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The Sun Also Rises [Paperback]

Ernest Hemingway
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,009 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 17, 2006
The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Sun Also Rises first appeared in 1926, and yet it's as fresh and clean and fine as it ever was, maybe finer. Hemingway's famously plain declarative sentences linger in the mind like poetry: "Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy's. She started all that." His cast of thirtysomething dissolute expatriates--Brett and her drunken fiancé, Mike Campbell, the unhappy Princeton Jewish boxer Robert Cohn, the sardonic novelist Bill Gorton--are as familiar as the "cool crowd" we all once knew. No wonder this quintessential lost-generation novel has inspired several generations of imitators, in style as well as lifestyle.

Jake Barnes, Hemingway's narrator with a mysterious war wound that has left him sexually incapable, is the heart and soul of the book. Brett, the beautiful, doomed English woman he adores, provides the glamour of natural chic and sexual unattainability. Alcohol and post-World War I anomie fuel the plot: weary of drinking and dancing in Paris cafés, the expatriate gang decamps for the Spanish town of Pamplona for the "wonderful nightmare" of a week-long fiesta. Brett, with fiancé and ex-lover Cohn in tow, breaks hearts all around until she falls, briefly, for the handsome teenage bullfighter Pedro Romero. "My God! he's a lovely boy," she tells Jake. "And how I would love to see him get into those clothes. He must use a shoe-horn." Whereupon the party disbands.

But what's most shocking about the book is its lean, adjective-free style. The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway's masterpiece--one of them, anyway--and no matter how many times you've read it or how you feel about the manners and morals of the characters, you won't be able to resist its spell. This is a classic that really does live up to its reputation. --David Laskin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The publisher is using these two perennial favorites to launch its new Scribner Paperback Fiction line. This edition of Paradise marks the 75th anniversary of the smash 1920 first novel that skyrocketed Fitzgerald to literary stardom at the ripe old age of 23. Several years later, The Sun (1926), Hemingway's own first novel, performed an identical service for him at age 26. The line will eventually include additional titles by these giants as well as works by Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, and other greats.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (October 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743297334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743297332
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,009 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
297 of 323 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hemingway's First Masterpiece! March 6, 2001
Format:Paperback
This, friends, was the single book that so fatefully launched Ernest Hemingway's amazing and long-lived literary career. As such it is as close to being a legendary book as they come, yet some seventy five years after its initial publication, it still offers a story that is also surprisingly fresh, personal, and memorable. For all of his obvious excesses, Hemingway was an artist compelled to delve deliberately into painful truths, and he attempted to do so with a style of writing that cut away all of the frills and artifice, so that at it s heart this novel is meant as a exploration into what it means to be adult and alive. Thus we are introduced to Jake Barnes, a veteran of World War One, now forced by his wounds to live as a man without the ability to act like one, forced by impotence to forgo all of life's usual intimacies, and all of its associated life connections for which he so yearns. At the same time, Jake attempts to live a life of meaning and purpose, one crammed full with activity, work, and friendships. Yet it is within this network of friendships and connections that he must confront his painful circumstances.
Enter his true love, the feckless Lady Ashley, and indeed the plot thickens, for we soon see how Jake's physical affliction has painfully affected several others. Ashley loves him, but needs a virile man who can give her the physical love she needs. While Ashley is a woman of uncommon beauty, she is also virtuous enough in her won way to want the one man she truly loves to be her lover. Like all of us, she wants most that which she can never have, and so she returns to the source of her own dilemma time after time to Jake, her emotional match, the one man who cannot give her the mature emotional love she craves.
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102 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hemingway rules! Rargh! February 26, 2002
Format:Paperback
The Sun Also Rises is one of the few works of literature that shook me to the core, along with Remarque's Three Comrades, Gorky's autobiography, and Chekhov's The Lady With The Dog. I read a page and I was hooked. Bam, just like that. I read the thing in a day. In several hours, actually. And then I went and devoured the rest of the man's literary oeuvre. It's just that great. All the greater because when you really look at it, there's no dramatic action going on here - just some people talking, then going to Spain to see the bullfights. But don't let that fool you - boring this book ain't.
Jake Barnes, like most of the characters, is a veteran of World War I. A very unfortunate wound left physical love a complete impossibility for him, and thus he is left gnashing his teeth watching the woman he loves run around with all sorts of men. The Jewish Robert Cohn, who learned boxing in college in order to conquer his feelings of inferiority, happens to become smitten with her as well. Somehow, they and some of their friends and acquaintances end up going to Spain to experience the Fiesta, and while their experience starts the same giddy, frenzied, hedonistic way as for most people, it ends quite differently, when the book's darker undercurrents come to light. Insert scenes of cafe life, fishing, reminiscences, conversations with friends, watching the bullfights, some absolutely brutal humor, and lots and lots of liquor, and you've got yourself Hemingway's first masterpiece. Every element of every great Hemingway book can be seen here - plenty of vivid descriptions; moments of strange, elegiac melancholy; the human spirit fighting against the world; loneliness, isolation, and endurance. They're all here.
For some reason, this book seems to draw accusations of anti-Semitism.
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139 of 155 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have mixed feelings about this novel. On one level I appreciate it for the fine literary work that it is. In particular, I admire Hemmingway's use of symbolism throughout the novel. But at the same time, this isn't a novel I enjoyed reading. The novel features a cast of characters that are not especially likable and the first third of the novel moves a little too slowly (Jake and his friends lead aimless lives -and the first part of the novel is pretty aimless).

Jake and his fellow expatriates spend the entire novel getting drunk, being drunk, or recovering from having been drunk (or `tight' as they like to say). They pass their days eating, drinking and being as insensitive as possible to one another. It would be easy to dismiss these characters as unpleasant, and therefore uninteresting, but in the context of the years following WWI, I found myself feeling some sympathy for them.

Simply put, they're damaged goods. Jake, Mike, and Bill all fought in WWI(Jake becoming less of a man as a result) and were forever affected by it. They are now lost, drowning their empty aimless lives in alcohol.

Arguably, the most interesting character in the novel is Lady Ashley (Brett) who is a toxic influence on nearly every man she encounters. Jake, Mike, and Cohn are all in love with her to varying degrees and pay an emotional price as a result. Brett's self centered behaviour complicates the lives of the men who are enamored by her. Jake, who is impotent because of the war, demonstrates his love for Brett by helping her pursue men and then picking up the pieces when the affair ends badly.

There is no happiness for the lost generation in The Sun Also Rises and considerable irony in the novel's final sentence. I found this to be an interesting and insightful novel but I can't say I really `enjoyed' reading it. As a literary work this novel warrants 4 stars. As entertainment: 2 stars. Overall: 3 stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I give it three stars because of my love for everything else I have...
I give it three stars because of my love for everything else I have ever read by Hemingway and also for my unabashed love of Paris and the great memories the detailed descriptions... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Gabriel Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars The Title Says It All
let us be as concise and frugal with words when reviewing Hemingway as he was in writing this novel. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by propertius
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I bought it for my son's use for an university.
Published 11 days ago by Carmen Moura Silva
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great paperback version of a great book.
Published 13 days ago by Ben L.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A great classic.
Published 18 days ago by reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat entertaining
The dialogue was entertaining, often funny but the story lacks any real purpose or end game. I know Hemingway can be this way but with this story it didn't work as well as maybe... Read more
Published 18 days ago by Benjamin Lindsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
With iron discipline and an economy of words, this novel really fails to amaze me.
Published 22 days ago by Scoot Malizia
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book.
Published 27 days ago by Max Claus Nunes
5.0 out of 5 stars It's hard for me to even write this review.
As an Iraqi War Vet, the emotions brought out in this book takes me right back to the 0 somethings that were so tumultuous for me. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Mark Sutton
3.0 out of 5 stars How can I love something if it is for class?
What can I say it was for a high school literature class.....
Published 1 month ago by Sandra L Henninger
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More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway ranks as the most famous of twentieth-century American writers; like Mark Twain, Hemingway is one of those rare authors most people know about, whether they have read him or not. The difference is that Twain, with his white suit, ubiquitous cigar, and easy wit, survives in the public imagination as a basically, lovable figure, while the deeply imprinted image of Hemingway as rugged and macho has been much less universally admired, for all his fame. Hemingway has been regarded less as a writer dedicated to his craft than as a man of action who happened to be afflicted with genius. When he won the Nobel Prize in 1954, Time magazine reported the news under Heroes rather than Books and went on to describe the author as "a globe-trotting expert on bullfights, booze, women, wars, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, and courage." Hemingway did in fact address all those subjects in his books, and he acquired his expertise through well-reported acts of participation as well as of observation; by going to all the wars of his time, hunting and fishing for great beasts, marrying four times, occasionally getting into fistfights, drinking too much, and becoming, in the end, a worldwide celebrity recognizable for his signature beard and challenging physical pursuits.

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