Jake's Reviews > Men Without Women

Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
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Jan 06, 2010

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bookshelves: short-stories
Read in January, 2010

It's hard to believe that Hemingway was only 28 when he wrote this collection of stories: his voice is already fully formed and he writes with the gravity and weariness of a much older man. The standout stories here are both about over-the-hill sportsmen trying one last time. In "The Undefeated", the hero is a matador, and in "Fifty Grand", a boxer— but in both the theme is the same: how a man finds meaning in a meaningless, violent task. Some of the shorter stories in the volume are also good, and many feature similar characters: damaged, deeply hurt people trying to find their way in a world that's just about blown to bits. I hadn't realized before how important short stories were to understanding Hemingway's longer novels: now I wish I had read some of these before For Whom the Bell Tolls or The Sun Also rises.
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