It’s only fair that my first review corresponds with the quote on my homepage!
This was my first time reading Hemingway, and let me just say that I was not prepared. His prose is very unique – I have never read anything like it! The novel is semi-autobiographical (I’ll explain), and it follows Hemingway himself during his years in Paris. He talks about writing, drinking, his wife, the races, and the various famous authors he knew. Among these are Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald, as well as other poets and writers. The chronology of the novel is hard to explain – he splits the sections up but doesn’t necessarily say that they happen in that order.
What I love about this novel is that he starts off by saying that all or none of the novel may be true, which is great because I would love to imagine that all of it is true. It gives a beautiful little glimpse of Paris life and being a writer in a beautiful city and hanging out with the Fitzgeralds – everything I want in life! The best thing about it, is his little one-liners that really get me. His famous quote “Write the truest sentence you know” comes from this novel. I could write an entire post about his one-liners, but I won’t since that would be boring.
Another thing – he talks about writing honestly. It’s easy and it’s hard and it’s writing. His take on it is incredibly heartening for someone like me, who hopes to be a writer someday. He has this ability to capture you – even if he’s just talking about fishing. That being said, sometimes he rambles! Due to the semi-autobiographical nature of the novel, it makes perfect sense. He draws you into his brain which is wonderful and a bit confusing at times.
Overall, I loved it. I would read it again (and again) and I recommend it to you all!