Liked It3 of 3 members found this review helpful
“Hemingway’s deceptive first novel is so nuanced and understated that each time I read it, it’s all happening for the first time. I have to shake my head in disbelief at the comments complaining that the plot and characters are boring. I wouldn’t describe hanging out drinking absinthe with the...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It5 of 5 members found this review helpful
“When it comes to the world's most noteworthy authors, I like to investigate them by reading their earliest work, then their last work. I did this with Hemingway. His last work, written after living a full life, was The Old Man and the Sea. I loved that short novel. It was truly filled with...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Read it once for fun, then had to read it again for class. ”Liz wrote this review 9 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's rare that I give a rating of 1 star. However The Sun Also Rises seemed pointless, otherwise than to depress the with reader with the seemingly hopeless chase for happiness we all run in life. The characters did not interest me - rather it was only the description of certain cultural elements, such as the bullfighting. Maybe I just don't like Hemingway's writing style. ”Hannah Davis wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The fact that Ernest Hemingway is considered a "Great American Author" is simply perplexing. I have never read a book of such length that had so little to say. The foundation of the book is built upon incessant rambling, scatter-brained dialogue and inexplicable lack of formal structure. Far from great and far from a classic, this "novel" is the forerunner for the worst book that I have ever read. Absolutely horrible on every level!”Wayne E wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Had to read this after reading The Paris Wife since he was writing it while he was having an affair! Enjoyed all the stories of running with the bulls and the "lost generation" but wondered why he went on and on about such mundane daily happenings.”Mishelle B wrote this review Wednesday, November 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“610L”Lacey Renee wrote this review Monday, November 4, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The novel that made Hemingway. I could do without Brett and her polygamy, but the travelogue aspects of the book - drinking in Paris, the bullfights in Pamplona, fishing in the mountains - are wonderful. I drove roundtrip to a client meeting in Washington DC in one day just so I could finish this book on tape. ”Matthew Hallock wrote this review Saturday, October 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read for Colon's class 2012”Sophia Mitropoulos wrote this review Thursday, September 26, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
I have finished reading this book.
Though not one of my favorite books, it proved itself to be generally a fairly interesting book. Hemingway’s use of symbolism was rather affective. Bull-fighting, a focal element of the story’s setting, is meant to be an expression of aficion ,or passion. It represents chivalry and cultural pride and integrity. All these qualities the characters in this post-WWI story are lacking, and so by being at the bull-fighting their spirit is revived and this in conjunction with the jovial simple lifestyle of the people in this Spanish town of Pamplona reminds the character’s of what it means to live a purposeful existence and be free of angst. This clarifies the meaning of the novel’s title, The Sun Also Rises, as the sun is symbol of radiant joy and thriving prosperity and so to say that the it “also rises” is meant to communicate that despite the many dilemmas faced by the people of the given historical period, basic happiness is not an extinct species. Extending on this issue, the characters in the book are very fond of the expression “I’m tight” and at one point the characters Michael, Brett’s fiancée, even says, “Of course I am [bankrupt].”(pg.171). An interesting parallel I found was that these financial troubles, which have become commonplace in their lives, reflect their “spiritual bankruptcy”, as just as interest accumulates on the money they borrowed to temporarily decrease financial pressure, so does the emotional and mental burden of their “borrowing” of mundane and material things such as excessive drinking to temporarily alleviate their inner conflicts. The resolution of the story I found to be satisfactory, as although not all my hopes for the characters were fully fulfilled, the author ends the story in a mildly happy and meaningful way.
That being said, the excellence of Hemingway’s work was not completely without limitations. Given the internal conflicts present in the story and the psychological focus of the story, the first person point-of-view was appropriate and the narrator, Jake, seemed fairly reliable. Nevertheless his lack of an eccentric personality prevented this story from having the creative and surprising commentary that might have been possible with a more unique-minded protagonist. Although I was no doubt persuaded both of the stunning beauty and remarkable verdure of the Basque countryside and of the thrill of a fine bull-fight, perhaps if the descriptions had been limited in their detail it would have been easier to maintain the reader’s interest. To restate, though, the novel as a whole was a good read.
I am on page 100.
Hemingway’s author’s craft has made this book interesting to me so far, particularly the way the effectiveness of his brief sentences. In the exposition it quotes, “But it seemed to fit Cohn. He was really very fast.”(pg.11). Though there is nothing extravagant about the sentences themselves, the way in which they contributed to the fluidity of the description, I thought, made for a skillful way to hook the reader at the very beginning. Also, there are so many ways of addressing the age-old topic of love. When the protagonist, Jake, finds himself in a difficult situation with his engaged lover, Brett, and, searching despairingly, all his frustration and his helplessness to put an end to it are summarized in a single question: “’Isn’t there anything we can do about it?’”(pg. 31), to which he fear the answer is ‘no’. It may seem basic, though at times short sentences can work well simply by making dialogue more realistic. Brett, for instance, stated “’Not I. Never write letter.’”(pg. 63). Regardless of the writer’s proficiency in grammar, the tendency for people in general to speak in sentence fragments in casual conversation does not change, and I think that good fiction writing should reflect that. It is his ability to use short sentences in a way that enhances the story has to this point made Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” enjoyable classical literature.
“So much has been written about this book -- Hemingway's first real novel -- that there's no need for me to say much. Three observations will suffice. First, The Sun Also Rises is justly famous for its "modernity" and probably also a victim of its own success in that regard. To today's reader, the style is likely to seem unremarkable, as realism/minimalism has become a standard form for novels. Second, extended descriptions of foreign places and landscapes (found especially in Book One) are probably of less interest to modern readers, as we have much easier access to information about the rest of the world. Third, the humor of Hemingway is often overlooked, but it is on full display in The Sun Also Rises. For example, take this exchange between a drunken Bill Gorton and the sober narrator Jake ...
"Here's a taxidermist's," Bill said. "Want to buy anything? Nice stuffed dog?"
"Come on," I said. "You're pie-eyed."
"Pretty nice stuffed dogs," Bill said. "Certainly brighten up your flat."
"Just one stuffed dog. I can take 'em or leave 'em alone. But listen, Jake. Just one stuffed dog."
"Mean everything in the world to you after you bought it. Simple exchange of values. You give them money. They give you a stuffed dog."
"We'll get one on the way back."
"All right. Have it your way. Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs. Not my fault."
P.S. I bought my copy at Shakespeare and Company in Paris, a bookstore that (while relocated from its original location) figured prominently in Hemingway's early days as a writer. They still have a library room upstairs where people are free to sit, read, and write.
“The meandering plot, if it can even be called that, and the shallow character development make this a very missable book. It is the type of book that makes you regret the time invested in reading it.”Paul W wrote this review Sunday, September 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No