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Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,618 ratings  ·  278 reviews
The making of Ernest Hemingway'sThe Sun Also Rises, the outsize personalities who inspired it, and the vast changes it wrought on the literary world

In the summer of 1925, Ernest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the town’s infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trip’s maelstrom of drunken
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Christopher Blosser Very much so, judging by the lengthy acknowledgment section where the author gives thanks to all of her sources and the 70+ pages of meticulously…moreVery much so, judging by the lengthy acknowledgment section where the author gives thanks to all of her sources and the 70+ pages of meticulously documented footnotes, great care went into the research and preparation of this history.(less)

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J.L.   Sutton
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
How did the stars keep aligning for the young Ernest Hemingway? Even before important literary figures had read a word from Hemingway the writer, they were willing to go out of their way to help his career. The focus of Lesley M.M. Blume’s Everybody Behaves Badly is on Hemingway’s early years, both as a reporter in Kansas City and more significantly as a writer in Paris. By looking at these early years, she attempts to unravel the mystique around Hemingway the icon which began in the 1920s. How ...more
Diane S ☔
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lor-2019, 5000-2019
3.5 He was a journalist, not yet a famous author though he knew he wanted to write. To write in a new way, one that would exemplify the time period, using sparse language whittled down to the most basic of elements. Hemingway and his wife Hadley decide to travel and live in Paris. A Paris populated by many famous expats, published authors that he hoped would help in with his writing but also with finding a publisher. He'd meet and pick the brains of Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, Dos Passos ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I requested this book because so often Hemingway is glorified and proclaimed to be such a transformative figure in modern literature. I have read other books, fiction though, about his life and also read articles on the internet about him. “The Paris Wife” by Paula Mc Clain” about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley, which dealt a lot about Hemingway’s actions towards her and the son that they shared. I have read “The Sun Also Rises” and “The Old Man and The Sea”, I really enjoyed the latter.

BAM The Bibliomaniac
I have a fascination with the Lost Generation (see my shelves). This was the perfect addition. Book tells the story of Hemingway's friendships and writing processes throughout his early to mid career. Very informative
I've never found him that enthralling, but my interest is piqued. The author does a splendid job of telling tales.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I read The Sun Also Rises. I remember that the book was enjoyable, clearly written, but I couldn't figure out why it was written in the first place. I'd been to Paris and also to the bullfights and, while the experiences were interesting, they weren't write-a-book interesting. I couldn't figure out why, if you were going to dream up something to write, you couldn't liven it up a bit with some action. It put me off Hemingway for a while. Now it seems that Ernest didn't ...more
David Schaafsma
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-crit
I read Everybody Behaves Badly because I found it in a used book shop, and it led me to re-reading Sun, which I found even better than I had originally thought. It depicts drunken, shallow people (including all but the hero and stand-in for Hemingway, Jake Barnes) "behaving badly" on a trip to a fiesta in Spain. I liked this book quite a bit, but obviously you would never read it unless you read and knew about The Sun Also Rises as Hem's fictionalized version of events in Paris and Pamplona. It ...more
Steven Walle
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was very well written though I did not enjoy the content.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute must for anyone out there who still believes canonical books originate from some ineffable quality like “the writing itself” or a mind more deeply attuned to genius. Everyone with a passing acquiantance of Hemingway knows what a shameless self-promoter he was. But that alone doesn’t explain how he, above any number of would-be writers who fled to Paris, emerged as the preeminent American novelist of his generation.

I was riveted by Blume’s narrative. This is a Hemingway
Tonstant Weader
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story of Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises is a fascinating biography by Lesley M. M. Blume, though it is more the biography of Ernest Hemingway’s book than merely a biography of Hemingway. In telling the story of the creation and publication of The Sun Also Rises, Blume also tells the story of post World War I Paris, the ex-pat culture that developed there and of course, the vibrant, virile and explosive Hemingway.

Some might think it easier to admire
Robert Miller
Jul 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I found the most interesting character in this book to be Lady Duff Twysden, the sultry, gold digging, hard-drinking, sexy, fun-loving, witty, free-spirited women (the kind that all bad boys desire) who Hemingway wanted but could never have: As a scorned, would be paramour, he trashed her in the “The Sun Also Rises” and criticized her at every turn subsequently. She mostly alluringly ignored his schoolboy attacks, thus infuriating “Hem” for a lifetime until he finally shot himself. She hooked up ...more
Aug 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've read The Sun Also Rises exactly once, in college American Lit, and I thought it was pretty good at the time. That college edition has been sitting on my bookshelf for all the time since, and while I haven't reread it, I was satisfied I knew what I was on about. Then I saw this book and decided it sounded fun and thought I would read it, and then maybe The Sun Also Rises again. I suppose the main title should have tipped me off that maybe I wasn't going to relish this experience as much as I ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
I heard the author interviewed on NPR talking about the real life events that inspired Ernest Hemingway to write The Sun Also Rises. Having read it for 20th Century American Literature in my first year in college, I wanted to get the story behind the story.

Even though, as the author says, everyone behaves badly in the book, I still have a romantic view of the clique of expatriate writers and artists living in shabby apartments getting together to discuss art and literature while drinking wine
Sep 29, 2016 marked it as abandoned
No rating for this one, as I'm returning to Audible at about 1/3 through. I knew going in that Hemingway was not a particularly attractive character, but I hadn't realized what a truly selfish, vicious, antisemitic jerk he was. So far the book has been (or at least felt like it's been) an unbroken series of descriptions of Hemingway behaving nastily to his "friends," reports of conversations or excerpts from letters in which Hemingway complains that his genius is not properly appreciated, ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fascinating read. Everbody Behaves Badly presents the people and events leading to the creation and publication of The Sun Also Rises and everyone does, indeed, behave badly. I was especially interested in the depiction of the New York publishing scene at the time.
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hugely enjoyable, plus I loved the author's writing style.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite non-fiction is non-fiction about fiction.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you already don't like Hemingway for the usual - arrogant misogynist wrapped in he-man leopard skins - you will probably love this book. If he is a literary hero to you, you may change your mind.

Author Lesley Blume appears to be impartial in the beginning but as the book gets into the meat of things you get the idea she may have been rubbing her hands together whenever she unearthed a new, less than flattering tidbit. Some of it is very funny just due to the fact that Hemingway hung out with
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hemingway
There is really not much about Hemingway’s life left unknown. He entered the public arena certainly by 1925 and has remained there even after his 1961 suicide. New books about Hemingway, his works and his times may add details to the picture but do not change the defining colors and shapes.

That said, Lesley Blume’s Everybody Behaves Badly is still an enjoyable read. In a single volume, Blume provides the reader with a comprehensive, one volume view of the social and personal backgrounds to The
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It's the 1920's and Ernest Hemingway has started to cause a stir among the literati who hang our in the salons and cafes on Paris' Left Bank. His stories are getting notice, but what he really needs s a big, juicy novel.

Then he goes to Pamplona for the Feria in July with a group of people who include, his wife, his soon-to-be lover ,an over-sexed, alcoholic English aristocrat soon to be divorced from her titled husband, her literary boyfriend who mistakenly thinks he's Hemingway's friend, a
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Blume's book is a very well-researched 'history' of how Hemingway wrote 'The Sun Also Rises": He essentially took a non-fiction account of going to bullfights and fiestas with the friends he had at the time and changed everyone's names - without bothering to change easily identifiable characteristics. For all Hemingway's fame and position in American letters, I've never been a huge fan. I am less so, after reading how he turned on former mentors and friends, in some cases quite cruelly. I ...more
Donald Whiteway
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic view of the events before, during and after the Ernest Hemingway's writing The Sun Also Rises. Ms. Blume captures Hemingway and all concerned parties wonderfully, giving fullness to all the participants. What emerges and is reinforced is the iconic author's perhaps ill-use of mentors, friends and a devoted wife. A must read for people interested in literature history, the 1920's, the Lost Generation and Paris of the era.
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Well, I have been slogging through this book for over a week now, and, honestly, I am almost finished with it, but I am calling it quits. The way Hemingway treated, really, everyone in his life is just bringing me down. I'm not sure that even his incredible talent justified that.
James Birch
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The behind the scenes story of the people Hemingway immortalized in The Sun Also Rises. I'm not a fan of Ernest, but loved reading this.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
Everybody Behaves Badly is a study in how Hemingway’s first novel, The Sun Also Rises, was influenced by his real life experiences. According to Blume, they most certainly behaved badly! I have to admit this only reinforced my feelings about Hemingway’s calculated climb to the top. Obviously he was a pioneer in a new style of writing and goes on to pen masterpieces. Personally however, he never impressed me. Gertrude Stein had called them the Lost Generation, a moniker the group of Paris expats ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read it fast and enjoyed the read, but found it, in the final tally, unnecessarily depressing and sad in a glass-entirely-empty way. There must have been a few drops of humanity in the compassion-parched desert that (apparently!) was ex-pat postwar Europe, but the author's relentless focus on the nasty and venal behavior of everyone involved leaves no stone unturned - so we can better see the worms underneath.

I know, I know, the title should have told me this.
A few summers ago my walking buddy and I spent the summer reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald, as well as novels and nonfiction about them and their families...

So, the facts of this book, starting with Hemingway meeting his first wife (and my favorite) Hadley, to their move to Paris, to the publication of his first novel, THE SUN ALSO RISES, were not necessarily new. But the spin, and the analysis of the facts brought nuances and twists to the story. Yes, I knew he'd pretty much cannibalized a trip
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
If The Sun Also Rises is one of your favorite novels, this book is for you. It's also a great gift for any Hemingway fan. It traces the writing and publication of the famous novel, and the lives of The Lost Generation, the people who eventually became the characters in Hemingway's first successful novel. It spans the years 1925-1927 and we see them in Paris, Pamplona, New York and Schruns.

We see of course Ernest Hemingway, who becomes Jake Barnes, and Ford Maddox Ford, who becomes Braddocks.

victor harris
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Whether it was his "masterpiece" is open to question but it certainly was Hemingway's breakthrough work. It shows the tremendous perseverance of Hemingway as he toiled to produce his first novel. A novel that based its fictional characters on all his actual companions in Paris in the early 20s, the " Lost Generation" as it were. In his work as in his life, he was ruthless and unsparing in ridiculing friends and foes alike. This work focuses on those characters and their hedonistic binge in the ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audio version on a long car ride. The title is self-explanatory; if you want to "like" Hemingway you won't get any help here, but I did admire his total dedication to his "craft." The book recounts how Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others saw merit in his abilities even before he wrote anything of significance and provided valuable support. The book covers Hemingway's early career in Paris culminating in a toxic trip to Pamplona with a group and ...more
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this juicy book about Hemingway's early days and his process and inspiration for writing The Sun Also Rises. I think Hemingway is a big old jerkface - and this book largely proves that. Horribly narcissistic and terrible to the women and most of the "friends" in his life, but he contributed a good amount of work to American literary classics and for that I applaud him. The writer often writes for Vanity Fair and other magazines so I think that plus the often times salacious ...more
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Lesley M. M. Blume is an author, columnist and journalist. She did her undergraduate work at WIlliams College and Oxford University, and took her graduate degree in history from Cambridge University.
She now regularly contributes to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal and Departures magazine.
“The epithet was quickly moving toward capitalized status: the Lost Generation. In subsequent generations, similar umbrella identities would be ascribed to each era’s under-thirty crowd: the Beat Generation, Generation X, the Millennials, and so on. But the Lost Generation was the forerunner of modern youthful angst banners, and The Sun Also Rises was its bible.” 1 likes
“from In Our Time, with its terse, brutal prose, to this? Another reviewer—Harry Hansen of the New York World—made short work of Hemingway’s attempt at satire. “Parody is a gift of the gods,” he wrote. “Few are blessed with it. It missed Hemingway.” 0 likes
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