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poopontheshoes7 11-17-2006 06:35 PM

How is his stuff? I plan on delving into For Whom the Bell Tolls and Farwell To Arms and I want some opinions on his work.

HannibalGuy 11-21-2006 09:23 PM

IMO, those 2 and "The Old Man and the Sea" are his best. Some of the short stories in "In Our Time" are worth a read. I've generally enjoyed most of what I've read from him, but "The Sun Also Rises" I found to be very boring.

Johnny Moreno 11-21-2006 09:39 PM

I would pick up a short story collection first. Great shit, but can't get into his novels.

drago25 11-21-2006 09:44 PM

I goddamn love Hemingway. I've talked to a lot of people that also enjoy his short fiction and can't get into the novels but I'm not one of them, I adore all of his novels that I have read. There is a reason he is considered by many to be the single most important American writer of all time. He has had more of an influence on the style of American literature than any other person.

I adore "The Sun Also Rises", I think it is his masterpiece. I just finished his semifictional African memoir "True At First Light" and loved it. I've also read "A Farewell To Arms" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and they were also bloody amazing.

His short fiction is probably the best way to start off on Hemingway, but I highly recommended delving into his novels as you'll find some of the finest work by any writer who has ever lived, American or otherwise.

Buck Turgidson 11-24-2006 12:36 AM

When you read the novels, it's probably best to start with A Farewell To Arms. It's what put him on the map and established his style. You may or may not like The Sun Also Rises. It was a touch too catty for me, but I'm glad I read it. It's still seminal, as are all of his works.

Best of all, for me, is For Whom The Bell Tolls. I feel exactly the same about it as I do about Tender Is The Night.

Allow me to quote myself, from the Scott Fitzgerald thread:

Originally posted by Buck Turgidson
I also love Tender Is The Night. It's not as tightly written, but it's more real and more intense. It's more from his heart, as opposed to Gatsby, which is more from his mind.

Both are indispensible.
That's also how I feel about For Whom and A Farewell. (And James Baldwin's Another Country and Go Tell It On The Mountain, while I'm at it.)

There are scenes in For Whom, especially near the end, that are almost unbearably emotionally raw. I put a lot of weight on Sontag's ideas from Against Interpretation (that you should try to judge art on it's own terms, as it's presented, and not over-read the artist, or writer's, personal details into it, but in this case, that's nearly impossible if you know Hemingway's life, especially his relationship with his father and his own struggles with his emotions.

Just a brilliant book.

poopontheshoes7 11-24-2006 12:58 PM

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I read Farwell and was actually impressed by how much I injoyed it. And Im going to pick up For Whom the Bell Tolls next.

What about To Have and Have Not?

chinton 11-24-2006 06:22 PM

I think it's funny the only Hemingway book I loved and its one of my favorites is the one most people hate Islands In The Stream. It's a very bitter, despressing heartbreaking novel.

Buck Turgidson 11-26-2006 12:08 AM

I haven't read either To Have or Islands, so I can't be of help there.

I will say this much: the film version of Islands, with George C. Scott, is a minor gem that's been very much overlooked.

HannibalGuy 12-21-2006 03:18 PM

I mentioned "In Our Time" was a good short story collection, and it is, but IMO his best short fiction collection is "The Snows of Kilimanjaro". The title story is great, as are "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place", "A Day's Wait", and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber " (which has an ending that comes out of freaking nowhere).

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