"This Side of Paradise" - should I give up or keep reading?
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The prose is so poor that half the sentences are nonsensical. There is no characterization whatsoever - the first chapter (40 pages) is all about the main character, Amory Blaine, but is so devoid of incident or detail that the reader has no sense of his personality, and no reason to care what will happen to him.
Pushed on a further 40 pages, but not much better.
Is this book going to improve, or should I give up now?
BTW, the experience is making me rethink "Gatsby" - maybe that book is also overrated...
I too hate giving up on books, and will usually force myself to finish one. The last exception to this was giving up on Lord of the Barnyard by Tristan Egolf. I really came to dislike the protagonist so much I just stopped being interested.
A rarity, but it happens!
Not a comment on FSF in general though. I thought The Beautiful and Damned was well-written even though I disliked the main characters. And I liked Tender is the Night a lot. It's been 40 yrs since I read Gatsby, so no comment there.
It's his earliest work, so you might want to read something that he wrote later and see if you want to go back to this one after being more acquainted with him.
It's the only novel I've ever read, in a long, long life of reading, that I have ever wanted to call "perfect." So I also have the Fitzgerald gene. I've liked all the work I've read by him, but that one holds a special place in my literary constellation.
But my own mother said she didn't understand what the big deal was about Fitzgerald.