Books: The Big Binge

THE FAR SIDE OF PARADISE (362 pp.)—Arthur Mizener—Houghfon Mifflin ($4).

Once there was a writer who drank too much.

For some writers the story ends there, but not for F. Scott Fitzgerald. With the publication of his first novel, This Side of Paradise, he became a legend, the symbol and embodiment of all the gaudy and juvenile excesses lumped under that handy misnomer, the Jazz Age. After Fitzgerald's death in Hollywood in 1940, the legend persisted, but with an important addition: the charming playboy was mourned as a great writer who had tragically dissipated...

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