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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book by Hemingway
I recently read this novel again, and again I found it an evocative, mesmerising, and absolutely brilliant description of Paris and Spain in the interwar years.

Hemingway was a master at tight yet superb prose. He really could conjure up the dusty ride on top of a bus, on the road in Northern Spain, the peasants passing round the skin full of wine. He puts you...
Published on 18 April 2006 by Morris

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The genius lies in the observant, yet simple storytelling
Following all the hype of Hemingway's birth last year, this was my first attempt to understand the allure of the man. Aptly, this was his first novel. What I found was a very economical telling of a story that at first seems very simple, but then develops into quite a complex tale.
On the negative side, some of the narrative was too matter-of-fact; and I often got...
Published on 6 Feb 2000


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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book by Hemingway, 18 April 2006
By 
Morris (Cote d'Azur) - See all my reviews
I recently read this novel again, and again I found it an evocative, mesmerising, and absolutely brilliant description of Paris and Spain in the interwar years.

Hemingway was a master at tight yet superb prose. He really could conjure up the dusty ride on top of a bus, on the road in Northern Spain, the peasants passing round the skin full of wine. He puts you right there, sitting outside at the cafe during the Fiesta, everyone getting drunk, the fireworks going off, the young men taking their chances as they run in front of the bulls.

Hemingway was a genius, a term used much too frequently and easily today.

I also recomend the biography 'Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences' by James R. Mellow. Gives the reader a better understanding of the world in which he lived.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The genius lies in the observant, yet simple storytelling, 6 Feb 2000
By A Customer
Following all the hype of Hemingway's birth last year, this was my first attempt to understand the allure of the man. Aptly, this was his first novel. What I found was a very economical telling of a story that at first seems very simple, but then develops into quite a complex tale.
On the negative side, some of the narrative was too matter-of-fact; and I often got lost (and bored) with some of the pointless dialogue.
More positively, the magnificent decription of the detail of bull-fighting, with the pride and dedication of the bull-fighters and their aficiandos, the grubby detail of Spain and the romanticism of an American in the Old World, made this a very enjoyable read. Coupled with the amorality of the aristocratic Brett and the (for the time) expected anti-Semitic views, this is very much a book of its era, but still with something to offer to a new generation of readers.
I can't wait to read "The Old Man and the Sea" now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer Utter Brilliance, 8 April 2010
This novel is a work of complete literary genius, Hemingway certainly writing at the standard which throws other acclaimed novelist's into shadow. Although some people may be excused for having trouble getting into Fiesta, it is inexcusable not to at least finish this novel.

As the plot progresses one is drawn into the lives of the main characters and the cultures of Spain, France and the Basque Country. The intricate detail and superb and eloquent methods Hemingway uses to tell the tale of Jake and his compatriots excels at making this a novel which will mark your life forever. It is a novel written that is outstanding and timeless for it distinctly interweaves perfectly the reader seamlessly into the life and times of the people whose lives we see play out before us.

I cannot possibly recommend this novel enough, don't pay attention to those philistines who don it merely with one star and sample the great work of Hemingway for yourself. You wont regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the simpleness of his writing that keeps us interested, 9 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Hemingway's writing style is naturally blunt and simple, which gives off a light weight aura that we can't let go of. When you read his The Sun Also Rises, while his characters are trying to not tear each other to shreads from stressing out, you are unstressful, it feels like you're on a beach while reading this.
The Sun Also Rises is an example of Hemingway at the height of his ladder to sucess and fame, depicting a great portrait and passion of his writing. Delicate and peaceful, this is his best work of all.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ugly book, 13 May 2013
By 
A A. Brookes (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Sun Also Rises (Paperback)
I've only got to about chapter four, and so far the writing is wonderful, a complete joy.

This is not a review of Hemingway, this is a review of the publisher.

If you enjoy the physical presence of books as well as the words they contain, this edition is going to make you die inside just a little every time you look at it. It is a truly hideous thing, the publisher has even spelled the word available (availible) incorrectly on the back cover.
My recommendation is to look for a different edition. I have actually bought another one just so that I don't have to look at this one again.

Happy reading!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What had you done at 24?, 15 Jan 2010
One of the extraordinary things about this novel is that Hemingway was 24 when he wrote it. You'd think he was in his late 30's so well does he write about weariness and disillusionment. It helped no doubt that he'd already been an ambulance driver in WW1, a newspaper man and travelled throughout Europe.
Jake Barnes, the narrator, a journalist in '20's Paris, has been made impotent by a war injury. He cannot consummate his relationship with the promiscuous Lady Brett Ashley. He tries to dull the pain with drink and food. He keeps everything at an ironic distance - his preferred adjectives are, famously, 'fine' 'nice' 'good' and 'pleasant'. He struggles to remain disengaged - Hemingway's clipped, sparse prose reflects this whilst revealing the pain underneath.
His emotional opposite is Robert Cohn, a writer and college boxing champ who joins the ex-pat set. He is earnest and flowery, wants to collect 'experiences' and also falls in love with Brett.
The book moves from Paris to Spain as Jake and friends head for Pamplona and the fiesta. Cohn goes to San Sebastian with Brett. It means everything to him, but nothing to her. Jake and his friend Bill go fishing - and drinking - on the way. This episode functions as a idyllic lull before the physical and emotional violence of the fiesta.
Once in Pamplona, the novel moves various elements into place. The bullfighting reflects closely the manoeuvering and pain of the human protagonists. The strict code of the bullfighters reflects the lax and debauched attitudes of Jake and his set. The matadors' managers try to keep the two groups separate, but Brett falls for the youngest and most handsome matador. Jake, perhaps because he is in thrall to Brett, or just because he is willfully wants to inflict pain on himself, brokers an affair. Cohn finds out and beats up the matador - a display of excessive emotionalism that is seen as shameful.
The fiesta ends and the group go their separate ways, hungover, raw and more sick and weary than ever.
Jake's advocacy of a 'simple exchange of values' - you give a waiter a good tip, he gives you good service next time around - is now almost all he has to believe in.
Jake's pain is not over however. Brett's matador leaves her and she calls for Jake to come and offer succour. He does, of course, a sap til the end. At the the final meal he drinks heroic quantities of Rioja Alta and eats plates of suckling pig as if he wants to make himself explode.
The book leaves Brett and Jake together talking platitudes about the good life they could have had together. 'Wouldn't it be pretty to think so?' ask Jake, in one of the more devastating combinations of regret and cynicism.
Stylistically this book is groundbreaking. It set a standard of lean prose writing and understated expression that even now confuses people in its lack of 'feeling'.
The understanding of relationships and the complexity of human desires is profound.
The characterisation of a certain kind of man - angry, contained, detached, with no family, and addicted to machismo pursuits has almost become a stereotype. It is difficult to think of a 'man's novel' without it - Fleming, Camus, Mailer, Roth, le Carre all recycle him.
And all this from a 24 year old.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Space that Separates: The Two Sides of Conflict, 19 May 2004
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Why would anyone want to read a novel about unending drunken revels by emotional cripples who treat each other badly, never-ending love conflicts, getting excited by mayhem at the running of the bulls and during bull fights in Pamplona, and wasted lives? That's the question posed by this book.
The book will not draw too many readers for the subject matter. Why then does the book attract? Part of the appeal has to be the same reason that many people like horror films -- the relief you feel when you realize that your own life does not encounter such dangers can be profound.
Another reason to read this book is to understand the disillusionment of the American expatriates in Europe after World War I. The book is a period piece in this sense. Clearly, Hemingway is Jake and the book is undoubtedly very autobiographical. All first novels have that quality to some degree. Imagining how the author of The Old Man and the Sea started out as Jake was very interesting to me.
To me, however, the primary reason for reading this book is to encounter the remarkable structure that Hemingway built in his plot. He has created several different lenses through which we can explore the role of conflict and separation in our lives. Each lens turns out to be looking at the same object, and it is only by slowly focusing each of the lenses that we are able to see that object more clearly.
The central figure in the book is Brett, Lady Ashley, who enchants almost every man she meets, and who disengages from intimate relations with each one after permanently entangling him emotionally. That leaves a string of wounded suitors in her wake, including Jake. Things get tough when several of them join her and her fiance in Pamplona for the running of the bulls. The symmetry in the book becomes more obvious during a fishing trip that Jake takes without Brett. The fish are lured by artificial flies more successfully than with real worms. Brett's exotic appeal draws men in like flies, much more than the attractions of women who want to make an emotional commitment.
The symmetry becomes masterful when we reach the bull fights. Brett and the matador are inevitably attracted, for they are the same. They both play with their opponents (men and bulls) by flirting and using their capes, weaken the opponents in the engagement, and bring the opponents down (through sexual entrancement and slaughter). Hemingway makes this abundantly clear by repeatedly describing the bull's death as when the matador and the bull become one. One pet name for Brett is Circe, to help complete the picture.
The closer the matador comes to the bull's horns (or Brett to making a commitment), the better the sport for the spectators and the greater the self-esteem for the matador (and Brett).
I do not recall a novel that does such an excellent job of using multiple story lines to reinforce the book's main point, in this case that alienation transcends even closeness. Much as you will dislike some of the characters, the unnecessary racial and ethnic slurs, the savageness, and the emotional scenes, you will probably find the characters to ring true. You will also admire the misguided optimism and honest commitment of Jake as he fulfills his love for Brett by procuring men for her and then rescuing her when the next engagement is all over. Jake's love is that noble sacrifice that we all admire in lovers.
And that's the beautiful part of the book -- you will find nobility amid the ugliness. The contrast makes the nobility more beautiful.
When you are done reading the book, examine your own life and see where you draw back from closeness. Then, ask yourself why you do, and what it costs you and others. Next, consider what closeness can bring from continuing relationships.
Find beauty wherever you look!
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bitter-sweet tale of love, lust and lost opportunities, 28 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Set in the mid-1920s, the story deals with the 'lost generation' of American and British expatriates who have settled in Paris to live in a moral wasteland of drunkenness and promiscuity. Centering on the relationship between its narrator, Jake Barnes, an American journalist rendered sexually impotent by a wound suffered during World War I, and Lady Brett Ashley, the queen of the pleasure-seekers, it explores with great pathos the anguish and inadequacy of love when robbed of its physical expression, and of the latter in the absence of an emotional attachment. In true Hemingway style, drinking, fishing and the bull-fight provide the framework. Yet its crowning glory is perhaps the strength of Hemingway's vivid narrative technique which draws the reader into every scene, and induces an almost personal bond with each of the brilliantly crafted characters. Warmth literally permeates the novel, despite the various calamities of its principal actors, and those privileged to have experienced it shall surely be devouring Hemingway's works for years to come.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read The Book, Run With The Bulls, 24 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Thank God for Paris and Spain and Hemingway. Read this story. You'll forget you're reading. You see Jake. You see Cohn with his broken nose. You see Brett in that sweater and your heart breaks. You see Pedro and the bull fight.
The problem is the number of people that now make their living giving their opinions about this book. Don't get caught up with what your high school teacher said, or deconstructionist professor said, or literary know-it-all, could-have-wrote-it-better said. Don't get caught up with all the journals and theses and textbooks that say it is not as well planned as "Across The River And Through the Trees," or a good beginning point for a literary mind, or that real people or real events are incorporated into the plot. Don't wander around in the "lost generation" crap or expatriated American garbage, or the impotence and what Freud would say and the myriad of other things that make people spout off Epicurean/Stoic history or analogies to the nth degree. Don't get sidetracked by the yappers who want to tell you what to think. If the yappers force themselves on you, merely respond "Isn't it nice to think so." The ones who know better will understand and be embarrassed, the ones who just can't get it will keep on yapping.
Just read the story and run with the bulls.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A candid examination of the human condition, 27 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Many of the reviews I've read of The Sun Aslo Rises complain that it is lacking in plot. When reading Hemingway, it is more important to focus on the theme; why did Hemingway write this book? What is he trying to say? It seems to me that Hemingway is focusing on a basic range of emotions with the essence of the book being that poeple are so limited by what they consider appropriate in relationships. Jake and Brett can not have a romantic relationship due to Jake's injury however, they have all of the emotion and commitment necessary to have a successful union. Brett becomes physically intimate with several people in the novel, yet she is not emotionally intimate with any of them. Jake, on the other hand, is emotionally intimate with many characters including Bill, and the inn keeper in Pamplona although he can not enjoy physical intimacy. I believe that Hemingway is demonstrating the difficulties involved in forming complete and healthy relationships in life. Readers who appriciate this book understand that Hemingway's purpose is not to entertain, although he does so artfully, but to force an examination of our own lives. The closing scene in the novel just wrenches my heart as it would anyone's who has ever been close to having everything in life, but has just one impossible obsticle denying their dream.
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