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A Farewell to Arms Hardcover – February 14, 2000
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I wanted to do something for him. You see, I didn't care about the other thing and he could have had it all. He could have had anything he wanted if I would have known. I would have married him or anything. I know all about it now. But then he wanted to go to war and I didn't know.The two begin an affair, with Henry quite convinced that he "did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards." Soon enough, however, the game turns serious for both of them and ultimately Henry ends up deserting to be with Catherine.
Hemingway was not known for either unbridled optimism or happy endings, and A Farewell to Arms, like his other novels (For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and To Have and Have Not), offers neither. What it does provide is an unblinking portrayal of men and women behaving with grace under pressure, both physical and psychological, and somehow finding the courage to go on in the face of certain loss. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
The book invites us to imagine all of the brave soldiers who went into the war in search of glory. What they found instead was the endless stalemate and hideous prospect of trench warfare. Perhaps more than any other war in the history of warfare, the first World War changed the traditional paradigms of how wars were fought and what the objectives of engagements were. Hemingway, who was there himself, serves as a perfect instrument to portray what it was really like.
The plot centers around Frederick Henry, an American ambulance driver for the Italian army (a job Hemingway performed himself). Henry is a typical masculine Hemingway male persona who falls in love with a beautiful, long-haired & impetuous British nurse named Catherine Barkley. Henry is an exemplar of the WWI soldier who gets more than he bargains for in the war; betrayal and ignominious soldiering of the Italians in the wake of defeat.
The tragic irony of this novel is what makes it so memorable. Henry, as a wounded man who withdraws from the battle, as well as the whims of the Italian Army. However, he does so only to find that life is full of tragedy whether you're in a war or not.
I would highly recommend this novel to all fans of Hemingway, American literature and World War I period historical and literary works. It is with the subtle prose of Heminway that we can be effectively transported back to that epoch of our world history.
The point is, this book has thematic elements that hardly relate to war. Take love, for instance. But love, unto itself, is more a compication than anything. At it's simplest, the novel is about strength. Strength, unabashed and unflinching. It is about the eternal struggle that every strong man and woman fights until their (untimely) death. It is the struggle with the world and the universe, which so callously torments the strong until they succumb to the weight of the unforgiving cosmos.Read more ›
Essentially, the book is the restless consciousness of one Richard Cantwell, Colonel in the United States Army, veteran of two world wars, recipient of many grave wounds, who is travelling through Europe one last time to shoot some ducks, meet some old friends, and spend a couple of days with his last, real and only love, a nineteen-year-old (!) countess named Renate. The book is aptly titled - it flows like a quiet old river, slowly but surely and a bit sadly. Like many a Hemingway hero, Cantwell is stuck with an empty existence, a profession he doesn't much care for, and awareness of both of the above. Love Renate though he does, he lives in the past, constantly reliving this and that battle, moving imaginary troops one minute, then wondering about the meaning of it all the next.
Renate herself is the least realistic of all Hemingway women, and as a female lead she's poor indeed. That is not, however, the way she should be seen. She is described as having almost unworldly gentleness and purity, an enormous contrast to the colonel (esp. given her youth). In a way, she becomes almost a symbol of the youth the colonel has irrevocably lost, an epitome of everything he missed out on - and the stories of the battles he tells her become almost like religious confessions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For a number of reasons, I am very intrigued by the period of time between the Great Wars and its effect on "ordinary people", so when I saw this book on the "high... Read morePublished 10 days ago by Igor Dumbadze
It's for my daughter's summer reading so I really can't review this itemPublished 10 days ago by Sean Bell
Great book! Another Hemingway classic. Man, when's his next book coming out? I can't wait! Anyway, I love his very journalistic style of prose. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Tami Hesseltine
Both my book club andI were disappointed in the book. Some of the descriptive writing describing the setting and times was good, but the diologue was mundane, very simplistic. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Patricia S. Casey
This book is Ernest Hemingway at his best! There is really nothing else that needs to be said.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer