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The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,073 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
"The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is a short story set in Africa. It was published in the September 1936 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine concurrently with "The Snows of Kilimanjaro."
Published (first published 1936)
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Vivian
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Hands down my favorite Hemingway piece.

Distill all that violence, impotence, and misogyny and you end up with this perfect little sip of disillusionment. I've reread it too many times to recall and it never fails to leave me smiling.
Rick Slane
First read when I was 15 years old, never forgotten and it seems an even better story of cowardice and infidelity now.
Stephanie S
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This piece, like "White Elephants," is simple genius. It doesn't always take 300 pages to paint something unforgettable.
Daren
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is a collection of short stories by Hemingway, named after the primary story.
These were really hit and miss for me.

The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber – Set in Africa, the story of a husband and wife on a hunting safari with a guide. I enjoyed this story, and I thought it was well constructed. 4/5.

A Clean, Well-Lighted Space - Two waiters, a barman and a drunk, in a café probably in Spain. Strange little story, but ok. 3/5

The Sea Change - Terrible.
...more
Dalene
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've forgotten most of what I learned as an English major, but one thing I'll never forget is the completely indescribable feeling I had at the conclusion of The Short Happy LIfe of Francis Macomber. Hemingway is an excellent story teller and I particularly love his short stories.
Jen
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Hemingway story. I actually researched which one would be best to read first, and many suggested The Old Man and the Sea. I decided to go with his book of short stories, which begins with this story. I'm happy to say I loved it!

The story began a little confusing to me with all this talk of a lion, but this is Hemingway we're talking about. I knew there had to be a point. And there was.

For such a short story, there's a great depth to the characters too. I mean, there are limits to how mu
...more
Peter
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I like short stories.
I've read francis macomber three times.
I can't think of any others I've read more than once.
Frahorus
Si sente in questo racconto breve che Hemingway è stato in Africa...
Questo racconto narra di un safari in cui prede e predatori si scambiano idealmente le parti: una lezione di vita che crudamente passa attraverso la morte.
Lauren
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
The only good Hemingway I've read; and I've read quite a bit. A pleasant surprise, if pointedly misogynistic.
ele.bi
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: america
Era imbarazzatissimo per aver tirato fuori quella che era un po' la sua regola di vita, ma aveva già visto degli uomini diventare maggiorenni ed era sempre una cosa che lo riempiva di commozione. Non era come se avessero compiuto semplicemente il loro ventunesimo anno.
C'era voluta una caccia stranamente fortunata, un improvviso passaggio all'azione senza la possibilità di angustiarsi prima del tempo, per farlo succedere in Macomber, ma comunque fosse successo era sicuramente successo. Guarda que
...more
Daniel Kim
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber:

Francis Macomber went to the trip for hunting with his wife to Africa safari. When they were hunting lion Francis clearly showed to others he was a coward by hiding and running away, but all they people at the camp acted like nothing happened. Margot, Francis Macomber's wife was ashamed by the action of Francis. For example, When Margot pointed out that face of Wilson (The guide) is red by the sunburn, Francis said his is red too because of embarrassment,
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Menna Kh.
Mar 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Very interesting. Very catchy.
One can't stop reading it until it meets its end.
Francis Macomber is married to Margot Macomber who accompanies him on a Safari trip guided by the macho man Robert Wilson, the hunter.

The trip is about hunting. A typical Hemingway theme to propose the strength or weakness of a man.

The narrative is amazing and one has to read between the lines to figure out the feelings and to draw the complete portrait of the story.

Hemingway's writings are too good to be reviewed, a
...more
The Brazen Bell
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
Honestly, so good. I am a growing fan of Hemingway! I think this is also a comment on masculinity in terms of sexual performance, and maybe even about big game hunting's sad evolution from what Hemingwa once knew. The tensions and frustrations built into the two male characters were absolutely brilliant. Margot did not feel quite as developed as Francis and Robert, but I suppose I should expect that from Hemingway. Absolutely worth a read!
Maddy
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never read Ernest Hemingway before, but this was a great place to start. I had to restart the piece several pages in due to confusion, but once I did, I was able to follow the story thoroughly and enthusiastically. I was pleasantly surprised by how captivated I became with the story. 5/5 stars!
Federica
Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Although 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' is a short story, many controversial themes are gathered in only few pages.

The highest point of the narration is the well-structured description of the mean and sad grounds of expediency according to which Mr. and Mrs. Macombers got married, the way the reader is presented with the nature of their relationship and the consequences of the lack of love and mutual esteem between the two(If she loved her husband she would have not disregarded him
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Tortla
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read an (excellent) essay once on the way that Margot somehow manages to be a feminist figure in this highly masculinist tale, with its rugged Robert Wilson and its titular "short happy life" having Francis Macomber, Man. I don't remember the argument, really. Just that there's an essay out there about this story.

One of my favorite sentences (other than the very last one, which is also a good 'un):
'"Why not let up on the bitchery just a little, Margot," Macomber said...'
Collsie Sieber
Jul 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
God I hate this story.
michellé .c
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzammah
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great range. Hemingway can in one story make you actually dizzy with his acutely vivid and yet never grotesque descriptions of a bleeding wound, and in another, make you laugh out loud with the most minimal of words, like so:
'"I'm sure he would have liked to meet you but he died last year. Shot himself. Oddly enough."
"I am very truly sorry. I am sure his loss was a blow to science as well as to his family."
"Science took it awfully well."'
Darinda
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Read in The Snows of Kilimanjaro, and Other Stories.

Synopsis: Francis Macomber and his wife go on a hunting trip in Africa.

A cowardly man gains courage, only to have it all end. Appropriately titled short story. One of my favorite Hemingway stories.
Guadalupe
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 4 / 5
Sharon
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Haven't historically been a Hemingway fan, but LOVED this story! How ironic, don't you think? Sorry, but I laughed at the tragic ending.
Beth
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
I read for ORCL's American Short story class. I do not like Hemingway's misogyny and other personal failings, but as a short story writer, he is flat out brilliant.
Madbutmagic
Mad But Magic YA Blog

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Beginnings and Endings!
In which Sam rants about the English language, raves about Hemingway (as usual) and rambles on absolutely forever.


For this week's TTT, we've been asked to share the best book beginnings & endings. I took this rather literally and sought out the words that most shook me up when I read them first (rather than "I'm so glad that X person got a dragon in the end" because, well, I am nearly always glad to rave about the presence/ra
...more
Realini
The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway

When we write about a book, we are supposed to judge it on its literary merits and not delve into how we feel about the writer, the breakfast we had before writing and such trivialities.
However, I am an amateur reviewer, who does this for the fun of it, with the remote possibility in mind that my daughter or possible future grandchildren might be curious one day to see what their ancestor thought about one book or another.
And this is a
...more
Cat
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
typical hemingway
Malin
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hemingway ska läsas på engelska. Till och med översättningen på titeln suger med den svenska versionen.
Alan
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
picked this up, a 3 shillings and sixpence Penguin paperback at a charity do at work, along with several others (also be putting these on my to read shelf).

Pretty fine collection, some seem sketches (eg One Reader Writes) but Hemingway sketches are worth reading. As everyone says the title piece is outstanding, but others are nearly as good in different ways. I particularly liked The Light of the World in which two 'punks' banter with prostitutes at a station and After the Storm. In the latter
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Edward Jawer
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lost in the Novels which have made Hemmingway the great author he was, is the short tale, well made into a movie, about a man who finds happiness at last, in the final moments of his life.

One of Hemmingway's great themes, throughout his astonishing work, is always the concept of what we term "Bravery", or the absence of fear in the face of adversity, including, and especially "Death".

This short novel has been overlooked in the great mass of his work, but deserves to be read because it explains i
...more
Vincent Russo
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Tellus Book Club: The Short Happy Life 1 6 Jan 12, 2012 08:01PM  
  • The Georgics
  • Fantomina and Other Works
  • The Offshore Pirate
  • The Warren Commission Report: The Official Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • The Faerie Queene, Book One
  • A Jury of Her Peers
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Monsieur Prokhartchine
  • The Storm
  • The Overcoat and The Nose
  • Knight's Gambit
  • Hemingway: a Life Story
  • The Complete Uncollected Stories
  • The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present
  • Early Novels and Stories
  • On A Chinese Screen
  • The Black Cat and Other Stories
  • Sudden Fiction: American Short-Short Stories
1455
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
More about Ernest Hemingway...

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“We all take a beating every day, you know, one way or another.” 24 likes
“Because she had done the best she could for many years back and the way they were together now was no one person's fault.” 6 likes
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