Book: The Sun Also Rises

Hemingwaysun1‘You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.’   -Jake Barnes

This might be my first Hemingway book.  I say might because I can’t remember if I pretended to read one of his books in High School, but I don’t think so.  I think I’d recognize the singular style.

I knew Hemingway was a ‘less is more’ writer, but I really was surprised by just how Spartan the bulk of his writing is.  There is almost no description of the characters, and most of their actions are simply ‘we went here and did this.’

Most of them.  The lack of descriptions for most of the book mean that the scenes Hemingway does describe stand out vividly.  Looking back on the book, it is the bull fights that stand out more than anything else.

As for the characters, I must admit that most of them I didn’t like.  The main character was the only one who I like at all, and I couldn’t figure out why he was involved with any of the other characters, except that he stands in contrast with their failings.  After finishing the book, I did some research, and read about Hemingway describing the ‘Lost Generation’ of the 1920’s.  I can see the lack of direction among most of the characters.

This is a book I would read again when I have a chance to pay attention and try to unravel some of what Hemingway is trying to say about his generation.  Given how many interpretations of the characters and actions exist, I feel that one read through is probably not enough to fully get this book.

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