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A Farewell To Arms (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 4 Feb 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (4 Feb. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099273977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099273974
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Flawless... such mastery of narrative, imagery and feeling, the prerequisites for great prose" (Edna O'Brien Guardian)

"It seems such simple and straightforward language, but it isn't. The first chapter of A Farewell to Arms is only two and a bit pages but there is almost every variety of sentence structure. It is incredibly artful writing, and part of the art is disguising that it is artful" (John Harvey Guardian)

"There is something so complete in Mr. Hemingway's achievement in A Farewell to Arms that one is left speculating as to whether another novel will follow in this manner, and whether it does not complete both a period and a phase...crisply natural and convincing" (Guardian, 1929)

"A novel of great power" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Essential Hemingway...a gripping account of the life of an American volunteer in the Italian army and a poignant love story" (Daily Express)

Book Description

Ernest's Hemingway's powerful autobiographical war classic - considered by many to be the greatest war novel ever written

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Paperback
I like Hemingway because his stories are realistic. Life doesn't have many happy endings, but it has moments of great passion, romance and happiness along the way. This book is kind of like that. His short sentences and terse writing style cut right to the core of your emotions and help you feel all this book has to offer. A brilliant place to start your appreciation of one of histories greatest writers.

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Hard to get into this book as written in an odd style - had to keep saying to myself to remember the time in which it was written. I had read The Paris Wife so had an insight into Hemingway from his first wife's perspective and had not particularly liked him so perhaps that was also a barrier to his work, but he, the author is very self focussed. But then perhaps I would be in a war situation? A funny mix as even though he is self absorbed, mainly about alcohol, we do not really discover much about his responses, emotions and inner thoughts. Yes there are some insights but few- another characteristic of those times? The relationship with Catherine is also very polite and formal - reminds me of old black & white films when I was a child..... However, this book was chosen for a bookclub meeting & despite no one really liking it, there was a great deal of discussion and questions asked about the book including the war, the geography, Hemingway and relationships at that time etc..... How style and life is so different now!! But a challenge to think in different ways and to really try to understand the style of writing and the author. Perhaps worth reading after all?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ethan Cooper on 29 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
In A FAREWELL TO ARMS, the texture, pace, and content of the social interaction is absolutely spot-on when Lieutenant Frederic Henry, Hem's protagonist, mixes with his fellow officers, the soldiers in his command, various bartenders, and several nurses who mother him. While Frederic shows a slightly different face in each group, he is generally succinct, generous, self-aware, and subtle in his social mastery. IMHO, this Frederic is a genuine literary achievement and a reason, by himself, to read this terrific anti-war novel. At a minimum, AFtA certainly demonstrates that Hemingway has a fabulous gift for capturing manly rapport and virile presence.

At the same time, Hem doesn't seem to know how to handle Catherine Barkley, his only significant female character. In her presence, Hem seems out of his element, and the interaction between the sexes seems to contain only empty expressions. "You're awfully nice," is typical. Maybe Hem is saying that love is doomed during war and that lovers are reluctant to probe their commitment. Still, a couple together as much as Frederic and Catherine would enjoy some lighter or more natural moments, wouldn't they?

Nonetheless, the force driving this novel is The Great War, with the war-weary Frederic serving in the Italian army, suffering a serious wound, enjoying a discreetly sexy convalescence, returning to battle, and then making his separate (but tragic) peace. As told by Hemingway, this story abounds with male sports--mess hall razing, military duty, battle, and bold survival--that bring out the best in his terse style. When mortar shells explode in Frederic's shallow trench, for example, a writer who describes through sequences of quick impressions can be completely true to the moment.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
A wonderful tale where men and women of passion and action live, fight, love and die in scenes of drmamtic intensity. An involving story told the way only Hemingway can. I recommend this book to anyone especially if you like Hemingway's style of writing. An excellent read.
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