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on 15 October 1997
"The Snows of Kilimanjaro" contains some of Hemingway's finer short stories. And like many of his works, they resemble his life. Everything from his childhood to his later years in Africa are material for these tales. The stories of Hemingway's recurrent character, Nick Adams, who some say is Hemingway himself, are contained in this book also. All the works bear his distinct imprint, even though many are under ten pages in length. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is what I consider Hemingway's most potent short story of all. This collection is a great primer for those who are unacquainted with Hemingway's work and wish to discover his talent.
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This is a collection of 10 short stories by Ernest Hemmingway. The two worthy ones are the first and last one, both set in Africa, on the hunting grounds of the Serengeti plain, which, after the First World War was part of British East Africa, and is now Tanzania. The first story lends its title to this collection, and has achieved iconic and now somewhat ironic status in that so much of the snow has melted. This was my second reading of these stories; the first was some 30 years ago, and at the time it was a "mandatory" read in that I too was lured to find that frozen carcass of the leopard on the top of Kilimanjaro, which Hemingway cites in an epigraph to this story. (I did make it to the top, didn't find the carcass, and, of course, wonder if it was just a wonderful "folk tale.") And there is the irony of the story... in real life, all too true. A soldier survives the perils of the First World War, only to be done in by a common-place and seemingly minor injury in Africa. Hemingway tells much of the story well through flashbacks, as his protagonist deals with - or not - his oncoming death. Sure, a harsher critic than myself might consider the ending a bit "sappy," a fair enough comment, however there are few sights more awe-inspiring than the (still) snow-topped Kilimanjaro rising majestically and quite solo, above the Serengeti. And wouldn't that be a wonderful final resting place, up there with what is most likely a metaphorical leopard.

There was nothing "sappy" about the final story entitled "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." Two Americans, a husband and wife, on a big-game hunting expedition, being conducted by a British guide, with the "attending natives in tow." It is a very scathing account of all too many who "get their kicks" by killing the big game of Africa. The British guide is not only an excellent hunter; where he truly earns his money is being a psychiatrist for the couple, and well... er... ah... providing some additional services as well. It is a finely wrought tale, of high dramatic tension, and very well-written. As for the insights it provides into the "poverty of human existence," when I was there in 1984, with some extra time before my leopard carcass pursuit, we hired a Hungarian guide to conduct, what was for him, his first "photo safari." He confirmed all too much of the truth in Hemingway's tale, saying that some of the Europeans that he led on the safaris did not even know the names of the animals they were killing... the chief criteria was their size.

As for the other 8 stories, figure they should have been left on the "cutting room floor." The next two after "Kilimanjaro" are really just fragments of a story, with perhaps one banal point, like the confusion there can be between the metric and English systems of measure. "Fifty Grand" concerns boxing, and once again, although it might be "cinema vérité" (to continue with my film analogy), but the utterly inane, insipid dialogue, for which Hemingway is cited as a pioneer, can be more annoying that that proverbial screech of the chalk dragged across the blackboard. (I found this particularly true in his novel, The Sun Also Rises). "The Gambler, the Nun and the Radio" concerns a Mexican who is shot in Montana, and is in the hospital. I just found the entire story "out-of-focus," with no real meaning. "A Way You'll Never Be" is a fragment also, drawn upon Hemingway's real-life experience on the Italian front during World War I. Once again, I was left wondering what the point was. And "The Killers" was the worst story of the collection. Enough said.

Great beginning and ending stories. Particularly the last one I'd give 5-stars to, but overall, the collection merits 3-stars.
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on 5 April 2015
As a first taste of Ernest Hemingway's writing, I am not sure that The Snows Of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories was the best place to start. There are eighteen stories in the collection, but some are as short as just a couple of pages so read more like a single scene than a self-contained tale. I liked the title story which has a great sense of its place and time. Hemingway's sparse prose suits the repressed emotional interplay between the characters and the ending was both unexpected and poignant. I was less taken with the series of Nick Adams stories. I was able to picture their poor, rural environment, but felt the characters only rarely sprang to life. I understand from other reviews that Hemingway himself was very much a man's man so was unsurprised by his sexism. There is significant casual racism too which dates the writing. Each story begins with an apparently autobiographical paragraph. I liked reading these but am unsure whether they are meant to relate to the following tale or are simply interludes.

I will definitely read more Hemingway as I liked the writing style. However, I think I shall make sure my next of his works is a full length book to give me more chance to get to know and understand the characters he has created.
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on 17 January 2015
Book five in my Hemingway is a collection of short stories from 1939. The first Hemingway I read way back when were short stories featuring Nick Adams, and he is one of the principal recurring characters in these stories.

This is a hit and miss affair. Some of the stories are so short and terse, they are more sketches than stories. Most of them have an annoying device of a scene from war or a bullfight in italics before the actual story began. At first, I thought these were meant to set the scene for the story, but I could not discern what they meant. They were just confusing. The Snows - the longest of the stories - is not the best. That is My Old Man, which is third from the end. This is a great short story, the tale of a jockey and his son in Italy and then, France. It is beautifully written and reflects Hem's deep knowledge of racetracks. I enjoyed Indian Camp also, and appreciated Big Two-hearted River for the fishing descriptions.

But as an introduction to Hemingway, these stories fall short - I have read better. The style is very forward here, all stripped back and in your face, but the tales are usually too flimsy for it to be effective.
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on 13 June 2012
This Hemmingway book is amazing, I'm trying to get into Hemmingway and a collection of short stories seemed to be the ideal way to go.
The stories range in length of a couple of pages to about four or five, in total there's about twelve. More importantly there are pre stories before the main story begins, I found these pre stories fascinating, these were only about a couple of paragraghs in length, but I found them very absorbing, giving a great insight to the writings of Hemmingway.
This isn't a book which will have you turning page after page in haste to find out what happens next, but rather an engrosing read where you can savour and devour every line of the wonderful prose which is the signature of Hemmingways style.
As an introduction to Hemmingway this book is absolutely wonderful, it dosn't matter if you've read it before, this is the type of book that can be taken any where at anytime and be re-read. First class, I love it.
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on 29 April 2005
This is an extremely slim volume of Hemingway's short stories including the classic Snows of Kilimanjaro. As good as the contents is, it's really only 137 pages and therefore a little steep for the price. Some of the stories are also only two or three pages long, although it's amazing how much he can pack into just two pages (On the Quai at Smyrna). If you're new to Hemingway this might not be the best book to get, but it nevertheless makes fascinating and powerful reading.
Contents: Snows of Kilimanjaro, Up in Michigan, On the Quai at Smyrna, Indian Camp, Doctor and the Doctor's Wife, End of Something, Three-Day Blow, Battler, Very Short Story, Soldier's Home, Revolutionist, Mr and Mrs Elliot, Cat in the Rain, Out of Season, Cross-country Snow, My Old Man, Big Two-hearted River parts 1 and 2.
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on 25 November 2001
The Snows of Kilimanjaro is among Hemingway's best works. Concise and yet incredibly condense in meaning, it takes the reader through the main events of the protagonist's life. It therefore provides an explanation of how the main character gradually deprives himself of his greatest dreams and ambitions, drifting away in a lifestyle that he accepts rather than chooses for himself. The character and landscape depictions are remarkable, identifiable with the classic Hemingway style. In this way, connections are allowed to be made between this particular work and others by Hemingway, such as, for instance, A Moveable Feast. The magnitude of The Snows of Kilimanjaro is to be found in the fact that it combines many of Hemingway's distinctive storytelling locations in one text and, most notably, in one that greatly demonstrates his craft.
The unique continuity in plot and the marvellous transitions from present to past and vice versa, keep interest in constant maximum level, until the end of the narrative.
The title of the book is highly related to its content, since it defines the outcome. The climax of the story is inseparably linked to its location. The ending is complemented by the scenery and the impact on the reader is immense.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro is bound to be appreciated not only by avid Hemingway readers, but also by readers that select this book in order to become acquainted with the acclaimed author.
Highly recommended!
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on 20 November 2012
Memories of boyhood, the regrets of old men, men at war, men and women: this famous collection of eighteen stories covers familiar Hemingway themes. There are many great stories in this slim collection: The Battler, The End of Something, Out of Season, Big Two-Hearted River, and of course the collection's eponym.

Strong and intense, like black coffee, and best savoured slowly. Yes, he had limitations, but when it came to capturing a moment of poignancy, he was as good as anyone.

For all his quirks, Hemingway was an exceptional writer. Sometimes he hit, sometimes he missed. In The Snows of Kilimanjaro, he hits pretty much every time.
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on 10 May 2013
Could not put it down , had to read straight through - like any Hemmingway book. I am very lucky to own this book
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on 21 January 2014
This is so well known it hardly needs a review. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is so well told, so much about human passions and regrets and weakness and hope and love. Although not every one of the stories has the power to hold your attention so much, I never for a moment flagged. I love the way the action just happens- no history, no explanation, you're there in the action and the conversation.
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