Right before I listened to this book, I listened to The Paris Wife which details Hemmingway's first wife and the era in which he wrote The Sun Also Rises. Seems he took much of the plot for The Sun Also Rises from his actual experiences although he left his wife out of this book completely.
Wiliam Hurt, the narrator capture's the machismo of the bullfighting and Hemmingway himself perfectly.
The narrator was excellent in this book. He made Hemingway truly come to life. Most of the story involved endless stretches of partying, which made it a little hard for me to stay focused, but overall this audiobook is just as good - if not better - than actually reading it. In some parts, Hemingway's short, swift, powerful brushstrokes of the European landscape, combined with the narrator's voice, simply takes your breath away.
Great way to read great books on the go. Love Sci Fi especially Orson Scott Card and Star Wars.
I would say that I enjoyed listening to this book. Hemmingway's way with words is always exceptional and it was good to read another of his famous works. However, I noticed many similarities between this and his work a moveable feast which took me out of the story a couple of times.
The stroy itself was an intersting look into real events and therefore was pretty good.
I really enjoyed the report of the fight. Hemmingway's courage to take what would be the climax for many authors and have it occur without the reader being directly involved. A courages and exciting choice.
I will defeinitely read more Hemmingway and will never go to a bull fight.
Mommy of Pookies
I listened to this and then A Paris Wife right after. Simply amazing experience for a Hemingway fan!! William Hurt is a a wonderful! If you want to experience Hemingway the right way, listen to this book! Skip the Old Man and the Sea and go for teh gusto of bull fighting!!
Excellent book, excellent story. Hemingway had me doing the dishes dreaming of Spain. Every flick of my tea-towel was imbued with the magic of the matador's cloak! Quite well read by William Hurt, but sometimes the 5 or 6 different accents get a bit much. A noble effort though, could benefit from a cast of readers to really keep your undivided attention on the characters.
I found absolutely nothing in this book that made me care about the characters or have any interest in what happens to them. I agree with one of the reviewers who observed that all they seem to do is "get a drink". All they seem to be doing is feeling sorry for themselves and how bored they are. I suppose some folks think this is important, insightful literature and it has been considered that over the years. To me, it's more like bad tasting medicine--something to be endured because it's supposed to be good for you. Fortunately, I'm old enough and secure enough now that I don't have to like something just because some self-styled intellectuals say what a wonderful and important work it is. I loved "A Farewell to Arms" and "For Whom The Bell Tolls" and looked forward to my daily commutes to and from work while listening to them. With this book, I often asked myself why I was even listening to it. As far as the narration was concerned, I found William Hurt's reading was pedantic, over-enunciated (at times he sounded like a grade-school child reading aloud with little expression), and dull. True, he did well with Michael's and Bill's dialog, but the rest was consistently uninteresting. I'm glad that I had "read" a number of other audiobooks before this one. Had this been the first, I might have never bought another and canceled my Audible membership at once!
On completion, all I will add to that written below is that I adored the ending. This IS my favorite book by Hemingway. Hemingway has illuminated friendship and love in a beautiful and also honest manner. Note, this is a love story, a wonderful love story that rings true. Nothing false here. If other authors could write love stories like this, romance would be my favorite genre.
Although fiction, the book is in fact written about real people and real events, and it has an autobiographical basis. Check out Wiki when you have completed the book; no peaking before! I found Jake very attractive. I will include just one quote from Wiki: "In the novel, Hemingway presents his notion that the "Lost Generation", considered to have been decadent, dissolute and irretrievably damaged by World War I, was resilient and strong." When you finish the book you have glimpsed French and Spanish life in the 20s. You feel you have yourself vacationed in both France and Spain. Need a vacation? Read this book. I absolutely loved it.
I am nearing the end, and I am absolutely loving this. Yes, even the bullfighting fiesta. It goes on for seven days - rockets and dancing and music and crowds. And yes of course drinking. To remove that would be absurd! Me,I am the one to faint in a crowd and have done so at a 4th of July parade, so this fiesta should not be my kind of thing, but here, in this book, you see why it is so loved by the Spanish people. You, the reader, are part of their festivities and understand and f-e-e-l their excitement. Back away two steps and your inhibitions rise up, but while reading Hemingway's lines you are there in the middle, and it is glorious and frightful all rolled together. Hemingway shows the horrors of it too, so the reader gets a rounded view. Not all Spaniards love bullfighting, even back then in the twenties.
And a word about how antisemitism is portrayed. Yes, one of the characters is a Jew, and yes he is disliked, but really it is not for his religious beliefs. It has nothing to do with that. This book is about friends and all the currents that lie underneath a friendship - jealously, competition, disgust, petty annoyances, sharing, camaraderie and caring. Be honest, friendship is NOT so simple. Much of the antisemitism is pure bluster.
William Hurt does a marvelous job with the narration, but it is not perfect. Tut, tut, tut, what do you mean, William? Shame on you! Not every line is perfect! (For clarity - I AM being sarcastic.) The French and American voices are perfect. I mean perfect! Dialogs between different friends succeed in that you know exactly who is speaking. Even if a female voice or the Scottish and German dialects could be improved, you still easily know who is who! And the pacing and strength of the lines describing scenery, the mountains, the fields, the color of the sky are wonderful too. Perfect narration? No. Good? Yes! And this book is not easy to narrate.
I have just begun, but I am sucking up the atmosphere of Paris in the 20s. All are plastered - that is, some Americans and French and Italians and Greeks. I am listening to a narration by the w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l William Hurt. There is no way I could imagine the lines spoken with all these different accents as well as Hurt narrates them. Sooo perfect, particularly the French and American, the others accents give an amusing contrast! The mood of that time and place, Paris and expatriates and booze and bars, 1924, is delightfully portrayed. I don't mind the macho lines at all. They make me laugh and giggle. Sooooooo Hemingway!!!! Good stuff.
And I am not a boozer, but this I enjoy. You can live vicariously through books ...... without yourself having a hangover the next day!
Please let my enjoyment continue.
I know this book contains misogyny, homophobia, and some antisemitism too, but a good author can handle difficult themes well. Oh yeah, yucky bullfighting too. We will see how I feel at the end.
I think this will be my favorite book by Hemingway!
I guess you had to be there, but I don't understand all the hoopla about Hemingway. Found the book rather boring - like Lady Brett - bored. Some say this is his best novel, but I don't see it. Not sure I liked Hurt as narrator - although he sounded bored like Jake and all the others.
Yes, hope I see the fascination.