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The Sun Also Rises Paperback – Oct 17 2006
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The Sun Also Rises first appeared in 1926, and yet it's as fresh and clean and fine as it ever was, maybe finer. Hemingway's famously plain declarative sentences linger in the mind like poetry: "Brett was damned good-looking. She wore a slipover jersey sweater and a tweed skirt, and her hair was brushed back like a boy's. She started all that." His cast of thirtysomething dissolute expatriates--Brett and her drunken fiancé, Mike Campbell, the unhappy Princeton Jewish boxer Robert Cohn, the sardonic novelist Bill Gorton--are as familiar as the "cool crowd" we all once knew. No wonder this quintessential lost-generation novel has inspired several generations of imitators, in style as well as lifestyle.
Jake Barnes, Hemingway's narrator with a mysterious war wound that has left him sexually incapable, is the heart and soul of the book. Brett, the beautiful, doomed English woman he adores, provides the glamour of natural chic and sexual unattainability. Alcohol and post-World War I anomie fuel the plot: weary of drinking and dancing in Paris cafés, the expatriate gang decamps for the Spanish town of Pamplona for the "wonderful nightmare" of a week-long fiesta. Brett, with fiancé and ex-lover Cohn in tow, breaks hearts all around until she falls, briefly, for the handsome teenage bullfighter Pedro Romero. "My God! he's a lovely boy," she tells Jake. "And how I would love to see him get into those clothes. He must use a shoe-horn." Whereupon the party disbands.
But what's most shocking about the book is its lean, adjective-free style. The Sun Also Rises is Hemingway's masterpiece--one of them, anyway--and no matter how many times you've read it or how you feel about the manners and morals of the characters, you won't be able to resist its spell. This is a classic that really does live up to its reputation. --David Laskin --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Library Journal
The publisher is using these two perennial favorites to launch its new Scribner Paperback Fiction line. This edition of Paradise marks the 75th anniversary of the smash 1920 first novel that skyrocketed Fitzgerald to literary stardom at the ripe old age of 23. Several years later, The Sun (1926), Hemingway's own first novel, performed an identical service for him at age 26. The line will eventually include additional titles by these giants as well as works by Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, and other greats.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
In the early twentieth century moderns went about breaking the moral codes and taboos of that society for the sake of their art. This book is of that stripe. In the early twenty first century that seems mundane and unimaginative. Hemingway is known for his pared down or simple style of writing. He can provoke the imagination to picture the scenes and follow the dialogue with few words. That being said I did get lost while meeting the characters in the first part of the book. It is considered literature and a important book from the twentieth century.
I find Hemingway's approach is more typical of his macho testosterone obsession with everything. While sexual attraction and fulfillment (and some will say procreation) is the essence of relations between a man and a woman, wiser heads know that real love is found in the deeper relationships between personalities as well as the flesh.
Moreover, I think the so-called "lost generation" thing is overdone, as is the bullfight nonsense.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I like the subtly to this novel, about people on vacation and going back to everyday life, but reads like the characters have everyday lives, which they do not. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kyle Kay
Hated this book. Simply ghastly. Do not know how people get so worked up about Hemingway. Oh well, done is done.Published 24 days ago by Dennis Maione
Strange dialogues, strange relationships, a lot of drinking and just hanging around... I understood what it was all about when I read a critique online. The aftershock of war.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
A brilliant story about dissolute ex-pat Americans based in post/WW1 Paris who vacation in Pamplona and Burguette, Navarra, Spain.Published 7 months ago by Douglas Macdonald