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Hemingway Lives! (Why Reading Ernest Hemingway Matters Today) Paperback – 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: OR Books; 1ST edition (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1939293170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1939293176
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,649,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I liked it so much I read it for a second time.
James W. Russell
Well, I have finally read the book (no time on my holiday), and I must admit that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Eugene Schulman
Hemingway's daring life, which obviously colors his stories is treated with respect as well as humor.
Fiona

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By James W. Russell on August 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. I liked it so much I read it for a second time. While it is advertized as an introduction, I think it is more for people who've read and liked at least some of Hemingway earlier. I'd read all of the novels and most of the short stories, but I hadn't read any of the books about Hemingway. I wasn't particularly interested in them. The last thing I wanted to read was an academic dissection.

Along comes Clancy Sigal, who I trust on the basis of reading his Going Away in the 1960s. He comes at Hemingway as a writer on the left, which I like. I got what I hoped and thought I would get: a really interesting series of essays that are a joy to read from someone who also loved Hemingway but knew a lot more about him than I did. So, I learned a lot of really interesting tidbits about Hemingway along with Sigal's takes on the novels and short stories. This was no hagiography. Hemingway comes in for criticisms, including political, from place to place, but they are deftly done criticisms within the context of an overall awe at his writing ability.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ronald C. Couch on August 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and I really like it. First, it is well written. A clear and easy read.

But even better is that Sigal has made me want to go back and reread much of Hemingway that I read as a young man; particularly the stories and at least the first two important novels to see if I can get more out of them than I originally did. Sigal's examination of the "Hemingway Women" and his explanations of their actions has caused me to look at them differently. It seems that Sigal is arguing that you have to look at these characters as something other than realistic portraits. I feel the desire to go back and look back at the novels in that light, since as I've gotten older one of the real problems with Hemingway for me has been his treatment of women in his fiction.

Sigal has also made me want to read "To Have and Have Not" for the first time. Its a book I've stayed away from just because of the very bad reviews it has received. Sigal is very aware of Hemingway's leftist politics and how that plays out in much of his work. But the thing that comes across most clearly is Sigal's love for much of what Hemingway wrote (but definitely not everything) and that interest and excitement are clearly relayed in this book.

I strongly recommend this book for people who are interested in Hemingway's work, There is enough biography here, but clearly what interests Sigal most are the stories and books. This is the first book of Sigal's I've read, but it won't be the last the guy has a simple and clear style that I find very appealing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kobe8 on August 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I read Hemingway in high school and put him aside - a voice in my past. But Clancy Sigal's book
brings him to life again in a totally new and unexpected way. Hemingway the man, the artist, the
political animal. I've returned to him well armed after reading Sigal's book. It's like falling in love again.
My Kindle runneth over with Papa. Thank you Mr. Sigal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Madeleine Elster on July 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can now confess I read only Cliff notes in high school AP English, instead of the "important" writers. So Hemingway -- his words and his impact -- I was grossly ignorant of. Of course his violent suicide and "macho" writing formed my perception of him. This faster than lightning read, took me from zero to 70, shedding light and insight in a way none of the Hemingway biographies have done. It is structured straightforwardly but with impact and depth. It gave me impulse to start with Hemingway's short stories, and now I'm onto reading the novels. A fascinating "How To" understand and think of this great writer -- from the women in his life, his politics, the catastrophic accidents that spiraled him into intractable pain -- who influenced nearly all of the 20th century writers who came after him. I highly recommend to anyone who loves literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fiona on October 3, 2013
Format: Paperback
Somehow I never was assigned Hemingway at school and spent my life thinking of Hemingway as simply a machismo writer for boys/men. I was startled by the many revelations in Sigal's book about Hemingway that made me ashamed to have shut out this intriguing writer all these years. I missed the nuance of the likes of one of his characters thinking "I was always embarrassed by the words sacred, glorious and sacrifice... fighting must continue for all the dead." Sigal's point that Hemingway is relevant today is spot on. How many wars are still being waged today for that inane reason?

Sigal manages to lead the reader to various corners of Hemingway. The book is witty while being biographical and historically enlightening. Sigal manages to include in this slim volume a great deal about the Depression, world history, two world wars, Fascism, the Bonus March, some details in history that I had never heard of! What Hemingway wrote in 1935 about the treatment of Vets could be have been written today. Clancy Sigal shines a light on different stories, not just the famous ones and different aspects of this writer, that makes the book feel like a grand tour through a fascinating locale that I want to go back through and explore in depth. This is a very unusual quasi biography that offers up morsels of the writer's works that whet the reader's appetite.

Hemingway's daring life, which obviously colors his stories is treated with respect as well as humor. Sigal writes "How romantic can you get?" when debris during the Spanish Civil War fell on the bed where Hemingway and his third wife, journalist Martha Gellhorn were making love.
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