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). :-)
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!