Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars21
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.71+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 19 August 1999
Larry Phillips' compilation of the comments Hemingway made on the process of writing contains a wealth of material for writers at every level. I had the good fortune to read the book in its original hard-cover version when it was published in the mid-1980s. At that point, I had been a newspaper and magazine writer and editor for about a decade, and I found several key ideas I was able to incorporate into my own work. I'd long ago loaned out my copy of the hard-cover book when the paperback version came out this summer, so I happily purchased a copy and reread the book. It seems as fresh today as it did nearly 15 years ago. There are still lots of specific tips and techniques writers can acquire. One of my favorites is Hemingway's recommendation that a writer not continue writing until he or she runs dry, but rather stop at a point when the next sentence or paragraph or chapter is known. That way, the writer can pick up later where he or she left off, without the trauma of facing a blank page or a blank screen, wondering what's next. I've tried it over the years, and it works. Beyond those specifics, however, I find it interesting to read how Hemingway viewed his life as a writer. Regardless of how you feel about Hemingway as a person or even as a writer, you might recognize that the man spent a lot of time thinking about what it meant to be a writer and how a writer should develop his or her craft. That alone is worth the price of admission.
0Comment|42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 August 1999
Hemingway was enthusiastic about his craft. The editor of this selection chose hundreds of quotes from Hemingway's works that deal with writing. They are excellent choices. This could be a worthwhile textbook for a writer developing his own craft, or for an interested reader studying Hemingway. It is regrettable that the paper is little better, if at all, than newsprint. It is virtually impossible to annotate in pencil. I suspect this book will self-destruct in a year like an old newspaper.
11 comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 May 2014
I decided to take a punt on this book, despite some of the reviews, and I'm glad I did. While it's not a "write your own novel" book, it's a collection of Hemingway's reflections on writing over the years, pulled together by theme instead of chronology. Sometimes it's provoking, sometimes poignant, sometimes you can hear the great man going twenty rounds with his own human struggle with articulation. If you take it as a personal comment on what it was like for EH to write (to the standard that won him the Nobel and sees him as one of the greatest American writers), then it is well worth the cover price. If you want a writing course, look elsewhere. This book has enough inspiration and insight into what it is to struggle alone - as every writer has to - with what it is to try to write something decent, to make it well worth making the space on the bookshelf.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 February 2010
Perhaps the problem is that a title like "Ernest Hemingway on Writing" promises to deliver a lot more than this book does. It is a collection of quotations from a variety of sources, ranging from published work to telegrams and letters - but it doesn't add up to a coherent whole and is presented without any real context. As a result it is really quite dull after a while - just one anecdote after another - and doesn't tell you much about Hemingway as a person or much about him as a writer. It's not a book to sit down and read like some of the other "On Writing" books - it's the kind of book you can keep in the bathroom....

Personally I would suggest Carlos Baker's biography or "Hemingway The Life and Death of A Giant" by Kurt Singer, "Papa" by Gregory Hemingway or "Papa Hemingway" by AE Hotchner, or "How it Was" by Mary Welsh Hemingway if you want to know about Hemingway as a person - and read his work if you want to know what he thought about writing.

For an 'On Writing' book that is great then try Norman Mailer's "The Spooky Art" or as a previous reviewer has said Stephen King's "On Writing" is also very good.

Of course, if you're a Hemingway fan like me then you're going to buy this anyway so ignore all the above!
0Comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 18 August 1999
Hemingway was enthusiastic about his craft. The editor of this selection chose hundreds of quotes from Hemingway's works that deal with writing. They are excellent choices. This could be a worthwhile textbook for a writer developing his own craft, or for an interested reader studying Hemingway. It is regrettable that the paper is little better, if at all, than newsprint. It is virtually impossible to annotate in pencil. I suspect this book will self-destruct in a year like an old newspaper.
0Comment|7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 October 2004
This book probably won't speed you on your way to your own 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' but it does provide some insight to Hemingway's attitudes to things in general and literature in particular. This is a collection of extracts, some quite short, from letters and biographies and gathered into chapters like 'Working Habits'. However, the quotes are often isolated from their contexts and are quite useless as advice on writing per se. An example from the chapter 'Other Writers',page 91, I quote:
"I think you should learn about writing from everybody who has ever written that has anything to teach you" to F Scott Fitzgerald 1925.Unquote.
No, I didn't understand it either and there's more of that ilk. Actually Stephen King's book 'On Writing' is a much better book as it is deliberately written for the aspiring writer.
0Comment|17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 November 2014
It does provide an insight on the character Heminway was. I have never seen anything as this book. You expect some sort of biography written by himself, nevertheless, what you find is a collection of writings of his grouped as a narrative.

I highly recommend it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 July 2015
This book is aspiring for novice writers. It was after reading this book that at last I picked up the pen to write my story.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 December 2015
Far exceeds my expectations, a book that will never be far from my reach. Quite inspiring.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 March 2016
A neat collection of Hemingway's thoughts on his craft. His passion for writing is clear.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

£12.73

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.