!'"
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