I have nothing against love affairs and romance in books, but then I, the reader, have to feel and experience at least an inkling of that love felt by...moreI have nothing against love affairs and romance in books, but then I, the reader, have to feel and experience at least an inkling of that love felt by the characters.
I must point out that the copy I read, the only Kindle version available to me in Europe, has ISBN number 978 0 307 789716. Unfortunately it was NOT translated by the talented Tiina Nunnally. Don't expect wonderful prose. Probably Tiina Nunnally has succeeded ; choose her translation instead.
You do perhaps get a feel for the era.
I read through Part 2, chapter 6, i.e. half of the book. (less)
I don't want to annoy others who think Louise Penny writes great stuff. OK, she does - for the simple reason she has achieved a high star rating, but...moreI don't want to annoy others who think Louise Penny writes great stuff. OK, she does - for the simple reason she has achieved a high star rating, but she is NOT for me. The ending is SO incredible - (view spoiler)[ Snakes,hoses / rat traps / umpteen people falling down steps with broken bones galore and one strong brave woman standing there triumphant.... (hide spoiler)] I like credible, realistic stories. This is not. The ending was simply the last straw for me.
I tried this book in an attempt to enjoy a fun cozy mystery. It only confirmed that even a book touted as being rich in character portrayal STILL isn't going to work for me if it isn't credible! This is first and foremost a mystery. Lots of time is spent covering the details of who "did it" and why and how. The chance that the events in this book would happen is minimal. Not only is the ending incredible but also the motive for the crime is feeble. I have learned that I value credibility.
Another aspect of this book that annoyed ME, was all the discussion of food. Lots of people love books where every other paragraph reverts to what is being eaten. I have learned to value other aspects of life than food. Why? Because I am a T1 diabetic and food just leads ME to trouble, I am the exception. Many adore books about eating and talking about delicious food. So again, a book for YOU, but NOT me. Go ahead, enjoy it.
A fun cozy murder mystery filled with yummy food. Not everything has to be credible for most people......except me.
Adam Sims narrated my audiobook. HE did nothing wrong whatsoever so go ahead and choose his narration if you think the book will be good for you! ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Oh man, the audiobook narration by Allen O'Reilly is NOT to my liking. He is reading it at such a clip I can barely keep up. After listening to a mere...moreOh man, the audiobook narration by Allen O'Reilly is NOT to my liking. He is reading it at such a clip I can barely keep up. After listening to a mere half hour, I am completely out of breath. I need a gulp of fresh air. Keeping up with this speed is murder.
There is nothing wrong with the author's lines.
I will try to continue with interspersed pauses.
I continued to the end, and in fact I cannot stop now, I have to immediately pick up the next book in the series:Hemingway: The Paris Years! You are left hanging. Ernest and his new wife Hadley are off to Paris; they are on the boat. Just tell me how can I stop now?! I not only want to know about his experiences in the "City of Light" but also more about Gertrude Stein and the authors and painters of the Lost Generation.
This book covers his life through his first 22 years, i.e. his life before Paris.
I grew used to the narrator's fast reading. He continues; he narrates the next in the series. This doesn't deter me, though I cannot say I enjoy the speed.
What about the book's content? It doesn't blow me over either. I feel I understand Hemingway. I know now what he lived through. I know of his youth in Oak Park (a suburb of Chicago), Illinois, which is essential to his writing. He in fact never wrote about Oak Park, but the values imbibed certainly made him who he was. His WW1 experiences as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy are also covered. His relationships with his parents and siblings too. BUT, I never felt I got into his brain. I saw through his actions and decisions his personality traits.
In a nutshell - he invented himself. Don't believe what he says. Truth is bent. All the values of his youth were forever altered by the war, even if he was only on the front line for barely three weeks. He listened to others stories and could absorb them too. He took his own experiences and that of other and reinvented them in his fiction. In fact he had trouble separating fact from his invented fiction....
The writing style is similar to Hemingway's. Similar, but not the same and not as good. Short, abrupt sentences. Repetition of words, of phrases, for emphasis.
There is an immense amount of references to how this real event appears later in this form in this novel, a fictionalizing of his own experiences. I didn't like this, but many others may. Hemingway was clearly influenced by other writers. How he was influenced by these writers is thoroughly explained. What he read year by year is covered. Authors must learn from each other; they even copy a particular style. So this is all an explanation of how he came to be the author he became. I wanted to know more of what HE thought HE had to write. I learned an awful lot about what he copied..... Do you see what I mean when I say I didn't get into his head? Sometimes the author would interpret a given action or quote and tell us what it had to mean, and I didn't always agree.
2 stars MY REVIEW HAS BEEN REVISED AFTER COMPLETING THE BOOK
Reynolds' biography of Hemingway is more an analysis of what Hemingway has written than an...more2 stars MY REVIEW HAS BEEN REVISED AFTER COMPLETING THE BOOK
Reynolds' biography of Hemingway is more an analysis of what Hemingway has written than an examination of his inner soul. This book, the second in Reynold's series on Hemingway, covers only four years 1922-1926, predominantly set in Paris but also Spain, Italy,Turkey and Austria. In 1924 Hemingway began to receive acclaim. It covers his marriage to Hadley and his growing infatuation with Pauline, who will be his next wife. It covers the birth of his son. It covers his years as a reporter; he wrote both for The Toronto Star and for Hearst. He was in Turkey when the fire and catastrophe in Smyrna took place. As usual, he missed the real action but heard what others related. He observed and he listened. He was, as always, an observant listener. I found this coverage of historical event s more interesting than any other part of the book. Hemingway wanted to be a fiction writer, so that must be the main focus. The book covers primarily his friendship with those of the Lost Generation, those living in Paris in the 20s.
The main focus is what Hemingway wrote during this period. You have to be well aware of what he has written. A chapter can begin relating what one of his fictional characters is thinking or doing. This can be confusing; the reader must immediately recognize Hemingway’s fictional characters. This is further confused because the fictional characters are drawn from real ones. Just as Hemingway so often takes real events and fictionalizes them, so does this biography blend the two.
Being a literary analysis of his writing and his steps toward recognition, the book details the ins and outs of his writing and publishing contracts. Perhaps the book is best for those readers who are themselves budding authors, who are looking for guidelines on writing techniques. It shows what Hemingway learned from others.
The book is more a presentation of what Hemingway does than what he thinks. The reader observes his actions and the choices he makes. I still like Hemingway's writing but I do not admire him as a person. And none of this has to do with his despicable love of bullfighting. At least in the first book (The Young Hemingway) you are given an idea of why he was drawn to this barbaric practice. In the first book there is more discussion of what factors shaped Hemingway into the man he was. This second book focuses on how he became a writer. I like how Hemingway writes, but dissecting every paragraph, every line, every word in his books makes the Hemingway magic disappear.
I found neither Hemingway’s conversion to the Catholic faith or his changed feeling for Hadley well presented. I don’t understand how he was thinking, so neither can I empathize with him.
There is an awful lot of repetition within this second book AND from the previous book. The repetition is excessive. It quite simply drove me nuts.
You do learn a bit about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas and Ezra Pound and F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sylvia Beach, known for her Paris bookstore/library Shakespeare and Company.
I will not be continuing this series. I do not like Reynold's focus or how he presents the facts. I get the impression he is trying to write with a style similar to Hemingway, only it fails. And the exceedingly rapid narration of the audiobook by Allen O'Reilly makes the reading experience even more unpleasant.
I have learned about Hemingway......I like him less. This is who he was. These are the things he did. These are the things he said. You can like an author's work but not the author himself! I am glad I know him better. With my increased awareness and dislike I remind myself that this book only covers four years of his entire life, but for now I have had enough of Hemingway!
A one star means you don't like the book. This book is not just bad; it is terrible.
It is confusing. Sure you will understand what happens, but is th...moreA one star means you don't like the book. This book is not just bad; it is terrible.
It is confusing. Sure you will understand what happens, but is that why you read a book, to know step by step what happens? You are lucky if you understand how all the characters are related. You will need this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_I_Lay...
The characters - white trash. Even if you initially try to understand each character's personality, by the end you realize understanding these people is not worth your effort.
There are a few well written lines, but these lines just would NOT be in the head or in the speech of those who think or say them.
I thought the audiobook would be a good alternative, there being a lack of punctuation. There are four narrators, but don't think that a given narrator will always narrate the same character. Listen to me, figuring out who is talking and who has this thought or that is EXTREMELY difficult even with the aid of different narrators.
So somebody clue me in, what is the important message of this book?
I don't recommend this book to anybody. It is a total waste of time. I have totally given up on Faulkner. NEVER again another book by Faulkner.
There are numerous book descriptions here at GR. This says what you need to know:
"A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Ed...moreThere are numerous book descriptions here at GR. This says what you need to know:
"A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961. Set on the Côte d'Azur in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman...."
The book was uncompleted and was published posthumously. This is important to note. It does not read as a finished novel, even if it does contain some great lines. It is repetitive. The different threads are not drawn up properly. At the end, the message delivered is confused. It needs to be tightened up. Hemingway usually delivers a strong clear novel without numerous sidetracks, but not here.
There is subdued eroticism which is tantalizing in sections, but then this gets sidetracked into the power struggle in a couple's relationship, and on a higher level between men and women in general.
The narration by Patrick Wilson is perfectly acceptable.(less)
Remember for me a three star book IS definitely worth reading.
I know Hemingway is not for everyone, but I like his writing style. I don't read his bo...moreRemember for me a three star book IS definitely worth reading.
I know Hemingway is not for everyone, but I like his writing style. I don't read his books for plot; I read them for the lines, for his ability to express complicated things simply and for his ability to capture the inherent differences between the sexes. Differences there are.
There are two principle characters in this novel - Colonel Richard Cantwell and his lover Renata. He is fifty-one. She is nineteen. He is masculine. He is brusque, downright rude, and could quite simply be viewed as a bastard. But is he? Well, I like him. You see Hemingway goes beneath the surface of what is immediately visible and gives you more. I like Renata too. She is the feminine... and smart and curious and willing to do what is not done.
What is good about this book is NOT the plot, because that is practically non-existent! It is a character study. It is an essay on death and how each of us deals with it. And the choices we make. It is also about the folly of war. It is about hunting and food and fishing and ....about the world around us if we just bother to look. Hemingway expresses so simply what is before our eyes and that which we often don't see. OK, the Colonel goes duck hunting, but there is much more to hunting than just killing birds. (Why must people hunt; why can't people instead shoot with their cameras?) Still, Hemingway opens our eyes to the beauty of the land and the birds and the air and that is enough for me.
And there is humor.
Either you like Hemingway or you don't. I certainly do NOT like all his books. A number I have in fact given ONE star, which means I found them totally terrible. I have tried to explain what I see in Hemingway's writing.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Boyd Gaines. I got a kick out of how the word colonel sounds like "co-lo-nel" in Italian.
I don't think the magic of Venice comes through in this book. What comes through is the feel of a duck-blind and of infantry combat....of love and lost youth. You have to pay attention; there are many flashbacks. If you don't pay attention you will find yourself asking, "Which war is being referred to?! WW1 or WW2, the Spanish Civil War or....."
This was the last novel completed before Hemingway’s death. (less)
While it does not provide new information, it recaptures the sense of the calamity that struck the nation and the world. It is definitely worth listening to, both for those who remember and those too young to remember.(less)