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A Farewell to Arms

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  186,254 Ratings  ·  6,259 Reviews
Hemingway's classic novel of the First World War

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war,
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Audio CD, 8 pages
Published May 1st 2006 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1929)
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Popular Answered Questions

Andronikos Komnenos Personally I think forcing the reader to do *some work is a good thing... the whole "show don't tell" idea. Gene Wolfe does it: not actually "telling"…morePersonally I think forcing the reader to do *some work is a good thing... the whole "show don't tell" idea. Gene Wolfe does it: not actually "telling" the reader anything and assuming they know the dynamics of his world so they have to "discover" the setting... makes it much more interesting...

What I was referring to was Hemingway's sentence structure. Farewell to Arms is a great story... I just find myself running into walls because the terseness just defies all logic of writing... I have to read everything three times for it to makes sense. You appear to be a Hemingway fan: to be honest, I kind of envy you for the ability to get past his REALLY AWKWARD style to the meat beneath...(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Meg
Nov 18, 2008 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like awarding the great Hemingway only two stars has officially consigned me to the seventh circle of literary hell. But I must be honest. By this website's criteria two stars indicates that a book is "okay" - and to me that describes this work perfectly.

Hemingway himself is undeniably gifted. I love his succinct style (though at times it degenerates to downright caveman-speak), his honest diction and his wonderful sense of humor. That being said, he gets away with utterly ignoring most r
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Skylar Burris
Sep 11, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
The old joke proves itself upon reading.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A (Hemingway): To die. In the rain.

Jason Pettus
May 23, 2008 Jason Pettus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com:]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Book #17: A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway (1929)

The story in a nutshell:
Published in the late 1920s, right when Modernism was first starting to become a
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Riku Sayuj

War is Boring

Hemingway’s narrator writes not as a soldier but as a journalist-soldier, channeling Hemingway himself, recording with precision and apparent objectivity the things that happen around him and to him - practical and prosaic and always pragmatic about everything. People die and bombs explode in the same paragraph as the one where breakfast was considered with equal interest, and he takes it all in his stride.

As best as I can tell, the action of A Farewell to Arms takes place from 19
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Ben
I'm not a Hemingway guy. I yearn for internal dialogue, various and ladened spiritual questioning, and deep psychology in my characters. I prefer writing that is smooth and philosophical. Hemingway gives me little of this.

But the settings of this book were beautiful, and the dialogue between characters, poignant. By the end, I found that Hemingway had craftily fucked with me to the point of my complete immersion into the novel.

It made me cry.
Matt
Feb 20, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just finished it, and I'm disappointed. And not only disappointed; I'm also bothered by it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised at Hemingway's one-dimensional, sexist portrayal of Catherine Barker, having read much of his other work, but somehow I still am. Put simply, Catherine is a ridiculous figure, and it's no fault of her own. Hemingway gives her no opportunity to sound like anything more than a half-crazy, desperate, fawning caricature with no real desires or opinions of her own. How many t ...more
Afshar
Nov 21, 2015 Afshar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
این کتاب زاویه دید متفاوتی از جنگ را روایت میکنه
و البته باز قهرمان کتاب مردی است با شخصیتی خاص
افسری آمریکایی در ایتالیا و در بحبوبه جنگ درگیر عشق با پرستاری انگلیسی می شود

صحنه جنگی هم در کتاب کم نیست و همچنین نشان دادن واقعیت جنگ
سربازان و سرگردانی که دنبال فرصتی اند که از جنگ فرار کنند یا مرخصی بگیرند
حتی بخودشون ضربه میزنند تا در بیمارستان بستری بشوند

عشق زیبای فردریک هنری و کاترین بارکلی نقطه اوج داستان بود.این قسمت رو همینگوی عالی در آورده بود و سرشار از احساس بود
ولی از صحنه جنگ و تشریحش اصلا
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Becky
Once, there was a time when I would have struggled through this one, convinced that since it was a "classic", there must be some redeeming quality to it. I'd have struggled to the bitter end, hating it more and more, and I'd have been disappointed by it even if there was something worthwhile at the end. Because getting there was tedious, boring, painful, and annoying.

This book has a lot of very varied reviews and opinions. Lots of people loved it, lots of people hated it. I can see why. It's a
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Henry Avila
Oct 16, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An American studying architecture in Rome, Frederick Henry, is transformed into a Lt. in the Italian Army, when World War I starts. He volunteers even though America doesn't enter , the Great War, for another 3 years ! Why? He probably can't say, himself , but young men want excitement in their dull lives. He joins the ambulance corps on the northern front , in charge of four drivers , and a few motorcars, picking up the badly wounded soldiers, when feasible, the dead are carried outside the veh ...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 14, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Shelves: 1001-core
My second book by Ernest Hemingway. I liked this so much that I cried while finally closing the book.

It must be the way Hemingway used his magic: the vivid descriptions of his locale. The war torn Italian picturesque villa and the use of rain as metaphor for hardship. The ying-yang kind of story: the "man's man" virile American Tenente and the whimsical English-woman Catherine. The contrast between these two lovers is so opposite that's akin to the sun and moon that sometimes exist together in a
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Siria
Oct 07, 2008 Siria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've never read any Hemingway, so I thought to myself, 'Self, that is probably something you should remedy.' And now there are a couple of hours of my life that I will never get back. The macho posturing, the awful dialogue (if it were possible to have excised every word he put into the mouth of Catherine, I would have done so), the misogyny, the sometimes bizarre interactions between people... whatever the hell he was trying to do, for me it read as if everyone was either: 1) Certifiably insane ...more
emily
Nov 18, 2007 emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in high school. Maybe because I was young, maybe because it was summer reading, or maybe because I read it immediately following The Invisible Man (intense!), I more or less just slid through the book, enjoying the love story and not dwelling long enough in the war episodes to feel much of anything.

The second time I read it, I didn't make it past the time in Milan. I couldn't settle into the prose and, more importantly, I couldn't handle Catherine: "I'll say just what you
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Jonathan Ashleigh
Ernest Hemingway takes a lame story, and then he tells it in a boring way.
Andrei Tamaş
May 16, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Adio, arme!" este povestea autorului însuşi care, trimis ca "voluntar" pe frontul din Italia (Primul Razboi Mondial), se îndrăgosteşte de o asistentă a Crucii Roşii. Patosul cu care este descrisă iubirea în cea de-a două parte a romanului şi tragicul final al acestuia (care l-a făcut pe Hemingway să se retragă în singurătate) reprezintă o experienţă profundă, o experienţă a cărei urmare a fost încolţirea nimbului artistic.
Stilul lui Hemingway este succint şi arareori are fragmente în care să d
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Michael
(Spoilers ahead.)

THE DOUBLE DATE

Dramatis Personae:

Henry, protagonist of A Farewell to Arms, ex-soldier.
Catherine, wife of Henry, an ex-nurse for wounded soldiers.

Michael, book "reviewer," handsome and devilish rogue.
Joy, Michael's wife. She'll cut a bitch.
The Waiter, self-explanatory.
Distressed Customer #1, Only has one line.
Dying Man, just proposed to his girlfriend.
Dying Man's Fiance, happy, but frightened her dude will croak before they tie the knot.
Harold Bloom, asshole.


SCENE 1: The Date


Cat
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Warwick
In the fall of that year we rented a house in the mountains that looked down across the river to the village below. The water of the river was turquoise and the village had a pretty campanile and beyond it rose more mountains and beyond them still more. The man who owned our cottage lived next door and made his own dry cured sausage and we would go round and eat it by the fire and talk about how fine the sausage tasted. On the hills all around there were deer, and in the evenings we would sit on ...more
Matt
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Farewell to Arms sort of gives you the inkling that Hemingway's death will probably involve a shotgun.

It's just that sad. Front to back, this is one of the more mournful novels I've read. It's about Henry, an ambulance driver in World War I. He is wounded and falls in love with Catherine, a nurse. They exchange odd banter. They fall in love in love during a summer in Milan (but who wouldn't?). He knocks Catherine up, then returns to the front. Unfortunately for him, he is fighting with Italia
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Mary
Oct 08, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2015
I finally read something more from Hemingway besides the damn fish book! For some reason I was prepared to be bored and/or annoyed, but other than some corny period dialogue and a doormat leading lady, I found this to be cynical, suspenseful and poignant. As in war, there can be no happy endings in life, and the catastrophic fall that I felt was coming for these people from very early in the novel came fast and hard and it got to me. In the end I felt as gutted as the aftermath of a battle.

That
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Rebecca
Feb 13, 2009 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Observational tragedy. Bloke falls for sub-moron during war. *petitions friendly bombs*
Hemmingway absolves language of beauty. And then the world.
His intent was to expose war's mundanity. His method rendered art menial.
*sarcastic applause*



Madeline
Apr 08, 2014 Madeline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-list
"British ambulance drivers were killed sometimes. Well, I knew I would not be killed. Not in this war. It did not have anything to do with me. It seemed no more dangerous to me myself than war in the movies. I wished to God it was over though."

Frederic Henry (who, for all intents and purposes is Ernest Hemingway) is a volunteer in the Italian Army in World War I. He's wounded in battle and has to spend time recuperating in a hospital after his leg is operated on, and while there he falls in love
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Yani
Jan 28, 2016 Yani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-challenge
2016 Reading Challenge: #30 Un libro con portada de color azul

Cuando los individuos se enfrentan con el mundo con tanto valor, el mundo sólo los puede vencer matándolos. Y, naturalmente, los mata.

Ojalá pudiera decir que me encantó y que fue una gran experiencia leer a Hemingway, pero por ahora esa declaración quedará pendiente para algún otro libro de él. No arrojé a Adiós a las armas por la ventana a lo Bradley Cooper (escena que, dicho sea de paso, muestra una relación muy sincera entr
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Kim
Aug 04, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it

The way I listened to the audiobook version of this novel narrated by John Slattery didn’t do it justice. Being on holidays, away from home and my usual commuting and exercising habits, I listened in short grabs, either just before going to sleep or when I woke up in the early hours of the morning and wanted to get back to sleep again. I had to re-listen to bits I'd missed by dozing off, which does not make for a smooth and cohesive literary experience. In addition, it’s a reasonably short book,
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VictoriaNickers
I should have been reading this novel in a high back chair in some hunting chalet near the roaring fire with a single malt whiskey on ice. The testosterone almost jumped off the page. While I was read, I kept thinking to myself 'this is how men think, isn't it? Is this how men think?' Who needs all those self-help relationship books when you can just read Hemingway.

The story is about World War I, and love in the time of war, and then there was a lot of war. But Thank God! Because, even though n
...more
Szplug
Mar 21, 2011 Szplug rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There really is much to enjoy in Hemingway's contribution to the relatively meagre shelf of First World War literature: the intriguing depiction of the effects and culture of war in the little-known Italian theatre; the dread conveyed when the stalemated Austrian forces are augmented by the mighty Germans; the stunningly depicted retreat across the Po plain, culminating in the bridge crossing where officers are being separated from the fleeing, crowding mass of soldiers to be lined up and shot; ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
This is obviously a brilliant book, because [almost] all of my smart friends say it is. The cover says it is the best novel to come out of WWI. And it's Hemingway, a classic, the Nobel, the understatement, the raw power passion drama horror.

But guess what: I only barely glimpsed the horrors of war, and I didn't buy the love story at all. I don't know if people really talk that way to each other, or ever did, but if so - well, yeccchhh. He lost me at book four, with (view spoiler)
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João Fernandes
Sep 01, 2015 João Fernandes rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nobel, war
"The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave but one?"
"Who said it? (...) He was probably a coward. He knew a great deal about cowards but nothing about being brave. The brave does perhaps two thousand deaths if he's intelligent. He simply doesn't mention them."


I made the singularly bad mistake of reading this book immediately after I read All Quiet on the Western Front, and if I hadn't this 3.5 stars rating might be higher.

I was so excited to read a Hemingway novel for the first time, I jump
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Samadrita
Literary activism begets such gems like A Farewell To Arms. Somebody who had experienced war first-hand writes about why exactly there shouldn't be any wars in the first place. Touched by the honesty and the elegant nonchalance with which he has depicted some of the brutalities of war, the world has handed him the Nobel Prize for Literature and forgotten all about the message that the writer had intended to convey. And that is why wars still keep breaking out and will continue to do so.
One of th
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Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder
Catching up With Classics February 2016 "New School" BOTM

Classic bingo N1: Classic of the Americas

Update February 25, 2016

I did manage to finish this. I still don't like it and I don't like Ernest Hemingway either.



CNF February 17, 2016 @ 18%.

I just couldn't get into this.

This was my first attempt at a read of this author. I'm not sure if the reason it's not working is due to my mood or Ernest Hemingway.

I just don't feel like persevering with a 300+ page book that I am struggling to connect with
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Franco  Santos
Feb 14, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es el primer libro que leo de Hemingway y me gustó mucho. Me encantó su prosa y, algo que me llamó mucho la atención, lo heterogéneo de su estilo de escritura. El autor escribe páginas y páginas de puro diálogo, pero de un momento a otro nos da carillas repletas de narrativa.

La historia me atrajo desde la primera oración que leí. Es muy rápida, amena y fluida; para que se den una idea, esta novela me la terminé en un día.

Ya sé que la noche no es parecida al día, que las cosas ocurren de otra m
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Megan
Apr 30, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, classics
It's high time I created a shelf entitled, "Appealed to teenage Megan, but my adult self simply isn't feeling the lurve" Not that I didn't lurve A Farewell to Arms this third (or is it fourth?) time reading it. It is just that, as a younger person, this book was so profound. So tragic and romantic and meaningful.

My impressions as an adult? Hemingway creates an interesting character in Henry, an American driving an ambulance for the Italians in WWI. Henry is a man's man. (Aren't all of Hemingway
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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec ...more
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“Maybe...you'll fall in love with me all over again."
"Hell," I said, "I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?"
"Yes. I want to ruin you."
"Good," I said. "That's what I want too.”
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“All thinking men are atheists.” 2065 likes
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