Paul Schulzetenberg's Reviews > A Farewell to Arms

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Apr 13, 2009

liked it

Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms is his war novel, this one on the World War I Italian front. I’m hardly the most qualified critic to pick this up, but I enjoyed this.

The style took a bit to get used to. One doesn’t pick up one of the giants of American literature and expect to find such short, choppy, declarative sentences. There’s little flow to the style, as most of the sentences seem to read “[Subject] [verb]ed [object],” with most of the subjects being simple with no adjectives. Conjunctions and dependent clauses seem to be out of the question.

Once I got past that, I saw a bit more of the beauty of Hemingway’s writing. He has a gift for description and tone, using common words and short sentences to still draw a coherent scene for the reader. Hemingway’s semi-autobiographic narrator doesn’t have an exceptional vocabulary, but he can still evoke a feeling as well as the most eloquent first-person narrators.

I will say that this edition is one of the edited editions, and I would recommend finding the book in the original, unadulterated version if you can.

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