on 15 February 2013
As a young writer I've recently been devouring Hemingway books; seeking to stand on the shoulders of this literary giant. This is not only one of his best, but probably in my top five favourite reads. It's a series of short stories, divided by poetic vignettes that are more connected to the overall narrative arc than you initially realise. It is simply gorgeous writing. The stories draw you in and before you want them done they're out. The vignettes are simple paragraphs filled with more imagery and tension than most could create in a chapter. His style is well-suited to the short story and has inspired me to explore the world of short story writers. Much of the book is semi-reality based fiction inspired by parts of Hemingway's early life during the War in Europe and his subsequent return home and his time in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
It's a quick, sweet, and superb novel that will inspire you.
on 24 September 1997
IN OUR TIMES exposes the reader to a unique experience, for it gives us insight into the writing process. This collection of "sketches" are the rough beginnings of Hemingway's later, more developed novels. There is a certain purity in these incomplete works. Although each story has its conclusion, the reader feels, as Hemingway did, a need to explore more fully the amazing characters he introduces.
The true power of this small collection are the vignettes. At first they confuse the reader since they do not serve as bridges connecting one story to the next. They are pure emotion, telling no story. A contradiction to Hemingway's tight, nonsuperfilous style, they scream for attention, just as we later hoped many of his well guarded character would. For those familiar with his works, they are the true gems of this collection. Our questions are finally answered, for the intensity of his characters are finally expressed.
on 27 June 1999
These stories are very honest and deceptively simple, though a great weight is always underneath every story. About Hemingway as a young man mostly, disguised as Nick Adam's. Nick is from the country, he is educated, he has experienced war, and is through with everything. Nothing means anything to him anymore, not religion, the world he grew up in, all of it nauseates him, and he doesn't sentimentalise his state of mind, because he is through with sentiment. Sentiment only pretends that nothing is wrong. So this is the theme that emerges in many of the stories. What to do in a world that means nothing to you. What should you do? Well do nothing and be nothing and go fishing. This is a negative attitude and Nick is fully, consciously aware of his situation, and honest about it as well.
They are very beautiful and profoundly honest stories, and I'm pretty sure we all feel like Nick Adam's from time to time in our time!