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The Sun Also Rises Paperback – May 1, 2012
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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 Miller Hemingway was a tough figure in American literature arena, a warrior who experienced both world wars. The wars bestowed him many awards but also made him confused, making him the American lost generation. Finally Hemingway shot himself, but he actually loved life very much.
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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!
This was Hemingway's first novel. It comes in around 90,000 words, is paced very well, and shows the foundation of Hemingway's ground breaking style of the time. The book is simple, primarily made up dialogue, of which Hemingway is a master, and broken up with stark descriptions of the country. The Sun Also Rises was an instant hit when it was published by Scribners in 1926 and made Hemingway a newly discovered star among critics and readers. It is, in my opinion, his finest work.
I have read all of Hemingway's work. He is most certainly the king of the short story, a fine novel writer, and superb letter writer. He holds no punches when it comes to character and allows the reader to form his/her own opinion when it comes to them. Several times while reading The Sun Also Rises, I put the book down and commented on how much I loved the book. What I enjoy most about it is that Hemingway allows the reader to read between the lines, not an easy task and one that I try to do in my own writing. I like that not everything needs to be explained; that assumptions can be made. I enjoy forming my opinion on the matter. As a reader, I should be able to judge and convict at my will.
So, for those that love Hemingway and if you have not read The Sun Also Rises in a long while, I recommend picking up this classic and burying yourself in 1920's France and Spain for a while. It will make you laugh and cringe as Jake and the gang tear up the countryside in search of a good time while trying to come to grips with lost love, forbidden love, and new found love. Oh, and the ending is as perfect as one can be. I have not read a more perfect one since.