Thursday, 14 June 2012


I don't read as much as I should. The only time I really read is in my lunch hour at work. It takes me a week or two to get through an average sized novel. I should probably find other times to read when at home, but I rarely do. Too many distractions. God damn you, internet.

I am currently reading This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel. To be honest, I am struggling to get into it. I have not read much Fitzgerald before, a few short stories, but that is all. I didn't much care for the short stories, but I thought his novels would be better. It seems that I thought wrong.

I find his style incredibly pretentious, and I really feel nothing for his characters. At least, none that I have encountered so far. They are all spoilt rich people. Anyone that knows me knows that I prefer stories about low-lives and scumbags. Not that rich people can't be scumbags, of course. Hemingway's characters are generally privileged people, too, but they don't seem to come across half as annoying as Fitzgerald's.

I know The Great Gatsby is Fitzgerald's magnum opus, and maybe I should have skipped past the earlier novels and gone straight for that, but I am a sucker for doing things in chronological order. Being a fan of writers such as Bukowski, Fante and Hemingway, I like my prose to be short, snappy and to the point. Fitzgerald seems to dilly dally around (dilly dally is a technical term), wasting sentences describing shit that I don't care about. Maybe my attention span isn't up to par, I don't know. Maybe his style just isn't for everyone.

My main problem is this: I get a one hour lunch break and in that time I want to read a book that I am going to enjoy, not something that I am going to struggle through. My secondary problem is that I fucking hate starting something and not finishing it.

So do I power through This Side of Paradise, and hope that it grows on me? Or should I ditch it and skip to Gatsby and see what all the fuss is about? Or do I ditch Fitzgerald all together and go back to the safe ground of Bukowski or Fante?

Hmmm I think I'll give him one more chapter to impress me...


  1. How do you get to work? I always read on the metro...that's why I'm curious. If you haven't read The Great Gatsby, I would really recommend putting down this book and picking up that one. Listen, order I get it. But think about how the prolog on the Communist manifesto is actually longer than the manifesto itself. Sometimes it's ok to shirk rules! Read Gatsby,
    it's the difference between trying to read Naked Lunch and Junky. Plus the Great Gatsby has an NES game! Come back to This Side of Paradise, after you're read Paradise Lost. That's what Fitzgerald was playing at anyway, so you owe him at least that. (Plus, video game.) ;) Happy reading!

    1. Is that game genuine or is it fan made? That is amazing! I walk to work so no time to read then. I will heed your advice and skip to Gatsby. I have always wanted to read Paradise Lost as well, so that sounds like a plan! Gatsby then Paradise Lost then This Side of Paradise. Thanks Erin!