Monday, August 15, 2011
100 Books Every Woman Should Read - This Side of Paradise***
Another coming of age novel that will keep you at the edge of your seat. This one is all about discovering what one really thinks and why. An astonishing first novel from one of the 20th century's greatest.
I like this book. I wasn't sure if I would because the only other Fitzgerald book I've ever read just confused me. Fitzgerald doesn't always make his point blatantly obvious and so the last novel of his that I read went right over my head and I wasn't able to appreciate it. However, being aware of this problem, I paid attention this time, figured out what he was talking about, and more-or-less agreed with it.
What I got out of this book is that life without God is empty. The main character tries to fill this spiritual vacuum with all different things: ambition, love, etc. but nothing satisfies. The point is made that these idols are "a poor substitute at best."
The ending is well done. It lacks finality, allowing, rather, for the character to exit the stage and walk out into the unknown future; leaving the reader to wonder what path Amory Blaine chose for his life.
"I act as an escape from the weariness of agnosticism, and I think I'm the only man who knows his staid old mind is really at sea and longs for a sturdy spar like the Church to cling to."
"Whatever your meter proves to be - religion, architecture, literature - I'm sure you would be much safer anchored to the Church."
"If we could only learn to look on evil as evil, whether it's clothed in filth or mediocrity or magnificence."
"You make a great mistake if you think you can be romantic without religion."
"He wondered that graves ever made people consider life in vain. Somehow he could find nothing hopeless in having lived."