Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Favorites: The Sun Also Rises

On Fridays I post a little shout out to one of my favorite books and explain why I love it so much. It gives me the chance to fangirl over books I never reviewed on this blog and lets me post about some not necessarily YA books I love.

Which book?
The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway


Summary? (From GoodReads)
The Sun Also Rises was Ernest Hemingway's first big novel, and immediately established Hemingway as one of the great prose stylists, and one of the preeminent writers of his time. It is also the book that encapsulates the angst of the post-World War I generation, known as the Lost Generation. This poignantly beautiful story of a group of American and English expatriates in Paris on an excursion to Pamplona represents a dramatic step forward for Hemingway's evolving style. Featuring Left Bank Paris in the 1920s and brutally realistic descriptions of bullfighting in Spain, the story is about the flamboyant Lady Brett Ashley and the hapless Jake Barnes. In an age of moral bankrupcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illustions, this is the Lost Generation.

When did I first read it?
The summer after my freshman year of college

Why did I first read it?
I was working my way through the classics section of my local library and eventually made my way to this one.

What did I think about it then?
Hemingway’s writing style blew me away. He seriously ruined me for all other writers for, like, two years afterward. It’s so stark and beautiful and effective. Gah! I love it! I’d never read author with a style like that, so it was a revelation. Plus, I loved Jake, and I envied Lady Brett’s effortless awesomeness so much. I wasn’t necessarily a huge fan of the bull fighting, but I could overlook it. Basically, this book got me reading all of Hemingway’s other books, and then branching out to every other 1920s writer I could find.

What do I think about it now?
I’m still so in awe of Hemingway’s style. Even after all the books I’ve read, I’ve found very few whose style speaks to me like Hemingway’s. Which I don’t know why, because Hemingway’s so much of a man’s man, and I’m not typically big on that. Also, his books are all a little bit of a downer, which I also don’t usually go for, but in Hemingway’s case, I totally do. Anyway, I’m still a little in love with Jake, although that was ruined a bit when I helped my brother write an essay on the book and I realized that Jake’s kind of pathetic and really passive. But I still hold some lingering love in my heart for him. And due to Hemingway, the 1920s is still my favorite era of classic literature.

Have you read The Sun Also Rises or any other Hemingway book? What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. I read The Sun Also Rises my freshman year of college, too! I was so relieved when we got to the crisp prose (modern american lit is harrrdddd). What a nice feature for Fridays :-)


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