Top critical review
Possibly the worst book I have ever read all the way through
on 27 November 2015
I am at a loss to understand the praise this book has received. As you probably know, the book was not published during Hemingway's lifetime and I can understand why. It has been edited down to half it's original size, which may help explain its incoherence, but I would hate to have read the full manuscript. The basic "plot line" is promising: a menage a trois in (largely) the south of France during the 1920s, but the prose is appalling (I counted 10 "and"s in a single 6 line sentence: rules are made to be broken but this book demonstrates that they should sometimes be adhered to. Hemingway is also well known for his sparing use of adjectives and adverbs. This can be effective but those he does use here are bland and repetitive - several "lovely's, for example). The characters are unbelievable and dull, the supposedly daring sensuality is absent and it is frequently impossible to tell what is going on. This is not just my opinion: the whole reading group thought the same and agreed it was the worst book we have read. For Hemingway aficionados and masochists only.