I've never understood why this book rates any praise, it is among the worst books I have ever read. Maybe Hemingway is an acquired taste, but I find his writing just drunken, depressing rambling. There are far too many wonderful books to waste that kind of time in my opinion.
I'm not particularly fond of Hemingway's stark prose and "tip of the iceberg" writing style, but this book was fascinating to think about afterwards, when I had to write an essay. Interesting though totally unlikeable characters and some very memorable lines.
Man those people drank a lot. I got dehydrated just reading about it.
If you like Hemingway because of the way he's able to use short words over and over and they hit you like it's the first time you've ever really heard them, you'll love this book. If you like Hemingway because of manly men doing things where you're like, "I'm a man, or at least I've observed them at close range, and I don't get why the correct man reaction to ________ (insult/woman's inscrutable comment/witness of horrific action/light fog) is _________ (fighting and winning/fighting and losing/fighting and drinking with the guy you just fought with/saying something random but confident and the woman seems to believe you and swim in your words). I don't understand why these are correct man responses, but I can see that they are, and I don't measure up," you'll also like this book.
If you like Hemingway because everybody you like dies, and so does everyone you hate, and aw hell, the bellhop and the waiter die too, this might not be the Hemingway for you.
All this book is is a group of "lost" friends drinking at bars around Paris and Spain... Oh and going to bull fights. It's not good. Yes, I know all the symbolism behind it (which isn't really very decent or innovative anyway) and it is still not impressive. I will never understand why this book is an "American Classic".
The book is a slow start as a vast slew of characters are intorduced to the reader and you try to get a grasp on just what exactly they are doing or where this book is going. But once they get to Spain and you start to figure these characters out (they are characters) you hate to see the party break-up at the end.
There were many levels of boring in this classic novel. No doubt about it. I wanted to enjoy this but the characters, while fleshed out, were just not my cup of tea. Certainly no one I would actually enjoy in real life. 2 stars because it's well written.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I mean it is suppose to be one of his great ones, right? But I got half way through and I could not justify one more minute of my time in reading this book. I kept asking myself what is this book about? (Maybe, empty meaningless lives) What is this book trying to say? (That these people have empty meaningless lives and therefore can not even carry on an interesting conversation)Does this book have any value? (I ceretainly couldn't find it)
Maybe the book gets better,but for the 50% that I read the only thing that happened was several people did nothing but drink and drink and drink and drink some more. The men commented on the "beauty" of the women; to a point where it was nauseating. On one page the same man commented on how good looking one woman was five separate times. The book has zero depth. It contains nothing except bar hoping scenes and superficial conversation about what people were drinking and potential travel destinations. But they never even discuss "why" Paris is "good" or South America might be interesting. This is perhaps the most boring, empty book I have ever attempted to read.
In high school, I hated Hemingway because I felt he pontificated too much. THen I read Moeveable Feast and felt I finally understood his great talent afterall. This book sucked. It was like Old Man in the Sea, full of self-absorbed dribble that only an insecure man would be interested in.