- Paperback: 499 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed edition (August 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684803348
- ISBN-13: 978-0684803340
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.3 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 416 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Short Stories: The First Forty-nine Stories with a Brief Preface by the Author Paperback – August 1, 1995
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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.
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The beautifully written, but uninteresting ones make you realize how hard writing a best seller really is
The book contains 70 stories ranging from 2-30 pages. Most are in the 5-10 page range.
I had read somewhere that much of Hemingway's early works were lost by his wife at that time on a train trip to meet him. She not only lost the original copies but the carbons as well. What a travesty. I would love to have read a complete collection of ALL of his works, but at least we have what came after that loss.
There are some tremendous stories in this collection. My favorites are `The Undefeated' (from MWW), `A Way You'll Never Be' (from WTN), and `One Trip Across' (incorporated into "To Have and To Have Not"). These are stories everyone should read. I particularly liked `One Trip Across' where Hem, in the first-person, writes a great fishing and crime story while working with his characteristic themes of grace under pressure, honor, and sudden death. Here's a snippet, with Harry Morgan drifting in Havana's harbor:
"Well, I killed the engine and climbed up forward to have a look around. All there was to see was the two smacks off to the westward headed in, and way back the dome of the Capitol standing up white out of the edge of the sea. There was some gulfweed on the stream and a few birds working but not many. I sat up there awhile on top of the house and watched..."
In the spirit of full disclosure, I acknowledge reading less than half of the 69 stories in this collection. This I attribute to the best-selling Hem who, in 1938, certainly wanted another book out there. And in cherry-picking previously published stories, he created a collection that, while reflective of his themes, jumps from this to that. Of course, the man made a good living, partly by publishing short stories in magazines, where he certainly endeavored to keep his readers guessing about what he would do next. Even so, I bet the stories read with greater cohesion in the original books. This approach, at minimum, might give greater oomph to the inter-chapter sketches that Hem borrowed from "In Our Time". In this collection, these seem random and fragmented.
Following this line of thought, it might also be fun to read "The Nick Adams Stories". While this is a posthumous and fabricated volume, it does enable the reader to follow an interesting character from a heartland upbringing, to war and trauma, and to his own experience of fatherhood. Otherwise, these stories are scattered.
Don't get me wrong; this is a worthwhile collection. But doesn't it compromise the guy's work?