Monday, March 1, 2010

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway, 1926

Hemingway is a master of the English language, and the dialogue he creates in The Sun Also Rises is enough to carry this book.

The story is split into three "books" and takes place in the 1920s. Each book focuses on a group of expatriate Americans in Europe. The main character and narrator is Jake Barnes, but the focal point of each book is Brett Ashley, whom Barnes, two of Barnes' friends and a bull fighter fall in love with.

The book doesn't really have a point, per se. And reading it, brings me back to college. Think of it as a story that follows a few guys looking to have a good time and that girl that always hangs out with the guys looking to have a good time.

Apparently, this was Hemingway's lament to lost optimism, following World War I. If that's the case, we still haven't regained that optimism. Or maybe we can't hold on to it.

Anyway, Barnes and a shifting cast party in France and Spain with the majority of the partying coming in the second book, which takes place in Spain during "the Fiesta" or the running of the bulls.

The other two books serve as the pre-party and post-party, respectively.

The Sun Also Rises has all the makings of a good party. Prostitutes, drinking, fighting, gambling, regret and even a death.

As Hemingway's first novel, it's good. But he gets better.
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