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A Moveable Feast Hardcover – Special Edition, Oct 1 1996

4.6 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Classic edition (Oct. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684833638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684833637
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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In the preface to A Moveable Feast, Hemingway remarks casually that "if the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction"--and, indeed, fact or fiction, it doesn't matter, for his slim memoir of Paris in the 1920s is as enchanting as anything made up and has become the stuff of legend. Paris in the '20s! Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, lived happily on $5 a day and still had money for drinks at the Closerie des Lilas, skiing in the Alps, and fishing trips to Spain. On every corner and at every café table, there were the most extraordinary people living wonderful lives and telling fantastic stories. Gertrude Stein invited Hemingway to come every afternoon and sip "fragrant, colorless alcohols" and chat admit her great pictures. He taught Ezra Pound how to box, gossiped with James Joyce, caroused with the fatally insecure Scott Fitzgerald (the acid portraits of him and his wife, Zelda, are notorious). Meanwhile, Hemingway invented a new way of writing based on this simple premise: "All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know."

Hemingway beautifully captures the fragile magic of a special time and place, and he manages to be nostalgic without hitting any false notes of sentimentality. "This is how Paris was in the early days when we were very poor and very happy," he concludes. Originally published in 1964, three years after his suicide, A Moveable Feast was the first of his posthumous books and remains the best. --David Laskin --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"The first thing to say about the 'restored' edition so ably and attractively produced by Patrick and Sean Hemingway is that it does live up to its billing . . . well worth having."--Christopher Hitchens, "The Atlantic"

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Top Customer Reviews

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Hemingway in Paris before The Sun Also Rises brought him celebrity up to the beginning of the end of his first marriage. The tone is gentler than most Hemingway books. He was young and in love with his wife Hadley, he was writing his first stories in cafes, he was surrounded by other writers, F. Scott Fitzgerald fresh from his triumph with The Great Gatsby, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, among others. I first read this book when it was released in the mid 1960's and advertised as the first of his posthumous works; it was so different from the usual Hemingway material. His adventures/misadventures include skiing trips with Hadley, the loss of his early manuscripts by Hadley, a motor trip with Fitzgerald, collecting funds for an English writer apparently trapped as a banker, Ford Madox Ford discoursing on various other writers, part of a disturbing conversation overheard including Gertrude Stein, and visiting Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare and Company. This is a different Hemingway and very enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover
This is my 100th review and when I realized I was approaching number 100, I puzzled over what book to make my list as my 100th review. Hemingway immediately came to mind, but then the question was, which one? I finally decided on this, which may well be my favorite Hemingway work.
Even though it was published posthumously, this book does not reek of other hands having been all over it as have some other posthumous Hemingway publications. It has been questioned as to how much of this book is fact and how much fiction. Even Hemingway raised the issue at the beginning of the book. It doesn't really matter. In this book Hemingway is recollecting events that occurred over roughly a five year period which were over thirty years past when he started on the book. So, no doubt of it may well be fiction, given the passage of time.
But the book is monumental in that it is perhaps the quietest and most elegant of Hemingway's books. It is broken into chapters that recount various episodes in his life during that period he dwelled largely in Paris. It is sometimes funny, occasionally sad, but always intriguing. As I write this, I'm slowly convincing myself that it is my favorite work by him.
We are introduced to Hemingway's circle of friends and acquaintances from that period: Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Ford Madox Ford, and the always interesting F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. It's amazing how many other literary figures Hemingway came in contact with during his life and he gives interesting tales of all of them.
Even if you normally dislike Hemingway, I truly believe you will love reading this memoir. A true literary triumph and recounting of a time like none we will ever see again.
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By D Glover TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 12 2010
Format: Paperback
I appreciated this memoir of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley and their son Bumby, as they experienced Paris (and the occasional excursion to Austria and Spain) in the late 20s. In typical Hemingway fashion, he can make you feel as though you are right there in Paris, seeing what he saw, all the while describing it with sparse and plain prose.

There are many honest and unflattering sketches of other ex-pats Hemingway either knew or befriended whilst there, including Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others, and a shining description of the goodness Hemingway attributed to Ezra Pound.

This seems like the best time in Hemingway's life, when he and his truest love were poor and happy and in love, and they shared their little lives with their young son. But it ends with foreboding and tragedy, when Hemingway regretfully and painfully describes the lead up to his love affair with what was to become his second wife, and looking back, wishes the thing that he and Hadley had in Paris could have lasted forever. It could have, Hem.

For this reader, knowing already what was to come, even the joys of Paris Hemingway describes are flavoured with melancholy. While I can appreciate this work, it would be a stretch to say I really enjoyed it to any great extent. However, anyone with an ounce of imagination can learn a good deal about Paris in the years between the wars, and anyone with an ounce of humility can glean a good deal from Hemingway's character strengths and weaknesses.
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Format: Paperback
Honestly, I am recommending this book solely on the last three or four chapters where he talks about the Fitzgeralds. In those pages, Scott Fitzgerald comes to life and is held immortal in its print. The rest of the book is interesting and held my attention even though I don't know who everyone is that he talks about. I recognize their names though - Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound - and believe those parts would have been a lot more enjoyable if I had already read their work. One thing at a time ... I'll get to them eventually. It would also help to be familiar with the layout of Paris for he describes his the routes of his walks in detail.
It strikes me, though I am not a writer, that this book should be read by anyone who aims to write. He describes the "writing process" and talks about what worked for him and what didn't. More importantly, he talked about being hungry as a new writer ... words of encouragement no doubt when those to follow his footsteps and wonder if hunger is the precursor to failure.
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