I honestly didn't read any Hemingway until 20 year after I learned who he was (and that was mostly because of his super-model offspring). But after "Farewell to Arms" I quickly realized how this man drop-kicked a whole new level of intensity into literature.
But this work is nothing like the gut wrenching drama in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" or "The Son also Rises". This collection of memoirs reads more like short stories, and the short stories are even more fascinating because they're based on real people and events. Hemingway's view of the world is still pretty macho - but he's also struggling with money and not sure if he'll ever be a success at this point. He's also not sure if having to rub shoulders with these other soon to be iconoclastic characters is worth his while either. The frank and irreverant observations are even more fun considering our current celebrity obsessed culture.
So if you've thought Hemingway was too heavy for your taste, you still may really enjoy this book. If you enjoy reading first hand accounts of important literary figures, you'll love this book. And if you ever plan to go to Paris, you must hear this book!
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