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The Torrents of Spring Paperback – April 6, 1998

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (April 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684839075
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684839073
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Extraordinary tour de force ... For perhaps the first time in our literature, a kind of anti-Western Western" -- Leslie A. Fiedler "Hemingway gave the century a way of making literary art that dealt with the remarkable violence of our time. He listened and watched and invented the language - using the power, the terror, of silences - with which we could name ourselves" New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.

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.

Customer Reviews

My guess is that they could not drop him fast enough!
John L.
This book was nothing like any other Hemingway I've read, and I did not enjoy it.
Richard Bon
How delightful to know that Earnest Hemingway had a good sense of humor.
Lawrence Wegeman, Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By vernoula on June 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't a novel that would be very enjoyable to someone who doesn't have much experience with other literary works of the 1920s. Read alone it is pretty silly and vulgar. Read -after- you have finished Sherwood Anderson's _Dark Laughter_, however, this book is very funny. Hemingway spoofs both Anderson's style and his silly plot. And throughout, EH offers a treatise on the art of parody. The book is very short, and tightly controlled by Hemingway (something Anderson didn't get right with Dark Laughther). The book is also interesting for those invested in the perennial Hemingway was/was not a racist argument. Read alone, the bits about Indians would be highly offensive, but read in light of Anderson's horrifying primitivism and liberal use of the N-word in Dark Laughter, Hemingway's depiction of the Indians is really a chastisement of Anderson's silly racist story. Hemingway's complex sense of humor, visible in his other novels under the surface, is fully on display here. Too bad time has eradicated a fuller understanding of all the jokes. I recommend this book for Hemingway aficionados and for students of modernism who need a wake-up call about Hemingway's place (and his understanding of that place) in the modernist canon.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
For one to understand why Hemingway wrote a book of this caliber, it must be understood that Sherwood Anderson, whom Hem parodied, had a contract with the same company Hemingway had signed a contract with. An offer had also been made by Scribner which was more prestiegeous of the two literary firms. To get out of the contract, Hem offered this book, which he knew would be turned down by the firm of Boni and Liveright, thus giving Hemingway the chance to accept the contract from Scribner. The contract essentially said that if the second book of a three book contract was turned down, Hemingway could break the contract. Hemingway knew that Boni and Liveright would never publish a book which lampooned Sherwood Anderson (one of the stars of Boni and Liveright). Hemingway actually had other offers besides Scribner's. He did, however, take Scribner's offer, basically because he had given his word to Maxwell Perkins who worked at Scribner that he would work with them. The book was not intended as a great literary work, and thus must be examined in the light of which it is written. There are many funny idosyncrasies which Hem used for some of the characters in the book. Most of these came from people he knew there in Paris. Entertaining? Yes it was to me. A great literary work? It achieved what he was looking for. So you be the judge.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By LaLoren on December 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought I'd read everything Hemingway ever published, but I was not even familiar with this one. When I read that it was a parody, I thought I might not get it, since it had been a long time since I'd read any of the authors he was targeting. Instead I found myself laughing out loud. So much reminded me of best-sellers I had read in recent years(The Bridges of Madison County is one which comes to mind). It just goes to show, great writing can come in many styles, but bad writing remains amazingly consistant over the years.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By The Wingchair Critic on March 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
With Washington Irving's 'A Knickerbocker's History of New York' (1809) and Dawn Powell's 'A Time To Be Born' (1942), Ernest Hemingway's 'The Torrents of Spring' (1926) is one of the funniest books in the annals of American literature. A parody of the "the Chicago school of literature" and especially of Sherwood Anderson's 'Dark Laughter' (1925), the book is simultaneously a short story, a novella, and a false novel fragment that haphazardly exams the lives of Scripps O'Neill and his acquaintance Yogi Johnson, two rambling dreamers who represent the American everyman.

As a light-hearted attack on the sentimentality and conceptualization of the "American Dream" in the literature it parodies, the book presents Scripps as a reverie-addicted individual who is consistently but unknowingly his own worst enemy. Earnestly obsessed with self definition and struggling to grasp the larger picture in any given situation, no matter how inconsequential or obvious, Scripps lives in a constant rhetorical haze. Perceiving unbounded potential everywhere, Scripps is actually able to concretize very little. Like his friend, the more prosaic Yogi finds his illusory assumptions about life and other people flatly shot down at every turn.

In a hilarious series of fugue states, Scripps indulges in dramatic false memories of being present while his ancestral home is burned to the ground during the Civil War, of his childhood as a starving urchin on the streets of Chicago, and of the social prominence of his forbears. Forgetting that it was Yogi, not himself, who visited Paris during the Great War, Scripps longs to make a return visit.

Gloriously unsophisticated and uneducated, Scripps deduces that becoming a world-renowned composer is simply a matter of getting the job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey on March 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
`The Torrents of Spring' is an early novel from Hemingway that was written during his time Paris. It is relatively short in length and is a satirical parody of the literary style of his fellow expat writers at that time. This follows Yogi Johnson and Scripps O'Neil as they go about their lives in a small town in Michigan. It is quite funny and although stylised, easy enough to read. It is unlike any of Hemingway's later novels and although his style is evident throughout, you can tell he hadn't quite found his voice yet. I found this to be a short, but entertaining read and whilst it doesn't have any great depth or substance, it is still well worth a read if you have enjoyed any of Hemingway's books in the past.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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