A Moveable Feast is a poignant memoir written at the end of Hemingway's life, in which he remembers his first wife, and the innocent years of their marriage, with a fine wistfulness. His anecdotes profiling the famous artists and writers are written with his hallmark spareness which, even so, is imbued with wit and humor made all the more delightful for its brevity - conveying so much with so little. A key component to enjoying this audible book is the narrator. James Naughton is simply outstanding. His pace is relaxed, and the inflections and rhythms of his voice bring the words to life. He so perfectly interprets the author's words and purpose that - truly - one can believe they are listening to Hemingway himself. A book and a listening experience not to be missed.
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.