The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Posted September 16, 2013 in Book Review / 0 Comments

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest HemingwayThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Published by Turtleback Books on October 1st 2006
Genres: Adult fiction, Classics, Historical Fiction
Pages: 251
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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three-stars

The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century.

Main Points

Before Reading:

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because I had recently read The Paris Wife and it discussed Hemingway and Hadley’s trip to Pamplona, and this was the book Hemingway himself wrote about that trip. I really didn’t expect it to be fantastic, but I was curious about how Hemingway saw everything. Also, the only book by Hemingway that I’d read before is The Old Man and the Sea, which was required reading for school at one point. It was also a rather okay book, but better than the other required reading that year. I rather liked it at the time. (Notice how often I’m saying ‘rather.’ A habit I picked up while reading the book.)
Writing Style
I can see why so many people love Hemingway’s writing, but it’s really not my thing. It’s pointed, and opinionated, and short, and poignant, and directly to the point (let’s see how many times I can say words that sound like ‘point’ in that sentence). He rarely over-describes something, and the conversations are very short and change direction quite frequently. They are rarely linear.
Content 
It was all right, I suppose. The story was pretty much how it was described in the biography, but a lot more in detail. I liked the parody.
Characters 
I’m not entirely sure which character was supposed to be a parody of which real life person, but some were clear. I was rather disappointed that he left Hadley out, though. I must read A Moveable Feast next. But the characters had so much- well, character. I did like reading their conversations. Everything was so unpredictable.
Quotes
One quote in particular stood out to me, because I disagreed with it so much. Here it is:
“Women made such swell friends. Awfully swell. In the first place, you had to be in love with a woman to have the basis of friendship.”
-Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises (page 137)
Now, I know Hemingway was a misogynist, but this quote scares me. If this is true- well, most of my friends are guys, and I have a lot of them. Does that mean the friendships aren’t even real? I don’t necessarily believe it in all cases, but perhaps in some. It’s certainly food for thought. I don’t like the thought of all those guys in love with me, though. Rather a scary thought indeed.

Bottom Line

This was a very okay book. It probably would be best if you had read a biography first. Other than that, it’s just a random, short mess of a story that changes direction quite often. Will I be reading more by Hemingway? Just A Moveable Feast. I think that will be quite it. Would I recommend this book to others? If they like Hemingway.

About Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.

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