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Papa Hemingway

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  1,482 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Between 1948 and 1961, Earnest Hemingway and A. E. Hotchner traveled together from New York to Paris to Spain, fished the waters off Cuba, hunted in Idaho, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona. And everywhere they talked. For 14 years, Hotchner and Hemingway shared a conversation. Hemingway reminisced about his childhood, recalled the Paris literary scene in the twenties, re ...more
Broché, 381 pages
Published 1966 by Mercure de France (first published 1955)
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Rick Skwiot
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Others have criticized Hotchner for not telling the whole truth, for not recounting Hemingway's bullying, braggadocio and boorishness. But Hem was a friend, and The Code dictates you don't stab friends in the back, even dead ones (although Hemingway himself often did, both living and dead friends). So what we get here is Ernest Hemingway at his best and, perhaps, life at its finest, with adventure, lovely women, good friends, good food and drink, beautiful surroundings and honest fun. It's life ...more
Giancarlo Buonomo
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was nearly good as good as a Hemingway Novel itself. Basically, it is a memoir, by the journalist A.E Hotchner, of his friendship with Ernest Hemingway, from the late 1940's to his death in 1961. The structure is very smartly done- each chapter is headed by not only a new year, but a new location, as Hotchner often traveled with Hemingway on his exotic adventures. Thus, you can read 4 chapters and read about them go from Havana to the Keys to Paris, and then to Madrid for a bullfight. ...more
metaphor
I felt I should get to it quickly now, and I did, but I said it very gently: "Papa, why do you want to kill yourself?"
He hesitated only a moment; then he spoke in his old, deliberate way. "What do you think happens to a man going on sixty-two when he realizes that he can never write the books and stories he promised himself? Or do any of the other things he promised himself in the good days?" [...] "Hotch, if I can't exist on my own terms, then existence is impossible. Do you understand? That is
...more
Sharon Barrow Wilfong
A.E. Hotchner started out as a young journalist who was assigned to interview Ernest Hemingway. He didn't want to do it. He felt he was much too unimportant a person to be bothering the great writer. Flying down to Cuba where Hemingway was currently living he sent him a note explaining his situation and also that he understood that Hemingway probably didn't have time for him.

What he received was a phone call from "Papa" himself inviting him to a restaurant for dinner and drinks. Thus began a fou
...more
Jimmy Scharpf
Jul 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Not your typical biography. This bio does not tell the story of Hemingway from birth till death in a distinctive timeline. It is written by A.E. Hotchner, one of Ernest's closest friends. It recounts events that Hotchner and Ernest shared together, many grandiose tales that define who Hemingway was and how he built his larger than life persona. Epic stories that are hard to believe actually happened, certifying Hemingway as the ultimate "man's man". It is not all positive however, a good quarter ...more
Michelle
Feb 04, 2009 rated it liked it
Interesting memoir about one of the most interesting (and one of my favorite!) writers of all time, written by a member of Hemingway's inner circle. Reading about a great man's downward spiral was definitely sad and at times uncomfortable. The way the Mayo Clinic treated him in his final weeks of life (sending him home even though his own wife knew it would be the end of him) was horrific. Granted, this was nearly 50 years ago, but stunning nonetheless. I always thought of Hemingway as a depress ...more
Charles
Dec 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic-biography
a biography of Hemingway, supposedly one "they" wanted to stop. It was certainly interesting reading but there was quite a lot of speculation. Not the best bio on Hemingway.
Zjjohnston
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Zjjohnston by: Cknot1sk
This one took me a while to read but mostly because it got interrupted by health books. Hotchner gave a very clear picture of his experience of Hemingway through decades. He some incite into Hemingway's view of his own writing and writing process, which I find fascinating. Hotchner also offers a view of Hemingway's decline into mental illness, which was heartbreaking.
T.P. Williams
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
The book is an exercise in self-promotion and gives of the air of fiction. I was put off at the outset by the author's 1999 new preface (in the edition I read) which takes, in my view, a low blow at Mary Hemingway, airing his old man's petty gripes with Hemingway's widow, who, conveniently enough, was dead and unable to refute his remarks. Reading further, we learn that because the author was denied access to correspondence with Hemingway, he re-created, if you will, what he remembered of the co ...more
Wayne
Oh dear!Ernest is a bit of a bore and I've only waded to the end of the first chapter!!!!
I certainly don't doubt the sincerity of his biographer, A.E.Hotchner, and it will be because of him that I will plough on in whatever form, whether skimming or picking out bits and pieces.
I decided to read this, languishing on my shelf for the last 40 years, because my love of Paris led me to read EH's
"A Movable Feast".That was another disappointment, but I was prepared to do a bit more research before poi
...more
Tom Barnes
Oct 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing

In 1948 A.E. Hotchner was dispatched from New York to Havana by Cosmopolitan Magazine to do a story on Hemingway. Hotchner was in awe of the famous writer and tried to dodge the assignment. Well, it didn’t work and even as he was intimidated by the thoughts of how Hemingway would dismiss him without so much as a hint of a story, he screwed up his nerve and initiated the first contact. And from their first meeting at the Floridita Bar in Havana, to Hotchner’s dismay, the two connected. A true fri
...more
Mikeshuler
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was mildly entertaining, but repetitive as the story/trainwreck progresses. Hotchner is such a sycophantic character himself it added to my annoyance. Too much ink is wasted by Hotchner portraying the rich and famous around Hemingway and marveling at Hemingway's self-destructive profligate lifestyle. The book is well-written, but the self-parody Hem had become by this stage in his life deserved some insightful analysis not an attempt at a Moveable Feast in the nightmare years. Carlos Ba ...more
Leo W.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the advantages of getting old is that when you discover in the first few pages of a book that you have read it before, it matters not the least. This is Hemingway's life told in a loving way, as the authors best attempt to portray Hemingway as he himself would like his image to be advertised. Even with the adulation, a good read.

Had this book on a pile with the book underneath being Jim Harrison's memoir. Remarkable how similar they look in their 60's. A thesis to be had in their compari
...more
Paul Dabrowski
Feb 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Started out fun and exciting. Hotchner gives a great deal of insight in what it was to be Hemingway's friend and what he liked to do: From bullfights and Horse racing and Boxing to drinking to women and most importantly what his writing meant to him. But near the end, as in in the end of his life, Hotchner's book became very depressing. But I guess that was the point.

A great book for big Hemingway fans
Richard Anderson
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Terrific book; devastating at the close. We never seem to get over Hemingway.
Douglas
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lot of people want to go with Jeffrey Meyers' biography, which is certainly more critical of Hemingway and perhaps more honest for that. Baker is the author's best biography, though it was written in the late 60s and thus misses a lot of critical literature; Hotchner's Papa is more of a memoir, detailing his relationship with Hemingway and celebrating a legacy. As such, it's hardly critical of the author at all. As with all Hemingway, however, if you take it for what it is, it's genius, and a ...more
Michael Walker
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I read this book shortly after it was published. In the decades since, it remains a fascinating look at one of our greatest American authors. I recall hoping to catch a reason for Hemingway's descent into despair. He had a larger-than-life, machismo, persona - yet ultimately did not live by what he wrote ("The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places"). Believing he had wrung out everything he could from life, he committed suicide at age 61, without hope - mea ...more
Catherine  Anderson
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked this short memoir, this book along with all of the other memoirs and period books are putting the pieces of a '1920 Paris' scene for me...

Loved the reader.
Gintarė Liūtaširdė
Interesting story of most famous Writer. Sadly it ended tragically. But at the end you could feel that the story will end up in such way.
Tom Schulte
This covers 1948 and 1961 during which time Ernest Hemingway drew in fellow author, editor and playwright A.E. Hotchner into his inner circle. They traveled together, including raucous and risky forays into the bull-fighting ferias of Spain (once Hotchner even was goaded into acting as a matador in an actual bullfight), fishing the waters off Cuba Papa had prowled seeking U-boats, hunted in Idaho, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, and more. For fourteen years, Hotchner and Hemingway shared their t ...more
Joe
Jan 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read quite a bit of Hemingway's books, and have enjoyed every single one that I have read. I've known a few bits and pieces about Hemingway, that he had been married couple times, lived in Cuba and Florida, traveled the world, and that he had a drinking problem. This book, with its plethora of detail about the man, helped fill in the gaps between those things and flesh out the man that we all know a lot better. A.E. Hotchner was a journalist and writer, and he met Hemingway in the late 1940 ...more
Pat
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a personal memoir by Hotchner, who was a close friend of Hemingway's throughout the last 14 years of his life. Many of the stories told here are not surprising. Most who are familiar with Hemingway and his work will not be surprised to learn that he liked to fish, drink, make love, and go to bull fights. On the other hand, the Hemingway fan will get a better insight into what made Papa tick and just what led to his ultimate destruction.

The biggest drawback that I found to the memoir was
...more
Denis
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a courageously written book by a good friend and writing compatriot of Hemingway. This reader learned more about the man behind the legend by reading this book which read like a precise memoir of a friendship. I became acquainted with his demons and what drove him. I also gained a new respect for him as a writer. It's hard telling what propelled Hemingway inexoraby toward ending his own life. He wasn't at his best prior to his suicide -- that much is for sure. His physical and mental hea ...more
Reid
Omg, so I just got back from a local tapas restaurant which happened to be Hemingway themed, a bit, and they offered the " Papa Doble" on the drink menu, which is Hemingway's "daiquiri" creation at the Floridita bar in Cuba that I read about in the first several pages of this biography. I think Hotchner says Papa drank like 16 of them one night. Needless to say, I had to try 3 of them! They were delicious!

Recipe, Papa Doble: 2.5 jiggers of bacardi white label rum, juices of 2 limes and a half g
...more
Hal
Mar 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A memoir of A.E. Hotchner a journalist who spent years with Hemingway in his later years as a friend and confidant. The book is insightful in getting a feel for the twilight of Hemingway's life and the struggles he encountered at the end. It was curious to me that Hotchner was taken in to Hemingway's confidences from an encounter as a journalist covering a story on him. Regardless Hotchner does become this and the book highlights the times they spent together around the world and at Hemingway's ...more
Carol Hu
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Ah.....To be honest biography is not really my thing, and indeed, the very beginning or rather, the first half of the book bored me. But I kept reading because I believe it's a good book and it's worth a read. And it didn't disappoint me. Guess I really can't make connection of Heimingway with my life, for his life was enriched with all sort of adventure, traveling, outdoor sports, being so chatty and talkative. But it really brought out my emotion and sympathy, that a giant (which previously I ...more
Anne
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Anything I say here will simply detract from this wonderful book, so I will keep it short. I've read a number of Hemingway biographies, but this is unquestionably the best. Hotchner only new Ernest for approximately the last 14 years of his life, so if you're looking for a complete biography, try elsewhere. What Hotchner can give us is a portrait of Papa (Hemingway) from the perspective of a very close and dear friend Hotchner hunted and travelled with Papa, helped edit and publish his books and ...more
Kyle
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Papa Hemingway provides an intimate portrayal of the larger than life literary icon, Ernest Hemingway both in the peak of his fame and celebration, through his eventual metaphysical downfall. Of course this work discusses and gives context to Papa's great passions including: hunting, bullfighting, boozing, women, food, and war. However, what sets this biography apart is the personal nature in which Hotchner characterizes Hemingway as a generous, exuberant, and loyal friend to many.
Althea
Jun 01, 2015 rated it liked it
This book, written by a man, as opposed to the two previous books I read about him which were written by women, gives a slightly different and more flattering view of Hemingway. But, I still think he was a narcissistic, philandering misogynist and that his style of writing is tedious and boring. He did, however, know how to have a good time and was very generous to many people during his lifetime.
Kristine
Jun 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Well-written memoir of the author's friendship with Hemingway from 1948 until his death in 1961. Hotchner spent time with Hemingway in Cuba, Spain, Italy, Key West, Idaho, Paris, and New York. Great insight into the man and how he lived his life, traveling and writing. Never a dull moment in the book from throwing a lion out of a bar, on safari in Africa, touring with bullfighters, car and plane crashes, to the paranoid delusions at the end of his life.
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A. E. Hotchner is the author of many books and plays. He graduated from Washington University Law School in 1941, practiced law briefly, then served in the Air Force as a military journalist. After his stint in the armed forces, Hotchner met Ernest Hemingway, and the two spent the next 14 years as close friends. Hotchner is best known for Papa Hemingway, his 1966 biography of Ernest Hemingway, who ...more
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“Outside the gates of the finca, watching the passing rows of tin-roofed shacks which represented the residential section of San Francisco de Paula, I began to think about The Old Man and the Sea, and I realized it was Ernest’s counterattack against those who had assaulted him for Across the River. It was an absolutely perfect counterattack and I envisioned a row of snickering carpies bearing the likenesses of Dwight Macdonald and Louis Kronenberger and E.B. White, who in the midst of cackling, “Through! Washed Up! Kaput!” suddenly grab their groins and keel over. It is a rather elementary military axiom that he who attacks must anticipate the counterattack, but the critics, poor boys, would never make General Staff. As Ernest once said, “One battle doesn’t make a campaign but critics treat one book, good or bad, like a whole goddamn war.” 2 likes
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