The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

(No Series)

Paris in the twenties: Pernod, parties and expatriate Americans, loose-living on money from home. Paris in the twenties: Pernod, parties and expatriate Americans, loose-living on money from home. Jake is wildly in love with Brett Ashley, aristocratic and irresistibly beautiful, with an abandoned, sensuous nature that she cannot change. When the couple drift to Spain to the dazzle of the fiesta and the heady atmosphere of the Bullfight, their affair is strained by new passions, new jealousies, and Jake must finally learn that he will never possess the woman that he loves.

“I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.”

Some classics speak to a reader, others don't. I wanted to like this one more than I did, and at first I figured I would for it started well. While I initially dug Hemingway's writing style, as the story droned on almost pointlessly, it lost its finesse. It doesn't help that the events seem stacked together with no real sense of flow or purpose, which ironically is likely the purpose of the story.

It's a look at the characters regressive lives, their interactions with each other while they exist in their situations. They go from different bars and restaurants to drink and speak of little, random things, shifting aimlessly. They do fish awhile, and finally bullfights (which I hate on moral principle). The bar hopping is almost continuous as they make sure to numb their existences through alcohol.

I don't see anything admirable about Brett - why so many are attracted to her I don't know. All the characters have a sense of emptiness in their lives that they can't feel, I sense this as the main theme, but it wasn't interesting for me.

I'm clueless why this one is so highly enjoyed, but I guess we all run into books like that from time to time. It's said that Hemingway did well in capturing the Lost Generation's lives and all that, but perhaps I'm too ignorant of the history and the system of that time to fully appreciate it, or else I just grew too bored too often to care much.

   Book Quotes:

“Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.” 

“You're not a moron. You're only a case of arrested development.” 

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