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The Sun Also Rises Paperback – 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,285 customer reviews

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The Underground Railroad
The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: SIMON & SC (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743297334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743297332
  • ASIN: B007CRS628
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,285 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on March 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This, friends, was the single book that so fatefully launched Ernest Hemingway's amazing and long-lived literary career. As such it is as close to being a legendary book as they come, yet some seventy five years after its initial publication, it still offers a story that is also surprisingly fresh, personal, and memorable. For all of his obvious excesses, Hemingway was an artist compelled to delve deliberately into painful truths, and he attempted to do so with a style of writing that cut away all of the frills and artifice, so that at it s heart this novel is meant as a exploration into what it means to be adult and alive. Thus we are introduced to Jake Barnes, a veteran of World War One, now forced by his wounds to live as a man without the ability to act like one, forced by impotence to forgo all of life's usual intimacies, and all of its associated life connections for which he so yearns. At the same time, Jake attempts to live a life of meaning and purpose, one crammed full with activity, work, and friendships. Yet it is within this network of friendships and connections that he must confront his painful circumstances.

Enter his true love, the feckless Lady Ashley, and indeed the plot thickens, for we soon see how Jake's physical affliction has painfully affected several others. Ashley loves him, but needs a virile man who can give her the physical love she needs. While Ashley is a woman of uncommon beauty, she is also virtuous enough in her won way to want the one man she truly loves to be her lover. Like all of us, she wants most that which she can never have, and so she returns to the source of her own dilemma time after time to Jake, her emotional match, the one man who cannot give her the mature emotional love she craves.
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Format: Paperback
The Sun Also Rises is one of the few works of literature that shook me to the core, along with Remarque's Three Comrades, Gorky's autobiography, and Chekhov's The Lady With The Dog. I read a page and I was hooked. Bam, just like that. I read the thing in a day. In several hours, actually. And then I went and devoured the rest of the man's literary oeuvre. It's just that great. All the greater because when you really look at it, there's no dramatic action going on here - just some people talking, then going to Spain to see the bullfights. But don't let that fool you - boring this book ain't.
Jake Barnes, like most of the characters, is a veteran of World War I. A very unfortunate wound left physical love a complete impossibility for him, and thus he is left gnashing his teeth watching the woman he loves run around with all sorts of men. The Jewish Robert Cohn, who learned boxing in college in order to conquer his feelings of inferiority, happens to become smitten with her as well. Somehow, they and some of their friends and acquaintances end up going to Spain to experience the Fiesta, and while their experience starts the same giddy, frenzied, hedonistic way as for most people, it ends quite differently, when the book's darker undercurrents come to light. Insert scenes of cafe life, fishing, reminiscences, conversations with friends, watching the bullfights, some absolutely brutal humor, and lots and lots of liquor, and you've got yourself Hemingway's first masterpiece. Every element of every great Hemingway book can be seen here - plenty of vivid descriptions; moments of strange, elegiac melancholy; the human spirit fighting against the world; loneliness, isolation, and endurance. They're all here.
For some reason, this book seems to draw accusations of anti-Semitism.
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5 Comments 129 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I have mixed feelings about this novel. On one level I appreciate it for the fine literary work that it is. In particular, I admire Hemmingway's use of symbolism throughout the novel. But at the same time, this isn't a novel I enjoyed reading. The novel features a cast of characters that are not especially likable and the first third of the novel moves a little too slowly (Jake and his friends lead aimless lives -and the first part of the novel is pretty aimless).

Jake and his fellow expatriates spend the entire novel getting drunk, being drunk, or recovering from having been drunk (or `tight' as they like to say). They pass their days eating, drinking and being as insensitive as possible to one another. It would be easy to dismiss these characters as unpleasant, and therefore uninteresting, but in the context of the years following WWI, I found myself feeling some sympathy for them.

Simply put, they're damaged goods. Jake, Mike, and Bill all fought in WWI(Jake becoming less of a man as a result) and were forever affected by it. They are now lost, drowning their empty aimless lives in alcohol.

Arguably, the most interesting character in the novel is Lady Ashley (Brett) who is a toxic influence on nearly every man she encounters. Jake, Mike, and Cohn are all in love with her to varying degrees and pay an emotional price as a result. Brett's self centered behaviour complicates the lives of the men who are enamored by her. Jake, who is impotent because of the war, demonstrates his love for Brett by helping her pursue men and then picking up the pieces when the affair ends badly.

There is no happiness for the lost generation in The Sun Also Rises and considerable irony in the novel's final sentence. I found this to be an interesting and insightful novel but I can't say I really `enjoyed' reading it. As a literary work this novel warrants 4 stars. As entertainment: 2 stars. Overall: 3 stars.
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