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Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises Paperback – May 16, 2017
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A New York Times Bestseller
A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016
"The story behind Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises is totally captivating, smartly written, and provocative." —Glamour
"Meticulously document[ed] ... pacily written ... Ms. Blume has drawn deeply upon many sources, particularly Hemingway’s own correspondence, to deftly portray the cast of lost characters, their thin-skinned vanities and their quarrelsome insecurities." —The Wall Street Journal
"Fiendishly readable ... a deeply, almost obsessively researched biography of a book, supported by a set of superb endnotes worth reading in their own right." —Washington Post
"Masterfully told ... “Everybody Behaves Badly” is deeply evocative and perceptive, and every page has a Hemingway-like ring of unvarnished truth." —Christian Science Monitor
"[A] must-read ... In Lesley M.M. Blume's latest release, escape to the real-life world of Hemingway's groundbreaking piece of modern literature, The Sun Also Rises. The boozy, rowdy nights in Paris, the absurdities at Pamplona's Running of the Bulls and the hungover brunches of the true Lost Generation come to life in this intimate look at the lives of the author's expatriate comrades." —Harper's Bazaar
"[An] impeccably researched and resonant account of the true story behind The Sun Also Rises ... Everybody Behaves Badly breaks ground by stressing how important The Sun Also Rises was in bringing modernist literature to a commercial audience and, especially, the part Fitzgerald played in helping to encourage Hemingway and shape his manuscript." —The Financial Times
“Without sounding unduly disapproving or moralistic, Blume gives us a portrait of the artist as a young opportunist … [an] excellent book.” —The Times Literary Supplement
“My favorite book of 2016 ... a fascinating recreation of one of the most mythic periods in American literature—the one set in Paris in the ’20s—and about the writers and artists who were drawn there: Hemingway’s friends, mentors, lovers, and enemies. Everyone behaved badly indeed, Hemingway worst of all, which is one reason it’s hard to stop reading.” —Jay McInerney
"As meticulous a history of the early 20th Century as it is a true drama-fueled page-turner starring characters like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Everybody Behaves Badly ticks both beach read and academic columns." —Tory Burch Daily
"A spirited account of a spirited age, when writers saw an opportunity to change the culture ... Blume presents a sharp portrait of a young nobody desperately, sometimes maliciously, trying to become a great — if not thegreat — writer of his time. Despite the wobbly tower of books about Hemingway, it seems we can’t keep from returning to him, and writers like Blume make it worth our while." —Los Angeles Review of Books
"Thick with juicy details...[with] a fascinating epilogue ... Blume writes that the outline alone for her book ran to 1,400 pages. And every page of that labor is visible." —Dallas Morning News
“[A] vivid character- and fact-filled book … One of the distinguishing features of Everybody Behaves Badly is just how crammed with anecdotes and facts it is — not to mention judgment and analysis. Ms. Blume has cast her net wide and dug deeply and intelligently into primary and secondary sources. And it is precisely all this assiduousness on her part that makes this such a valuable addition to the vast literature on Hemingway, modernism, Paris in the 1920s, [and] expatriate American culture … Ms. Blume spares us none of the gory details of betrayals — literary and personal — naked ambition, ruthlessness, and all manner of nastiness that went into the making of [Hemingway’s] stunning debut.” —The Washington Times
"Blume's achievement is doubly remarkable. As an award-winning journalist and cultural historian, she revisits the intense nightlife of Parisian bars and cafes and the explosive, rivalrous drama of Pamplona in a chiseled, precise style that would please the master himself. By filling in Hemingway's purposeful silences and omissions with the story's real-life people and actual events, she accentuates the author's artistic genius and enlarges our understanding of the novel's complex characters and themes. This is a book for novice Hemingway readers as well as veterans of his work." —The Tampa Bay Times
"Everybody Behaves Badly is a page-turner of the highest order, chock-a-block with more scandal than the latest issue of Us magazine. It also offers deep insight into the paradox that is Hemingway himself ... It all makes for fascinating reading, and Blume’s style, which has been compared to Flannery O’Connor and Truman Capote, is easy and engaging." —Winnipeg Free Press
"A wonderful book." —The Chicago Tribune
"[A] revealing reconstruction of Ernest Hemingway’s revelry with friends in Pamplona, Spain, in 1925 and how it became the source of his groundbreaking modernist novel “The Sun Also Rises.” —The Sacramento Bee
"In 1925, Ernest Hemingway and five companions traveled to Pamplona for six debaucherous weeks of booze, sex, and bullfighting that inspired The Sun Also Rises. Blume uncovers the truth behind the foundational roman à clef of the Lost Generation." —Departures
"Everybody Behaves Badly is the rollicking back story to Hemingway’s vigorous work that cut American writing to the bone….Blume’s excellent work enriches us with new research put to artful purpose.” —Buffalo News
"Richly gossipy, beautifully illustrated (with some period photographs that the reader had actually never run across before), and lavishly well written ... Blume’s full bore research is matched only by her own gift with words. Everybody Behaves Badly makes for a fine addition to the bookshelf that already contains Hemingway’s own A Moveable Feast, as well as Nancy Mitford’s Zelda, A. E. Hotchner’s Papa Hemingway, and Calvin Tompkins’ exquisite Living Well Is the Best Revenge. It is just that good." —New York Journal of Books
“The Lost Generation – in all its depression and excess – was immortalized in The Sun Also Rises. Now, cultural critic Blume pens the true story of that infamous 1925 trip to Pamploma from which Hemingway drew his inspiration, delving into the salacious travails of the group that would define an era of modern literature.” - DuJour
“Blume’s Everybody Behaves Badly can live squarely on its own as a commentary on Hemingway’s post-war, expatriate psychology of creativity and its cost to his personal relationships.” —Signature
"As the old saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. And the two often intertwine, as we learn in Lesley M.M. Blume’s mesmerizing account of the young Ernest Hemingway in Paris in the 1920s as he prepares to write his breakout debut novel,The Sun Also Rises….Blume’s book is nonfiction, impeccably documented. Yet, like Hemingway’s fictional masterpiece, it reminds us that real life can inspire great stories and writing." —Book Page
"A biography of a novel...Everybody Behaves Badly is itself an engrossing and varied tale: raucous and dissipated, pitiable and serious. Blume's research offers new detail to a well-studied story, and her narrative style is as entertaining as the original. Obviously required for Hemingway fans, this engaging work of nonfiction will also please a broad audience." —Shelf Awareness for Readers
"[An] intelligent opus ... adtroit ... spectacularly good ... Blume provides a wealth of knowledge in the tightly packed 332-page study of Hemingway." —Idaho Mountain Express
From the Inside Flap
In the summer of 1925, Ernest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the towns infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trips drunken brawls, sexual rivalry, midnight betrayals, and midday hangovers into his groundbreaking novel The Sun Also Rises. This revolutionary work redefined modern literature as much as it did his peers, who would forever after be called the Lost Generation. But the full story of Hemingways legendary rise has remained untold until now.
Lesley Blume resurrects the explosive, restless landscape of 1920s Paris and Spain and reveals how Hemingway helped create his own legend. He made himself into a death-courting, bull-fighting aficionado; a hard-drinking, short-fused literary genius; and an expatriate bon vivant. Blumes vivid account reveals the inner circle of the Lost Generation as we have never seen it before, and shows how it still influences what we read and how we think about youth, sex, love, and excess.
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Lesley M. M. (really?) Blume very interestingly, details the life of Hemingway and his fellow temporary expatriates mainly in Paris in the 1920's where there was “a small movement of writers [who] had been trying to shove literature out of [the] musty Edwardian corridors and into the fresh air of the modern world.” Along the way she writes of the accomplishments of Gertrude Stein (Hemingway “borrowed the term “Lost Generation” from her), F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda (comparable to Duff but not as enticing), Sherwood Anderson, Ezra Pound, and others, and their influence on Hemingway. To be sure, Hemingway is outed as a narcissist (if not psychopathic) user of those who helped him along the way-- including his first wife-- but eventually everyone who crossed his path. The book is very detailed (read the end notes-- well, some of them) and yet reads like a racy novel. Can't recommend it enough.
Read. This book and then go back and re-read The Sun Also Rises.
Leslie M Blume, this is a terrific book.
Sure, it will tickle your literary, history and biography fancies. But it's also good, fun, gossip.
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Now one can know these people, more so than ever before, as they were.