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A Farewell to Arms

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3.80  ·  Rating details ·  244,725 ratings  ·  8,779 reviews
The definitive edition of the classic novel of love during wartime, featuring all of the alternate endings: “Fascinating…serves as an artifact of a bygone craft, with handwritten notes and long passages crossed out, giving readers a sense of an author’s process” (The New York Times).

Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to e(The
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Paperback, The Hemingway Library Edition, 330 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Scribner (first published 1929)
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Elliotte Bagg I am half way through this book, it's my first Hemingway and it is completely baffling to me after having heard so much hype about him. He constantly…moreI am half way through this book, it's my first Hemingway and it is completely baffling to me after having heard so much hype about him. He constantly uses run-sentences that are exhaustively long. The dialogue, especially between the protagonist and love interest, just feels stilted and unnatural, like something from Tommy Wisseau's film The Room! I am a fan of WW1 era stories but this one feels pretty shallow. I do feel like I am missing something about why he is considered such an amazing author, is it just because his style is so different that it feels special? (less)
John Freeman
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Meg
Nov 18, 2008 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 ign
...more
Skylar Burris
Sep 11, 2008 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 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/>The/>The
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Ahmad Sharabiani
663. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
A Farewell to Arms is a novel by Ernest Hemingway set during the Italian campaign of World War I. The book, published in 1929, is a first-person account of American Frederic Henry, serving as a lieutenant ("tenente") in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army. The title is taken from a poem by 16th-century English dramatist George Peele. A Farewell to Arms is about a love affair between the expatriate American Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley ag
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Matt
Feb 20, 2008 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
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.
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 1916 and before the e
...more
Steven Godin
Damn. That ending. Even whilst still dusting off the cover (it's been lying around for ages) I already knew it's finale. It's simply been impossible to ignore. Even cropping up in three or four films I have seen over the years. Knowing it is one thing, but actually reading it is quite another. So, the big question is - did this in anyway tarnish the novel for me? In a word, No. As once I truly got stuck into Hemingway's compulsive narrative all was forgotten. His presentation of war was just as ...more
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
Diane
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, war, audiobooks
Well, that was disappointing.

For several months I've been focused on reading more classic literature, mostly as a way to dig deep and enrich my life during these trying political times. Until now, it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. This Hemingway novel was my first dud.

I wanted to like this book. I've been reading more on World War I this past year and thought A Farewell to Arms would fit both my WWI interest and my goal of appreciating classics. But ol' Hem (as I learned t
...more
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
...more
Amit Mishra
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is pretty classic in nature. The novel set mainly in Wharton Itlay of 1917-18, the story focuses on Frederic Henry, an American ambulance driver for the Italian army. He met a young English nurse, Catherine Barkley, at a military hospital and they begin a relationship which gradually becomes passionate.
The story of the romance is set alongside a powerful portrayal of the horrors of war and its threat of the total destruction of civilization.
Dem
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
For me think was a mediocre historical fiction / romance story set to the back drop of World War. I failed to connect with any of the characters as I listened to this one on audio and it became pretty annoying with the over use of certain words and I didn't engage with any of the dialogue which seemed trivial and never ending.

A story of a young American Frederic Henry who volunteers for service with the Italian Army in World War I and falls in love with his English Nurse.


I am not a fan of "romance Sto
...more
Luís C.
It is a strong story, beautiful and sad at the same time. It is a novel of war; a novel of men who question, drink, go to the brothel of the front, who fight, who die or are seriously wounded, who try to understand where it leads them. It is a love story that lasts an hour, a night, a life; which fills the void of man's solitude with the horror of war; which grows in the face of the absurdity of great words such as "duty and honor".

A rich vocabulary and a very particular rhythm made of small s
...more
Siria
Oct 06, 2008 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, 2) ...more
Henry Avila
Jul 11, 2014 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
Aug 01, 2009 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 drea
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Jonathan Ashleigh
Ernest Hemingway takes a lame story, and then he tells it in a boring way.
Matt
Dec 29, 2008 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 Italians,
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Melki
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Tell me exactly what happened. Did you do any heroic acts?"

"No," I said. "I was blown up while we were eating cheese."


What can I say that hasn't already been said?

Yes, the man/woman stuff is awkward as hell, with all the "Darlings" and "Say you love me" coming off as so much bad movie dialogue.

But, I loved hearing all the characters give their opinions on the war. The action sequences are compelling, and frequently disturbing.

And, Henry's repartee with Rinaldi is/>,/>,/>,
...more
emily
Oct 04, 2007 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 ju
...more
Mary
Jul 29, 2012 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
...more
Marie
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww1, classics, bvc, italy
This book is incredible. I completely understand why it is a classic. Hemingway is a masterful writer. There is so much to absolutely love about this novel. Hemingway paints the landscape and setting like a painter. Each setting is so beautifully and carefully described, recalling such detail. The humor and wit involved had me laughing aloud. He so articulately characterizes and ascribes characteristics to those within his novel. You can feel the personalities and love them as he must have in cr ...more
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,/>Dramatis/>THE
...more
Madeline
Nov 28, 2012 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 f
...more
Lori
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I can't say I enjoyed reading this book, because I didn't. Nevertheless it's impossible not to marvel at Hemingway's aggressive prose filled with tender descriptions. (As for the dialogue, I'm with F. Scott Fitzgerald: It's too glib.) It was interesting to note the influence Hemingway had on some of my favorite writers, overt or subtle influence, huge.

It is very dismaying, however, that his heirs son Patrick and Patrick's nephew Sean assume the reader is so familiar with AFTA that th
...more
Susan's Reviews
Again, I was forced to read Hemingway in high school. Sheer torture: he and I would have hated each other on sight. And this is strange because I am a pacifist and believe in trying to get along with everyone, in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt first before I passed judgment. Not sure what it was about him anymore but his female characters were pathetic caricatures.
Rebecca
Apr 08, 2008 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*



Jean-Marc Bonet
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is something so fulfilling in Mr Hemingway's achievement in 'A Farewell to Arms' that one is left speculating as to whether another novel will follow in this manner, and whether it does not complete both a period and a phase.

The story begins with such beautiful mannerisms which is a subtle way to undertake a book where the centre stage is that of war, with the love-making between the young American hero, Henry, a volunteer in the Italian Ambulance Service, and Catherine Barkley
...more
Roy Lotz
There were many words that you could not stand to hear and finally only the names of places had dignity.

If Voltaire had read Hemingway’s famous war novel, I’d wager that he would pronounce that it is neither about war nor a novel. Compared to All Quiet on the Western Front, for example, the descriptions of war in this book are ludicrously tame. The vast majority of the time the narrator is not even at the front; and when he is, he is far behind the front lines, driving an ambulance. The bulk of the book is
...more
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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
“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.” 2413 likes
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