Dan's Reviews > A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jun 07, 2011

really liked it
Recommended to Dan by: Anna

This was my first Hemingway and it was pretty good. The imagery of the book is amazing. Hemingway paints a great and powerful picture of WWI and of Italy, particularly of the retreat through Italy. I can't comment on the accuracy or the universality of the picture having not been party to it, but Hemingway was party to it and I suspect this book is commensurate with his experience. Having read the book, I feel greatly enlightened as to what it must have been like and an author who can accomplish that has a tremendous descriptive gift which I acknowledge. That's why this book gets four stars.

The reason it doesn't get five is that while Hemingway was a master of painting pictures of places and circumstances, he didn't, in this book anyway, make very interesting or sympathetic people. I just didn't identify on any level with the characters in the book and that's weird. It's a love story and I'm in love. It's an anti-war story and I'm very dovish. It ends with the death of the object of the narrator's affection and their baby. I cry in the one arm push up scene in Rocky II. If you can't overwhelm me with the emotion of that scenario, you're doing something wrong.

I get that he was trying to be unsentimental in his narrative style, but I still feel like I should have cared and I just didn't.
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message 1: by Tobinsfavorite (new)

Tobinsfavorite This is my favorite Hemingway, but I still don't remember it very well. I read a small pile of them right in a row.

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