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CompleteMartialArts.com - The Sun Also Rises

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Manufacturer: Scribner
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Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780743297332
ISBN: 0743297334
Label: Scribner
Manufacturer: Scribner
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 256
Publication Date: 2006-10-17
Publisher: Scribner
Studio: Scribner

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Editorial Reviews:

The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: The sun went up. We had a drink. The sun went down. We had another.
Comment: It's difficult to review a writer like Hemingway. So often imitated, so often parodied, he practically reads like a parody of himself. One must constantly keep in mind that this guy was the original, that his distinctive style and unmoored narrative were something unique back in the day.

To talk around things too big to say--that's another Hemingway hallmark, and in *The Sun Also Rises* the thing too big to say is World War I and the devastating effect it had on its survivors, in this instance, the characters in this novel. The war is alluded to so obliquely that its importance in fully understanding this book may elude altogether those unfamiliar with the psychic cataclysm it caused in society after 1918. At the time, Hemingway didn't need to talk about the war directly; his readers would have recognized its presence in the shell-shocked attitude of his characters immediately. Hemingway's people advance through a series of alcohol-fueled encounters with each other, speaking elliptically, insulting, apologizing, coming to blows even--it's all one unending bender punctuated by fishing and bull-fights.

Jake, wounded in the war, has been rendered impotent--a kind of walking joke and metaphor that's none too funny. Brett is an alcoholic nymphomaniac who may ((or may not)) be driven to self-destructive excess by the inability to consummate her love for Jake. In effect, Jake is the wise, passive, philosophical eunuch at the center of this expatriate circle of friends. He is the mediating buffer between Brett's lovers, keeping the party going, as it were, defusing the potentially explosive passions around him when they don't simply fizzle out from sheer exhaustion.

By the end of the novel, carried along by the precision of Hemingway's prose, caught up in the ennui-inducing cadences you tend to forget the imitations and parodies that have all but rendered his style a hardboiled cliché. Perhaps it'll take a long while still before Hemingway can be "rediscovered" and fully appreciated again for the master that he is. But even now the boredom, futility, and impotent despair that weighs so heavily upon the characters of *The Sun Also Rises* can be felt today; indeed it's still an enormous part of our psychic landscape nearly a hundred years later.

If its not there already, this is a book to put on your short-list of must-read 20th century literary novels.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: A story about immoral alcoholics
Comment: My main beef with this book was that no one was likable AT ALL. They were all a bunch of morally-bankrupt, selfish and snobby rich Americans who trot all over Europe satisfying their whims and drinking themselves into oblivion, all while imposing their disgusting lives on other people.(Autobiographical?) If you took out every reference to how drunk these people got, this would be a 50-page novella. You might say, "That's what Hemingway was trying to portray". OK, in that sense this was a powerful book because the characters' pathetic lives were so vividly impressed upon my mind. Perhaps. However, I could never recommend this novel for the very subject matter and tone of the novel. Hemingway's writing is, simply put, bizarre. He translates Spanish syntax anad phrasing into English, which results in awkward-sounding phrases and his descriptive abilities are marginal. I would pass on this one.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Bordering on self-parody
Comment: It's not a bad book. It is a tale of the "lost generation," the bitter, aimless men who saw the world end in WWI, but survived it. Having seen the end as young men, they seemed to live the remainder of their lives mourning the lost adrenaline rush, and seeking a way to find it again, such as bullfighting, or at least witnessing bullfighting, and glorifying the life "lived all the way up."

But Hemingway's vaunted writing style is almost ridiculous in its "manly" terseness, eschewing most adjectives and adverbs, and reading as if he had a court reporter in his head, transcribing whatever his eyes took in: "We passed through a town and stopped in front of the posada, and the driver took on several packages. Then we started on again, and outside the town the road commenced to mount. We were going through farming country with rocky hills that sloped down into the fields. The grain-fields went up the hillsides. Now as we went higher there was a wind blowing the grain." (That's in Chapter 11. It goes on, but there is no real purpose to it, so I will spare you.)

Then there's my favorite passage, from Chapter 12: "The girl came in with the coffee and buttered toast. Or, rather, it was bread toasted and buttered." Yeah, Ernie, I wasn't feeling quite comfortable with that damned adjective either. "What does he mean by 'buttered toast?'" I asked myself. But then you told me, in your simple declarative style, just exactly what "buttered toast" meant. Thanks for clearing that up.

I'll give him a break, because it is a hell of a novel for a 26-year-old to write, but I wish he had gotten over the machismo thing in his writing before he died. Since he didn't, I'll still take Steinbeck as my favorite American author.

By the way, if the characters in this book truly drank as much as Hemingway said they did, fictional livers must be made of sterner stuff than real ones.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Rewards the Patient Reader
Comment: THE SUN ALSO RISES becomes airborne only after Hemingway establishes two characters. These are: Romero, the matador, who brings both excellence and integrity to his work; and Robert Cohn, a romantic who is in love with the alcoholic Lady Brett. When the powerful aspirations of these characters emerge in TSAR, the shallowness, emptiness, and cruelty of other characters--Jake Barnes, Bill Gorton, and Mike Campbell--finally comes into focus. Thereafter, TSAR is fabulous.

But before these values are established, Hemingway seems only to be telling a story about the superficial sociability of thirty-somethings in the 1920's. These characters drink too much and are incapable of love, sometimes due to their wounding experiences in World War I. Their lives are mostly alcoholic busyness and Hemingway captures their tedious gaiety to perfection. But without the foils of excellence and idealism, these characters and their behavior seem merely dull, boyish, and humorless. Further, they are relentlessly anti-Semitic, which this reader experienced as a brainless reaction to the unrewarding and trivial content of their days and nights. (If something is wrong, blame Robert Cohn.)

Stylistically, TSAR is uneven. Frequently, Hemingway uses a technique of following observations in strict temporal sequence. This works wonderfully when, say, Jake is praying in church and his mind moves, without much control, from one subject to the next. But this technique works less well when Hemingway describes the countryside, which is often. His style is: I saw this. Then I saw that. Next came this. The effect is that the writing doesn't attain focus. Here's one of many examples, this one from Chapter 10:

"We came down out of the mountains and through an oak forest, and there were white cattle grazing in the forest. Down below there were grassy plains and clear streams, and then we crossed a stream and went through a gloomy village, and started to climb again. We climbed up and up and crossed another high Col and turned along it, and the road ran down to the right, and we saw a whole new range of mountains...."

See what I mean? This is just a list, with Hemingway not bothering to pull what Jake sees into a single memorable and evolving image. I know: The professors say this is deliberate, with the imaginative reader knowing how this terse prose fits together visually. But aren't skilled authors supposed to do this work for their readers?

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: The novel that made me love Hemingway
Comment: Hemingway wrote like a man that knew he was going to be big. I absolutely enjoyed this novel cover to cover. Typically, I try to avoid 20th century American Literature (I read more British literature) but I tip my hat to Mr. Hemingway after reading this novel.

I have read that because this is his first novel there were multiple "flaws" throughout the novel. This may be true but in all honesty, as a struggling writer myself, I became enamored with the "lost generation" story as it unfolded. As the main synopsis indicates this is primarily a story about expatriates returned from the war and not knowing what to do with themselves. This is a story about loss. This is a story about addiction. This is a story about finding yourself in a torn apart society.

There are two beautifully written scenes. The first is a scene out in nature (Spanish wilderness) with the typical Hemingway fishing scene between two men that provides the most truthful dialogue of the entire novel. Since they are away from civilization the men are also somewhat free from the boxed-in feeling they felt in society. Absolutely beautifully written. Hemingway really knows how to tap into the human psyche.

The other scene takes place during the bullfighting season in Spain. Lady Ashley is like the bull with all the rest of the men around her as the steers. She becomes enamored with a spanish bullfighter and essentially leaves the other men she was somewhat dating for him. The scenes are well described and full of powerful emotions Hemingway is so good at describing.

All in all, what a fantastic novel. I gave this to my army boyfriend who absolutely loved it as well. It speaks volumes about the generation we are living in right now. Is generation X/Y a lost generation as well? Are we too inundated with problems that we cannot move forward as a society? READ IT. You will love it.

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