Although entertaining, as Hemingway mentions many famous writers and artists from the Left Bank of Paris during the time (Picasso, Stein & Toklas, Fitzgerald & Zelda, Harry & Caresse Crosby, etc.), one must question how much of this has been fabricated. There are a few places where Hemingway contradicts himself and makes others out to seem co-dependent (Fitzgerald and Stein, in particular). However, given all the drinking and partying going on during the time I've read about from other accounts (Man Ray, Colette, Anais Nin), this is probably as accurate as we're going to get. So, for what it is, it's entertaining and full of debauchery - excactly what you'd expect.
"One of the great personal stories of all time - the book that set the literary world on fire."
If you think you don't like Hemingway -- read this book. It will change your mind completely. Just beautiful.
"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable fest." - Ernest Hemingway to a friend, 1950.
Nuff said, for this is one of Hemingway's more "personal" books and a delightful look at Paris in the 1920's from the gifted write himself.
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 admid 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.