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A Farewell to Arms

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  160,299 ratings  ·  5,294 reviews
In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the 'war to end all wars'. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experience came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer, and the men and women he meets in Italy, with ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published January 1st 1969 by Charles Scribner's Sons (NY) (first published 1929)
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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

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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
Skylar Burris
The old joke proves itself upon reading.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

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

Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. 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
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
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.
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
Henry Avila
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
(Spoilers ahead.)


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

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
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
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
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
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*

"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
در جنگ همه می میرند
شاید این حرفی باشه که ارنست همینگوی قصد داشت با نوشتن این داستان بگه
هرکسی به گونه ای میمیره
یکی از گلوله تفنگ یا توپ
یکی از سفلیس
یکی سر زایمان
همه شان هم سرباز نیستند
جنگ همه رو میکشه
کسی از جنگ لذت نمیبره حتی سربازها و فرمانده ها
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 افسر آمریکایی و کاترین بارکلی پرستار زیبای انگلیسی نقطه اوج داستان است
گفتگو های آنها پر از لطافت عشق و سر

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,
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)
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
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
Lord help me but I just can't get into Hemingway. I tried three times before (A Moveable Feast, The Sun Also Rises, and The Old Man and the Sea) and I plan on now trying three others, but so far with A Farewell to Arms I have the same reservations as earlier, only worse. His prose is described as "terse, tough" (this from the back of the Scribner edition), but to me it's bone dry reportage. Supposedly stoicism is what's being imparted, but why should we care when this stoicism encounters no equa ...more
Franco  Santos
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
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
I read all of Hemingway's major works when I was in high school and "HemingwayandFaulkner" were always presented together as contrasting literary twins. I never much liked Hemingway. He seemed as if his characters were monosyllabic tough guys without subtlety or much emotion, and reading him was like watching a John Wayne movie (which I also disliked). The dialogue seemed stiltled and the syntax boringly simple and direct. I voted for Faulkner (partly because my classmates found him convoluted a ...more
I disliked Hemingway the first time I read him. I didn't get his prose. I thought he was a misogynist. Well, okay, perhaps he wasn't any feminist or friend of feminists, but I don't know. It was a different time, and all those excuses. Nevermind that, however, because while that was important to me on first reading his novels at age 14, it no longer is. My perspective on, well, lots of things has changed, and Hemingway is now one of my favorite writers.

You don't have to like what you imagine to
On completion: I liked this very much. I enjoy Hemingway’s succinct prose. In all its simplicity you are free to fill in all the hidden thoughts. So much more is said than the few simple words. I find the language perfect for the characters, the time period and the circumstances. Others dislike how sometimes the language used is repetitive. I don’t mind this at all. For me it feels like real people talking. People do talk this way. Maybe because I listened to the audiobook (narrated by John Slat ...more
My least favorite of Papa's major novels. It merits mention fo rbeing a conversation starter. I was reading this in a pub and was approached by a guy. He proved to be a nutter. I didn't know that then. He approached, pointed to my book and began rambling about how Hemingway and Hunter Thompson understood the essence of things (this was years before Thompson's suicide) and that their lives of excess were a just a relief for their clairty. That is my paraphrase. I wound up talking to the guy for h ...more
Shaimaa Ali
293 pages of total silliness !!
I really don't understand how a novel like this became that famous! The plot is with no actions till chapter 30 (out of 41) , writing style is strange, conversations are so naive .. It goes in rounds & rounds ..repetitiveness .. Between every few lines you find this: (darling, i love you so, i'll make you a good wife, i'm a good girl) ! If a new writer started writing like that he will be ashamed!
If it was considered famous because it's anti-war so hell No! N
A Farewell to Arms is an anti-war novel and a love story but it is the love story that falls short of expectations and drags this classic novel into mediocrity.

Fred's romance of Catherine is painfully dull. Neither one of them has anything interesting to say. When they are together they have conversations that are maddeningly tedious and insipid. Critics have also pointed to Hemingway's lack of dynamic female characters, and I found Catherine Barkley to be no exception. Beautiful and submissive
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BT Classics Club: A Farewell to Arms 4 14 Nov 30, 2014 04:18PM  
Let's Read Togeth...: Ep. 12 - A Farewell to Arms with Sinead Hennessy 1 2 Sep 29, 2014 09:28PM  
Bright Young Things: "A Farewell to Arms" by Ernest Hemingway 51 54 Jul 21, 2014 11:02AM  
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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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The Old Man and the Sea The Sun Also Rises For Whom the Bell Tolls A Moveable Feast The Complete Short Stories

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“'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.”
“All thinking men are atheists.” 1817 likes
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