history told like a story of real people, go figure. i sat in my backyard and read it until it was finished. one of the best books that i've read forhistory told like a story of real people, go figure. i sat in my backyard and read it until it was finished. one of the best books that i've read for college. much cooler than reading a top-down, dry political version of this history. it gave a much more human look at socialism. cool.
if anyone has the "americas" book that peter winn wrote i'd swap....more
I'm not sure that this book lived up to the thousands of recomendations that I got to read it. It is very beautiful, many of the lines are great, butI'm not sure that this book lived up to the thousands of recomendations that I got to read it. It is very beautiful, many of the lines are great, but as a whole, it seems like a sort of ode to indecision. Maybe I didn't take enough time with it, but seemed to me to be so heavily focussed on balance and contradictions that it didn't make any extreme proclamations. Maybe balance is more real than that which is self-glorifying, but I just wasn't as moved as I wanted to be. Maybe at a different time in my life I would have soaked this up. Then again, I read this book in a car with loud music playing after recovering only half way from the flu, so I might have been biased and unnecesarily bitter and disbelieving. My reaction might also be coming off Thoreau which is beautiful to read, but also has intense philosophy behind it. I think this book is more like looking at something beautiful but not particularly deep. Philosophical porn, if you will. I bet that will offend the people that really take it seriously. Shit, that isn't my intention. I think I will take the book back to maine and re-read it there on a mountain or on the beach and think about it in that context and then maybe it will have a deeper effect...if I ever make it back to maine. I hope so....more
I was skeptical about this book at the begining, really for the first hundred pages. It seemed to me at first that Jake was just a lonely guy who refuI was skeptical about this book at the begining, really for the first hundred pages. It seemed to me at first that Jake was just a lonely guy who refused to do anything about it, in love with the wrong girl and nothing really happened besides that. It was no Moby Dick, no adventure, no strangeness at all. It was just a really simple look at a normal person's life. That didn't cut it at first, but then I realized that it really hits the intensities of everyday life and friendships and the entire social system that forms when different people come together. It really made me rethink some of my relationships and the things that made me angry about other people, and hurt by them. I think that Hemingway sees social interation as a crazy battle or a proverbial bull-fight in this case. It was full of sad, sad people who just go at eachother over this one shocking and beautiful girl, drinking away everything and trying to get by. It turned out to be really meaningful to me in the end.
Also, aside from the emotional stuff of this book, it made me start dreaming about Europe and the American artist-expatriate scene in the 20s...really cool stuff. I made me want to spend a couple of years writing in Paris. Also, all of the bull fighting fiestas in Pamplona made me interested in going to Spain for the first time after years of choosing Latin America over Spain without thought...I mean, I would still rather see more Latin America than Spain, but it sparked an interest in me in a big way. OH THE WORLD!!...more