Carole's Reviews > A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
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May 13, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: books-read-in-2012
Read in May, 2012

This was the perfect follow-up to reading "The Paris Wife" (or perhaps it should have been the other way around?). "A Moveable Feast" is a memoir of the first five years that the author spent in Paris in the 1920's when he was married to his first wife, Hadley Richardson. He gives us everything here: his take on Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald,and Ezra Pound; juicy gossip about Scott and Zelda, Stein and her partner, Alice Toklas; the description of the hard work that he put into his writing; and of course, his side of the story about the affair that ended his marriage to Hadley.

Hemingway's writing is so fantastic, so seductive that I almost believed everything he said. However,I think that I have to take some of it with a grain of salt. He portrays himself as the good friend, the dedicated writer, and the honest man of integrity who somehow allowed himself to be the victim of a husband-stealer. Mirror, mirror on the wall...

Hemingway does preface the book with a disclaimer: "If the reader prefers, this book may be regarded as fiction. But there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact." Very clever! He wants to have it both ways but he does so in such a terrifically readable and beautifully written way that I felt as though I might as well just read and enjoy it and not worry about sorting out fact and fiction.

The last chapter where he describes skiing trips in Austria was outstanding and contains what is, for me, the most memorable line in the book and one of the most memorable sentences I have read in a long time: "...I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her."

A really good read that I could definitely look at again another time.

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