4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
beautiful and startlingly modern,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Garden of Eden (Paperback)
the only reason this novel doesn't get 5 stars from me is the abrupt "ending" of the novel in the last few pages. still, i wish there were half stars so i could give it 4 1/2.
hemingway tells the story of the subleties and complexities of human sexuality set across a vividly beautiful backdrop of europe. it's surprising that in this so-called "individualist" day and age, we still feel the need to stick labels onto everyone and everything. this novel is not about lesbians, or homosexuality, for neither Catherine nor her husband nor their lover could possibly be described by either of those words.
They were human, too complex for the categories we still put people into: not heterosexual, not homosexual. People, with varying degrees of desires and wants. Hemingway did a wonderful job of portraying this and the effects that these desires/wants had on the surrounding people. It is also about a descent into madness, about selfishness vs. self-destruction, about the games people play with their own and each other's emotions.
There are no stereotypes or cardboard cutouts here. Perhaps that is why some people find this novel not to their taste. It is not meant to be a comfortable read.
The only downside to the story is that the entire novel reads almost languidly along at a pace befitting the slow beautiful surroundings. But the end of the novel accelerates and then stops abruptly, jarring you back into the real world only to leave you asking, "and then what?" then again maybe that's what hemingway intended.
i would recommend this book to anyone except those that are so narrow-minded they can't get past the sexuality issue.
if anyone wants to discuss this or other hemingway books with me, feel free to send me an e-mail :)