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Past Discussions of Group Reads > The Sun Also Rises--SPOILERS LIKELY!

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message 1: by Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner), The Founding Bookworm (new)

Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner) (perpetualpageturner) | 4407 comments Mod
Please feel free to talk freely in this thread about the book...(try and let people know where you are up to)

message 2: by Lynn (new)

Lynn this is my general review of the book (not exactly containing spoilers but maybe more than you would want to know if you haven't read it yet):

I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did! Lots of wine-ing and dining. It made me jealous. I would love to lead a life where all I did was hop about town with friends, eating and drinking and making new friends and experiencing life. Like those nights where you run into everybody and form a big party and you talk too loud and laugh too much and everybody is your best friend. And maybe you split off from the group with one person and you have deep and insightful conversations about everything and nothing at all and maybe you cry a little and you always end with a hug. And you pass out in bed, dizzy with joy and alcohol, loving your life and everyone in it. This book reminded me of some of those good nights. I liked just about everybody. I would like to run into them the next time I'm out. I felt sort of sorry for poor Cohn, though he should have known better. Jeez.. why is this book so good? I can't put my finger on it. Just enjoy.


"I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it."

"It is very important to discover graceful exits like that in the newspaper business, where it is such an important part of the ethics that you should never seem to be working."

"She is the only lady I have ever known who was as charming when she was drunk as when she was sober."

"It is because I have lived very much that now I can enjoy everything so well."

"I have never seen a man in civil life as nervous as Robert Cohn - nor as eager. I was enjoying it. It was lousy to enjoy it, but I felt lousy. Cohn had a wonderful quality of bringing out the worst in anybody."

"It was like certain dinners I remember from the war. There was much wine, an ignored tension, and a feeling of things coming that you could not prevent happening. Under the wine I lost the disgusted feeling and was happy. It seemed they were all such nice people."

Who were yall's fav characters? I really liked Count Mippiopolous (probably butchered that. haha)

message 3: by Sara (new)

Sara I just finished this book and like Lynn I did not expect to like it as much as I did.

I liked how the narrator explained everything that was going on and made sure you knew which character he was focusing on when he was speaking about them or to them. I wish I could just pick up and go to Spain with friends and dine out all the time. The ending was a bit confusing I am wondering if they will end up together after all or if Brett will continue from man to man breaking hearts along the way.

message 4: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I don't think Brett and Jake could ever be together even though they "love" each other. (I'm not sure how serious Brett is with her "I love you's" I feel like she's one of those people who has many different types of love and just b/c she loves you in one way doesn't mean she loves you in the right way... if that makes sense?) I got irritated with Brett's promiscuity.. but not as much as I thought I would. I guess b/c she was so open about it and everyone including her fiance was ok with it. I think she and Mike ended up married although each having open affairs.

message 5: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (Jessie08) | 128 comments I finished the book last night, and I got to say I didn't enjoy it very much. Nothing seemed to happen and I didn't really like any of the charachters, I just didn't feel a connection to any of them, they all seemed quite shallow and self absorbed. But I think thats what Hemmingway wanted? I'm not really sure? I feel like I must be a bit ignorant to Hemmingway's literary genius. I just think had this book been written today and not by some big name author that there's no way this book would ever get famous. I could be very wrong though because it seems you two have enjoyed it very much.

I'll agree with you Lynn, in that all the drinking and dining made me jealous, these people do seem to have the life. If nothing else this book makes me want to go to Paris.

As far as Brett's promescuity, I read somewhere that Hemmingway was considered sexist, and that the charachter of Brett was his way of showing what he thought of "independent" women, implying that they were all promiscuous.

Lynn, you also asked who was your favorite character; well like I said before, I didn't really like the charachters all the much, but I suppose my favorite would have to be Bill. I felt like he brought some wit and humour to the book.

message 6: by Lynn (new)

Lynn Before reading this book, I asked an acquaintance who is an English major what she thought of the book b/c she had just finished reading it. She said it was ok if you can get past his sexism... and I didn't really pick up on it. I mean, we didn't really get to see how he depicts all females you know? b/c we only got to see Brett and her promiscuity is a key part of the plot.

And Jessie, you aren't alone in disliking the book, I don't know anyone who likes it (outside of GR). This is the first Hemingway I've read, so I can't speak for the rest of his work.

message 7: by Jessie (new)

Jessie (Jessie08) | 128 comments Yeah Lynn, this is my first Hemingway also. I've heard others say they that they've enjoyed other books by him, despite not liking this one. So I definitely plan on reading more of his work in the future.

message 8: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I've heard a lot about Hemingway's sexism but I really haven't seen it portrayed in his books. I don't know much about gender equality through history but I think that by our current standards many men in the 1920's would be considered sexist.

message 9: by R (new)

R (feste) I've just finished reading this... I didn't like it at first, probably because I didn't expect to like it, but halfway through I started getting into it more. Actually I think the introduction of Bill was the turning point for me. Like Jessie said, he brought some humour to the book. It was only after I laughed at the silly Irony and Pity conversation that I started to enjoy the sparse prose.

Actually I think the racism was more blatant than the sexism... Like Annashu said, I guess all of that's a reflection of the times more than anything else.

message 10: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
Blah, blah, blah..... Did anything happen?

I finished it today and feel like it still isn't finished. I was waiting for a point to the story I guess. It was okay, and the description, while sometimes was too detailed, was great to help set the stage, it just seemed to me some of the characters forgot that something is supposed to happen in stories.

I agree that Bill is probably my favorite character, though that isn't saying much. I hated how Mike, Jake and Robert bowed to Brett on her every little wish. That would drive me INSANE, but she seemed to thrive on it. So, by default, Bill it is.

I am not sure what I was expecting, and am just really glad I wasn't expecting a wonderful story. It was just so-so. But......

I do agree with Lynn on the point of quotes. The book has some great ones.

message 11: by Lynn (new)

Lynn I think plots don't always have to exist. Sometimes the books I relate best to don't have plots, b/c the focus is on character analysis... although this book didn't really seem to delve into that much. Oh well. I just enjoyed it for what it was and I can't say much more than that.

message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna Shumaker (annashu) I think that even without a plot it was just fun to go along with the characters on a great adventure, kinda like living vicariously through them. I think Hemingway's sometimes overly detailed descriptions helps with that. I also think that not having a plot made it seem closer to real life because while many of my vacations (or whatever) have been fun there has never been like a build-up and climax and all that stuff that a plot has, I just did a lot of thing and had fun then it was over.

message 13: by Tami (new)

Tami | 3103 comments Mod
This will sound pretty naive of me, but I want my books to have a purpose, a delightful story, some fun. I work full time and have school full time, so this is my escape. I don't always feel the need to analyze, I don't want to always have to search for the meaning or value of what I am reading. Maybe the timing was just off. I will try some more Hemingway sometime, just probably not too soon.

message 14: by Lynn (new)

Lynn yeah that's what I was thinking, Annashu.. b/c life doesn't have a definitive plot. I don't know if this book would be considered Realism, but we talked about Realism a TON in American Lit II last semester and having no major plot is a major component of the genre.

But I also agree, Tami, that sometimes it is nice to have that story that's tied up with a pretty bow. I used to be really into everything ending happily or at least "cleanly" with all the pieces picked up and explained.. but after taking my first college lit class, I started appreciating books that did not fit my descriptions of "happy" or "clean." Not saying that THe Sun Also Rises is like that.. but kinda.

message 15: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I really liked this book! I think that I liked the lifestyle most of all--it's a group of friends (mostly writers), all expatriates, they drink a lot, travel around, make new friends, and, in spite of being drunk most of the time, get amazing opportunities. This book reminded me of The Rum Diary: A Novel in that respect.

Lady Brett Ashley is my favorite of Hemingway's women, of the novels that I've read. I agree that she seemed pretty insincere with her "I love yous." She reminded me a lot of Daisy from The Great Gatsby in that respect. Kind of flighty. Not exactly happy-go-lucky, but more of a calculating opportunist.

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