NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A FAREWELL TO ARMS

by Ernest Hemingway



"A tale of the love between ambulance driver Lt. Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley during World War I. The action takes place in Italy and the two fall in love during the war and will stop at nothing to be together." -- From the CD container

I have never read Hemingway before, so out of the many there are to choose from, here is the reason I picked A Farewell To Arms as my first Ernest Hemingway book: Do you remember a movie called "The Evil Dead"? More to the point, do you remember its horror-comedy sequel, "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn"? I positively love that movie! It's so fabulously bad! There is a great scene when Bruce Campbell's character's own hand becomes possessed and tries to kill him. He cuts it off and traps it under a bucket, placing a pile of books on top of the bucket to hold it down. The book on the top of the pile? You got it: A Farewell To Arms. (Get it? Cut off hand? Farewell to arms? Ha!) It still makes me laugh when I think about it, and I've wanted to read the book ever since. Stupid reason, I know. But there it is. :-)

I also don't have an acceptable reason for continually being reminded of Catch-22 while I was listening to this. I think it was because the character of Rinaldi seemed like someone who would have been in that book. Maybe it was because the descriptions of war were similarly stark and matter-of-fact rather than verbose and emotional, which I think made them more compelling in both books. My understanding is that Hemingway's general style is very understated. There is no re-reading paragraphs trying to figure out what he meant. Not that there isn't deep meaning. The story is just presented very up-front, "just the facts, ma'am", almost like reading a man's diary, if he kept one. A refreshing change from the more flowery or difficult classic writers. Now I know who to turn to when I know I'll be TWR (Tired While Reading). :-)



11 comments:

Ladytink_534 said...

I have never even attempted to read Hemingway before depite the classics kick I was on a few years ago. I've never even seen the movies lol.

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ I've never seen the movies either. He's pretty easy to read, though, if you want to give his books a try! :-)

Lezlie

Andi said...

LOL, love that reason! It's like me reading Pride and Prejudice a few years ago because it took center stage in You've Got Mail. I like your story better, though. Those movies are hilarious.

As for Hemingway, I hated him for years after I read The Old Man and the Sea as a freshman in high school. However, I took another shot at him (as a result of another Meg Ryan movie...City of Angels) and read A Moveable Feast. LOOOOOVED A Moveable Feast, and I've read a few more since then. My favorite: his very short book of short stories, In Our Time.

Chain Reader said...

I was turned off by Hemingway in high school (I love flowery stuff that you have to reread), but I would like to try reading as an adult and see how I like it!

Kucki68 said...

Another more modern writer who has done a terrific job with war litereature is Pat Barker, try the triology that inlcudes Eye in the Door. They are WWI, rather than WWII. But I found them intense.

BooksPlease said...

I've never read Hemingway, but if it can be read when I'm tired it sounds just right for bedtime reading.

Lezlie said...

Andi ~ I was trying to decide where to go with Hemingway next, so I will keep those suggestions in mind. Thanks!

Chain Reader ~ I'm not totally sold on Hemingway yet, but I'll be reading much more before I make my final decision.

Kucki68 ~ Thanks for the recommendations! I will definitely check those out!

Books Please ~ Hemingway is better than Greene for sleepy reading. That's what I learned this week. :-)

Lezlie

Anna said...

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years collecting dust. I really should get to reading it! I actually bought it in high school for a book report, but ended up reading the Cliffs Notes instead. I was a bad girl! LOL

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Lezlie said...

Anna ~ I think we've all done that at some point. :-) It is a pretty good read though!

Lezlie

Amanda said...

I love Hemingway and need to read more of his books. My favorite so far is For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Lezlie said...

Amanda ~ Maybe I'll read that one next. Thanks for the recommendation!

Lezlie