Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the 'war to end all wars'. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

I think Hemingway is one of those writers that most people love or hate. I can see why. The only book I've previously read of his was The Old Man and the Sea in high school and I only read it because a boy I liked said he loved it. To be honest, I don't remember much about it and the boy I liked? Yeah, he wasn't impressed that I'd read it.

Hemingway's writing is so bare and to the point that I almost stopped reading A Farewell to Arms before I really began and I did have to put it down halfway through and come back to it a month later. But after that break, I really enjoyed it. I thought the images of war in the book were fascinating and despite the sparcity of the language I did really feel like I was in Italy along with the characters in this book and I liked how Hemingway coupled the scenes of war with his romance of Catherine. I think I will tentatively try some of his other books...


  1. i am one of those who LOVE HIM. LOVE HIM. LOVE HIM.

    i really love his short sentences. i read "a moveable feast" a while back and was hooked. i loved the old man and the sea and i so want to read this one.

  2. I have enjoyed the Hemingway books I have read--although it's been a long while since I picked up one of his books. I like his sparse writing style. It was refreshing to me at a time when I was reading a lot of other classics that were thick with prose and detail.

  3. I'm one of those people who HATES Hemingway. Although, maybe I didn't give him a fair shake. I only got through about 3 chapters before I gave up on "The Sun Also Rises." It sounds like it might be worth it to get persevere and finish one of his books though...maybe I'll try again one of these days.


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