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The Sun Also Rises Paperback – October 17, 2006
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"Some of the finest and most restrained writing that this generation has produced."
-- New York World
"An absorbing, beautifully and tenderly absurd, heart-breaking narrative...It is a truly gripping story, told in lean, hard athletic prose...magnificent."
-- The New York Times
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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So the characters of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Dos Passos, et. al. occupy the 1920s and 30s of their unhappy time just as we have occupied the last half of the 20th Century and the early decade and a half of the 21st Century.
Like some of the aging Rockers still with us today, one wonders how they survived all the intake that today we consider to be highly toxic. Somehow they did. But their relationships could not survive their lifestyle and the time in which they lived.
It is necessary to re-read these classics now in our later years in order to really chew on them and find the flavours we missed while reading them as required reading in high school or early college years. One understands the technicality of Hemingway's writing with an intensity that he meant us to find and feel.
Given their time and circumstance with rudimentary transportation, lodgings, wars, and the variations in the states of their health, one wonders how they managed it all and survived, while in our "modern times" with all the trappings and "conveniences," we still cannot often get from point A to point B successfully and safely.
One reads "Sun" and the other novels of Hemingway and his peers savouring a romance, a noir, a mystery, an adventure that is out of our reach now. In trying to make life easier or simpler, life has become harder and certainly not as pleasant. These writers did have to meet deadlines in some cases, but they do not exhibit nearly the stress of our times. Somehow there was, or is, always time to dine well, drink well, fish well, swim well, nap and sleep, discuss, etc. The reader so badly wants to be able to be a boulevardier in Pamplona, Paris, Madrid, Havana, San Sebastian, the French Caps and French and Italian Coasts and Mountains. At least novels such as "Sun" provide some measure of inspiration for the reader that he and/or she can find even just a tiny portion of the life that Hemingway, et. al were able to live and chronicle.
I bought this because of all the claims that this is the quintessential novel of the lost generation. Well, I can say that the book is definitely "lost". The storyline is mundane and the characters make no impression whatsoever. In fact, there is no real story here. Seems like Hemingway tried to fit in his passion for bull fighting into some sort of novel revolving around some boring people. I still gave it 2 stars because I like Hemingway's prose. I've read a number of his books and this is probably the worst. I think I can understand what he was trying to get at but, the characters are not edgy enough to deliver the sense of a lost generation. There are a number of better books out there that capture the essence of that.
This edition has included sections that Eh had excised from the book and their greatest worth is that it shows how difficult is was for the author to write an an apparently simple manner. One can never go wrong when experiencing the work of a master. An aside, if you want to get a laugh or a scare about the fate of literary culture read some of the 1 and 2 star reviews. Talk about casting pearls before swines!