Daniel Villines's Reviews > In Our Time

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway
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really liked it

It has been my perception that Hemingway was a better novelist than a short story writer. His style seems to require time for the reader’s imagination to fill in the settings of his plots. My previous exposure to his short stories, however, was in the total collection of his short story works. I read through his "complete collection" from cover to cover without any thought as to how there were originally collected or published. As a result, I missed out on the purpose or picture that In Our Time conveys as a complete work unto itself.

As an image of what the world was and what it had become as we moved through the WWI era, In Our Time is as complete a Hemingway work as any of his novels. The best aspect of this book was Hemingway’s use of vignettes to illustrate what we had become as opposed to the short stories that illustrate what we had been. I thought that the shortness of the vignettes, with all their shocking content, were in sharp harmonic contrast with the longer short stories, which conveyed the feeling of simpler, slower, pre-war times. And as a means of communicating and documenting the effects of WWI, In Our Time may actually be a better book than A Farewell to Arms, when compared with this purpose in mind.
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Reading Progress

February 18, 2011 – Shelved
October 22, 2012 – Started Reading
October 24, 2012 –
page 75
48.08% "90% Reality, 10% Fiction ... Well, that's how it reads."
October 29, 2012 –
page 140
89.74% "If you want to know why it feels so damn good to light a charcoal barbecue on your second-floor condominium balcony and then proceed to cook various seared meat products over the red-hot coals, then you should read "Big Two-Hearted River." However, if you live close to nature, the effect will be somewhat less dramatic."
November 1, 2012 – Finished Reading

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