Friday 5 July 2013

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

“I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.” 

A quick read. Not much happens. The snappy dialogue provides the narrative with forward momentum. The lost generation. WWI.  Lots of drinking. Expatriates. Alcoholics. Discrimination against Jews, Blacks and homosexuals. These people really hate Jews. Rinse and repeat. Order us another round of drinks. Lady Brett Ashley is such a bitch, she's also quite the floozy. Lets go to the cafe for more drinks. Fishing trip. Meet you at the hotel bar. Male impotence. Keep the whiskey and soda flowing. Spanish Fiesta. Machoism. Bull fighting. Absinthe. Need to sleep this hangover off. Everyone's gone. Unrequited love. Jake is emasculated. If only Viagra was invented back then. Jack and Brett could have had such a damned good time together.  

This novel is part of the Classics Club Challenge.


  1. I have always loved his short stories but never tackled one of his novels because I think I can only handle his style in small doses.

  2. I feel you there; luckily, this novel was relatively short and a super-fast read because it consists largely of dialogue. Strange, the more I let this novel sink in and reflect about it, the more it grows on me.

  3. Someone asked me to tell them the story of this book, but I could only say that nothing really happens. Now I could redirect them here. I did like the way it was written, but I've been told over and over that I should read Old Man and the Sea. Have you read any other Hemingway?

  4. Hi Priya! I am honored that you would even consider this "review" noteworthy to be recommended to others but it isn't exactly very insightful at all, haha. I was just sort of being cheeky and imitating Hemingway's terse, staccato like sentences. I can now understand why his writing style was so influential, it's awesome. :P

    "Nothing really happens" sums up the plot quite accurately and I think, that was Hemingway's intention. These characters are still suffering from the trauma of the first world war and are deeply depressed. They are lost souls, stuck in perpetual limbo and drowning their sorrows in alcohol. They desperately want to move forward with their lives but are crippled and haunted by the past. Or at least, that was my take on it.

    My first exposure to Hemingway was through a few of his short stories which were excellent. I hated "A Farewell to Arms" vehemently and it deterred me from wanting to read anything else by him ever again. Luckily, I got over my stubbornness and gave Papa another shot to impress me.

    As a matter of fact, I recently read "The Old Man and the Sea" and loved it. I am hoping to write a review of it soon but struggling on the exact reasons why the novel resonated with me so much. Again, it's a quick read and written in a simple and effectively concise style that shaped the powerful story. Highly recommended!

  5. I said that because it's concise and still pretty exact! I just got myself a copy of The Old Man and the Sea and will hop on over to your review after I've read it! Thanks for the recommendation. :)