I have never been a fan of Hemingway. The memory of plodding through The Old Man and the Sea at a tender age sets my teeth on edge. I find his terse start-stop telegram style of writing distracting and contrived.
This pseudo-memoir is certainly less tedious, and I did enjoy the profiles of Stein and Fitzgerald, and the occasional well-crafted image or random bit of snark, but came away luke-warm at best. Hemingway seems at his best when writing about others; the self-reflection feels false, egotistical and boring. “I wrote all day and it was good to write…I sipped my glass of Sancerre. It was cold and good.” Please. I needed a glass of Sancerre myself after this one.
A great book
I enjoyed hearing about what life was like in the 1920s Paris and the interactions Hemingway had with other famous writers.
The is the original, unchanged version of the book. The narration was wonderful and the book really sucks you in. Hemingway looks back, sometimes in regret, at the beginning of his literary career.