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The Hemingway Patrols: Ernest Hemingway and His Hunt for U-Boats Paperback – August 1, 2010
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Amazon Best of the Month, August 2009: The plan was as reckless as it was implausible: lure a German U-Boat to the surface, lob grenades into opened hatches, and speed away into a hero's sunset. Most men would be mocked for such a scheme, but in the hands of Ernest Hemingway, it was just crazy enough to work. In The Hemingway Patrols, Terry Mort explores the motivation behind this fascinating chapter in Hemingway's life. Proudly manning the helm of his beloved yacht, El Pilar, the legendary writer stalked the waters off Cuba during the early 1940s in search of enemy submarines. To the casual observer, it would seem that the line between the real and fictionalized worlds of Ernest Hemingway had become blurry (one can easily imagine Robert Jordan or Harry Morgan in the same role). Yet according to Mort, long-shot odds are precisely what fueled these missions. "Maybe the patrols were quixotic," he explains, "but that was part of their appeal--that and the sense of doing something useful and of being in command." The inherent dangers in hunting U-boats with a forty-foot yacht were inconsequential--what truly mattered was the adventure at hand. -- Dave Callanan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
One of celebrated novelist Ernest Hemingway's more quixotic exploits opens a window into his soul in this sprightly biographical study. During WWII, Hemingway and a volunteer crew ran patrols on his boat, Pilar, looking for German submarines along the Cuban coast. They never found any, and his wife, Martha Gellhorn, whose eye-rolling presence pervades the book, deemed the operation just a grandiose excuse to go fishing and drink with cronies. Mort (The Reasonable Art of Fly Fishing) notes that U-boats were a real threat, though he allows that Hemingway's plan to attack with grenades and tommy guns could only have made the Germans die of laughter. Mort also gives an interesting rundown of the submarine war. But the patrols' real significance, in his estimation, lies in their resonance with Hemingway's imagination and literary oeuvre. The resulting analysis can be a bit blunt (the U-boats were the sharks in The Old Man and the Sea... the bulls in the ring at Pamplona). But this colorful, subtle portrait offers insights into Hemingway, making him as vivid as his fictional heroes, a tribe of romantic existentialists: domineering, brave, foolhardy, secretly vulnerable, larger than life. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Terry Mort also gives some very good background about some of Hemingway's books about other places and conflicts he became involved in, which I found interesting. Mort also takes the time to give background about other people in Hemingway's circle, the war in the Atlantic, and his relationships, but does not overdo it. He resists the obvious paths that other writers have fallen into and instead gives a sufficiently, but not overly detailed account of a complicated person ( kudos to Mort's editor).
I enjoyed this book, it expanded my interest in Hemingway and I will recommend it to my friends.