I know! It’s been FAR too long since my last post! Unfortunately I’ve been tied down with work, and I’ve spent the last month trying to read “This Side of Paradise” by F.S. Fitzgerald. Let me tell you now, every time someone has asked me what I’m reading I’ve had to say “This Side of Paradise, by the author of The Great Gatsby.” It’s shocking how many people can recognise and hype up a book, and not even recognise the author!
So..what do I think of this book? I love it. I reached the end last night, and after an hour of school discussing politics and Russell Brand’s controversial views, which lead to a heated debate, the ending of This Side of Paradise fit right in. Personally, I’m one of those society hating people that can easily find the flaws in our culture, systems and the thought processes in the general human race. That sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is I think…
Towards the end of the book, I felt almost as if Fitzgerald himself was speeding up, spiralling as Amory Blaine was. It’s as if so much is happening and all these conclusions are being drawn all at once and suddenly Amory is waking up. This brings me to Russell Brand. I won’t quote exactly, but I can recall him saying that we shouldn’t vote, we shouldn’t participate in this illusion of change when nothing is happening. He says in an interview with Paxman, “Aren’t you tired?” and how we should all “wake up” and I feel as if, towards the end of the novel, Amory was waking up and seeing how things actually are. It was quite crazy in my head in all honesty, with all these ideas spiralling around in my head so late in the night. One part of me is actually quite disappointed that I had to finish such a truly brilliant book so late in the night when the letters on the page were starting to get blurry.
I cannot stress enough how brilliant this book was. I think I ended up highlighting half of the book because of the amount of insightful quotes I was able to draw from it. My personal favourite, though it certainly can’t be taken to be the best, is when a character says “Success has completely conventionalised you.” I felt it just fit brilliantly with this society that tries to fit everyone into categories. I think it also reflects pretty poorly on society if the same flaws being written about 60 years ago can still be related to now. We need a change! I’m still quite influenced by Russell Brand, and so I have to say, a revolution sounds wonderful.
Also this week was Review Day in school, where 2 days are spent without lessons and there are activities and appointments with form tutors to set a number of targets. It’s a reflective process. I’m quite horrified and disappointed with myself, because one of latest targets is to “read more books to improve my writing skills.” Though the other 2 girls that sat with me disagreed and told me it was quite a ridiculous target, and told me I was the best at English anyway, I feel I don’t quite deserve that reputation. Recently, I haven’t found the time to read, nor the time to write. And as a result, I feel everything is deteriorating. The fact that it took me almost a month to read one novel alone is proof enough of this.
I start reading Divergent today, as it’s been recommended to me so many times, I’ve decided to take it up. Amongst all my other work, I’m hoping to find some time to write as well. I’m sorry my posts haven’t been so frequent, but I’m hoping I’ll have more to say when I do post!
Let me know what you think of this post, your opinions on Russell Brand’s ideas, and if you’ve read the book! I’m counting on everyone having read The Great Gatsby, I feel it’s one of those books you just HAVE to read, but it’s important to read more of Fitzgerald’s books. Opinions, opinions, opinions, I’d love to hear anything you have to say 🙂