- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Adams Media; Original edition (July 18, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1598698966
- ISBN-13: 978-1598698961
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,904 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Write Like Hemingway: Writing Lessons You Can Learn from the Master Original Edition
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"It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way." - Ernest Hemingway"
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It's no good, don't waste your money.
The book is a study of Hemingway and his writing - from his education and early influences at the Kansas City Star newspaper, to tutelage under Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound and other notables. There are many quotes from Hemingway throughout. The analysis of Hemingway's prose is focused most on his short stories.
The things I found valuable were taken from quotes from Hemingway himself (The Papa Says sections) and I loved the analysis of Hemingway's writing from someone so knowledgeable about the man and his canon of work. There is a lot of focus on the scan0003short, succinct sentence; the less-is-more, Iceberg Theory style that makes Hemingway's work so easily identifiable.
Some of the advice absolutely flies in the face of other popular reference books for writers and at other times, it was simplistic and obvious. Write Like Hemingway reads like a book meant for those just starting out as writers and despite the title and subject matter, it is not written in Hemingway's style.
There are various exercises throughout to help you apply what you've read in the previous chapter to your own work, but I doubt Hemingway actually did any exercises like this.
Write Like Hemingway is a fine analysis of Hemingway's writing and an entertaining read. If you want to read about what Hemingway said about writing, I suggest the book, Ernest Hemingway on Writing, edited by Larry W. Phillips. If you really want to learn to write like Hemingway, read Hemingway.
This is more of a generic "how-to-write" book using Hemingway as a premise. There's things here you just get the sense Hemingway didn't do, and likely didn't believe in. For example, there's two full, detailed pages of "character questionnaire/survey" to 'know' your characters. Or writing 3 drafts of the same thing from different points of view. I was hoping for more on Hemingway's process and methods, and less from beginner-level writing books.
(And while Hemingway was nicknamed 'Papa', I found that familiarity very distracting in this book.)
The "writing tips" are rare, but you learn a lot of Hemingway's life, and you find a lot of Hemingway quotes. You get a much better value for your money, and actually learn from the master, by reading Hemingway himself. Just another fine example how to sell a book through a misleading title. Don't waste your time and money on this book.