The direct prose of Hemingway always leaves a clean feeling throughout the narrative. The brilliance of the scenes comes from the simple phrasing rather than through the self congratulatory word choices of so many authors. Hemingway does not write through a Thesaurus filter, as so many contemporary authors choose to do.
I have read the book several times throughout my life, and never felt the dreariness which pervaded Hurt's narration. I always felt more life in the book. Perhaps Hurt's characterization of the drunken despondancy of the characters is more accurate to the mindset of Hemingway, I don't know. However, I could not get past the over-riding feeling that I needed a drink myself, just to get through the chapter. I like Hurt's film career very much, with my favorite film being Children of a Lesser God, however, I did not like this narration.
The book is a clean, precise example of Hemingway's work. Having taken the summer, and essentially relived the book's experience, it is gratifying to relive those places through this book once again, albeit in a more sober form. From Paris to San Sebastian to Pamplona and even ending in Madrid, the book pulls me through the memories quite well.
William Hurt having nothing to do with this would have made the experience tolerable.
For my next book, I will make sure William Hurt isn't anywhere near the microphone.
William Hurt's performance was so based in laziness that he couldn't even work up the effort to create a consistent accent for some of the characters. Whatever the opposite of tour de force is, that's what his reading is.
The book itself was impossible to absorb based on Hurt's lackluster performance. I hope they didn't pay him that much money to do this.
I want my money back!
German living in LA.
Intellectually I can process that Hemingway was a good writer yet it all seems a little dated and boring to me ...though, it might just be the stilted narration by William Hurt that I didn't care for. He seems so vain that he has to chop up and almost mispronounce things to add his touch.
I've listened to the story twice (have read it maybe a half dozen times over the years), and each time I get a bit more from it. Sometimes it is insight into the era, sometimes the characters, sometimes for its lessons on how to write. As time goes by and my perspective changes, so do the characters.
The story is more a collection of character studies--to me--then about any of the particular events related. Hemingway's ability to paint a detailed setting and then overlay the character's dialogue so that the two are utterly separate yet equally interesting makes the work worth the reread. That said, I find most of his work to most remind me of the Seinfeld series: stories about nothing, and everything.
Hurt's performance put me off at the start. Too staccato, I thought, and found it annoying. The various characters, though, were clearly defined by either accent or style, and I never once had to wonder who was speaking. Eventually, I accepted the staccato voice of the protagonist not as a shortcoming on Hurt's part, but rather, as the personality of the character.
Just like the antisemitism in the Merchant of Venice, and the racism in TKa Mockingbird, the oft-recurring thread of Jew-hatred in this story is hard to take, and listening to it evokes a stronger reaction than just reading the words on a page.
Absolutely! We've all read some Hemingway in the past - possibly while we were at school, but listening to one of his earliest books, now that we're older and wiser, brings a whole new dimension. I was inspired to reread this (or should I say listen) after reading The Paris Wife which is about Hemingway and Hadley during the period he wrote The Sun Also Rises. It was wonderful to make the connections between the real life friends and the marvelous characters in the book. I was addicted. I hated unplugging to recharge my iPod. Loved it!!
All the scenes in Paris. It's one of my favorite cities and this just made me wish I had been there in the 1920s.
Mr Hurt did an excellent job. His accents were very respectable but more importantly he has a wonderful cadence to his performance that really captures the pace of the time.
Definitely. I was quite sad as I realized we were nearing the end.
Yes I would listen again, the story was easy to understand if not relatable and since this is my first Hemmingway listen or read, I have no comparision. I was surprised to find his work mundane, but compelling enough to keep listening.
Yes, I would recommend this to others as the story was informative about various subjects and lifestyles of a bygone era.
I don't have a favorite, but the Scottish accent Hurt did for Mike was great!
This book did not have me on the edge of my seat, so I stopped and started as time allowed.
I was satisfied to have finally listened to the work of such an acclaimed author as Hemmingway,even if I was a little surprised at how mundane and simplistic his style seemed to me. I supposed nothing can take away from a great story, but if you prefer novels that are a little more wordy and challenging then you might want to pass on this one.
ITs a classic and now going to Pamplona is on my bucket list.
William Hurt was phenomenal. I can't imagine anyone else reading it better.
William Hurt does a super job on this classic text. His reading adds perfect tone and pitch bringing out the subtlety of Hemingway's characters and images. A super listen.
This is one of the best books I have ever listened to or have ever read. Each word is chiseled to perfection and true. Each word represents what the author was trying to say. I do not believe a single word could be changed without changing the direction of the story.
The narration by Mr. Hurt was so perfect that to put words on it is to dishonor it. It cannot be surpassed.
William Hurt was the PERFECT choice for narrating this old but still incredibly well written book. Enjoyed his reading of it very much.