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A Farewell To Arms Mass Market Paperback – 18 Aug 1994


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (18 Aug. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099910101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099910107
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (156 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899. His father was a doctor and he was the second of six children. Their home was at Oak Park, a Chicago suburb.

In 1917, Hemingway joined the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter. The following year, he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, where he was badly wounded but decorated for his services. He returned to America in 1919, and married in 1921. In 1922, he reported on the Greco-Turkish war before resigning from journalism to devote himself to fiction. He settled in Paris where he renewed his earlier friendships with such fellow-American expatriates as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Their encouragement and criticism were to play a valuable part in the formation of his style.

Hemingway's first two published works were Three Stories and Ten Poems and In Our Time but it was the satirical novel, The Torrents of Spring, that established his name more widely. His international reputation was firmly secured by his next three books; Fiesta, Men Without Women and A Farewell to Arms.

He was passionately involved with bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing and his writing reflected this. He visited Spain during the Civil War and described his experiences in the bestseller, For Whom the Bell Tolls.

His direct and deceptively simple style of writing spawned generations of imitators but no equals. Recognition of his position in contemporary literature came in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, following the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. He died in 1961.

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Review

"Hard, almost metallic, glittering, blinding by the reflections of its hard surface, utterly free of sentimentality- a strange and original book, it will convince you of its honesty and veracity" (Arnold Bennett)

"A most beautiful, moving and humane book" (Vita Sackville-West)

"A novel of great power." (TLS)

Book Description

One of the greatest war novels ever witten by one of the twentieth century's greatest novelists.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Cunliffe TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Never having read A Farewell to Arms before, I was interested to see this new edition, with its cover replicating the first edition published in 1929. I wondered how the book would stand up to the passage of time and whether it would, like so many other books of that era, just seem rather dated. However, I was glad to find myself enjoying reading it and mildly pleased to have read another landmark book from the last century.

As I read Farewell to Arms I was struck by how fresh it still seemed. As a first person account, the narrator Henry shares his story with the reader as it happens. The writing is sparse, without sentiment or emotion and I could easily imagine that I was in the presence of a battle-hardened ambulance driver who saw terrible things every day but didn't think it worth talking about them.

We read discussions between the men about visits to bars and brothels, their complaints about the food and their discussions of the rumours about the battles on the Front. Henry meets an attractive Scottish nurse called Catherine Barkley. He calls on her at the nurses' home, managing to sit with her in the garden and get to know her. He pursues her over the next few days, as his duties allow, and they form a relationship which becomes the backdrop to the other events in the book.

Henry has periods of active service, and, like the author, is badly wounded in the legs. He is sent to hospital in Milan where he slowly recovers, wondering what happened to Catherine. She eventually comes to the hospital and their relationship continues.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. Keir on 9 Jun. 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This novel touches on many issues; war, romantic love(without resorting to nauseating sentiment), culture and mortality. Each one is subtley explored with the incisive touch of Hemingway's pen.
Wherever Henry is, whether he is in an Italian ambulance at the front line, canoodling in a hospital bed, or standing in the rain in a deserted street, the reader always feels that they are right there with him, feeling what he feels, living what he lives.
This is quite simply one of the best books that I have ever read.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 May 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book clearly deserves more than five stars.
A Farewell to Arms is the semi-autobiographical tale of an American lieutenant in the Italian army near the end of World War I. Though the book's action, you will see the gradual distintegration of the hero's commitment to the conflict and his faltering attempts to create a new personna. While this is clearly one of the greatest anti-war books of all time, it transcends that genre to look more directly at the nature of life's challenges and how we meet them. As such, A Farewell to Arms ranks as one of the greatest of all American philosphical novels as well. For Hemingway aficionados, you will be fascinated to see his ornate writing style before he developed his eventual, much-admired spare form. This is stream of consciousness Hemingway at its best.
Lieutenant Henry is a man caught in the drift of events, without knowing what he stands for. He does his duty, but often out of habit rather than principle. When the full force of man and nature turn on him, he reverts to his instincts for self-survival. He wants little to do with the world, except in taking those delights that most please him. In the course of realizing and trying to overcome his emotional weaknesses, he simply isolates himself in new ways. Even love can only touch him when it is defined solely in his own terms.
Hemingway sees personal progress as only being possible through extreme pain. "The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places." That's the good news. The bad news is that "those that will not break it kills." The world kills "the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Mcguffog on 30 May 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first thing that hits you about this book is the way it's written. The language is bare and sparce, yet somehow successfully evokes the Italian landscape and places a clear picture inside your head. The book is more than the sum of its parts and seems to effect you almost sublimily. Without realising it i found i was almost halfway through the book and had barely put it down.

The book is set during the first world war in Italy and really conveys the pointlessness and harshness of this war and war in general. Of course i have always assumed war to be an awfull experience, but this book really hammers that home like a nail through the head. What it really conveys is how unorganised and shambolic the war was and how no body really knew what they were doing. The soldiers dont seem to have any paticular special training or skills, and seem to have about as much idea as i would in what to do for the best. The book shows that war is just a crazy backward concept that you can never be prepared for.

As well as the war this book also conveys what it is to be young and in love and having a good time amongst friends. Despite the setting, the war was still gangs of young men together and at times you could almost imagine they were just friends on holiday. Hemmingway shows the soldiers drinking and laughing, finding girs, falling in love, and trying to make sure they dont get killed in the process. It created strong unshakable friendships between people. The war was terrible but the things that happened to the soldiers would certainly give you one hell of an adrenalin rush, and are experiences that we'l probably never get close to.

You dont have to be interested in war to read this book, God knows im not. This is a book about becoming an adult and finding out who you really are in life. You could substitute the war for any turbulant event in life that changes how you think and how you see the world.
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