Book Notes: "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also RisesThe Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As Hemingway's first novel, it is certainly beyond my comprehension how he could ever understand so much at the age of 27. I am reluctant to disclose too much for fear of spoilers, but the conclusion to the story is very real. The bullfighting is described in ways that make me want to see one, yet simultaneously I am appalled at the thought. Hemingway seems to have felt the same way. He also describes concussion in a way that can only be described by someone who has suffered several concussions. There are no lies in this work. I am becoming accustomed to the meandering first three-quarters of the typical Hemingway plot. It isn't hard work but it isn't gripping either. He seems to lull you into a comfortable sense of normalcy which doesn't end but the last quarter builds and builds to a climax in the last sentence that unfolds the final emotion. With the conclusion to "A Farewell to Arms" I burst into tears. With this novel I exclaimed, "That fucking sucks!" Hemingway's work is seriously brilliant while incredibly timeless. I am not sure whether it is simply cultural alignment or not, but the connection between the pedestrian and the nostalgic intertwined with the exotic European setting connects one's past to Hemingway's past to the power of two. He takes you to the place he has been and then where he is in the story. I am convinced this is the result of his technique of writing as the protagonist in the first person while excising, completely, the presence of the narrator. Brilliant stuff!

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