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A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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
This edition of "A Farewell to Arms" collects the 39 to 47 different endings have become part of literary lore, but heretofore they have never been published together in... Read morePublished 1 day ago by HH
The book was slooooow moving and the dialog is- i'm not sure what the dialog is. I really wanted to like it. No really. I did. Just couldn't. Read morePublished 5 days ago by RAYMOND BARRY
It has been a long time since I read this the first time. Still a fantastic book.Published 9 days ago by Jim Wegner
I hated this book ! I hated it so much. There, i said it, i did not like Hemingway . My god!, what a boring book ,could hardly make it to page 100. That bad it got for me. Read morePublished 24 days ago by maroru
I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through all of the alternative endings....finding the one that suited me best. Although the ending Hemingway eventually chose is a very good one... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Mrchanute
It reminded me of a sophomore in high schools writing. Really surprised.Published 28 days ago by Claausheine
To date, I've read a few of Hemingway's earlier works and I think they're terrible.Totally flat writing. A Farewell to Arms is a little better. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Viktor Wolfe