Sunday 1 June 2014

Novel Review: A Farewell to Arms (by Ernest Hemingway)

[Post published by Liviu, on Liviu's [Personal] Blog]

This is the review of Ernest Hemingway's [en.wikipedia] novel A Farewell to Arms [en.wikipedia], which I've read in September 2011; ISBN 1-85715-149-6
Nota bene: It's been quite a long time, I know, but only now have I had the time to finally move the review from draft to published state.

Hemingway has a strange way of telling a story. It is like his thoughts flow onto the paper - it is not the classic & careful storytelling, you know; it is like he is telling the story besides you there, at times making mistakes, at times being slightly incoherent, or remembering things randomly.
This is that type of book I can imagine successfully turned into a audio book. To some extent, I might say Hemingway was born too soon :) His storytelling reminds me of Ion Creanga's [en.wikipedia] "Childhood Memories", which flows just as nice and fluent.

The funny parts of the novel pop up suddenly.

That Catherine Barkley is one crazy character, I tell you.
However, I cannot say Frederic Henry is too sane either :D
Hey, they make a good crazy match!

As a side note, all characters drink heavily and they enjoy many types of alcohol. Maybe it was because of the war: maybe alcohol was clearly clean & germ-free, as opposed to water which might have contained germs and/or not have not been cleaned well enough. Or maybe it was because Italians have a lot of good wine; however they also drink brandy, whisky etc. Anyway, Frederic has jaundice twice because of constantly drinking alcohol - see my point?

It is a sad/bitter novel overall. Nevertheless, you shall enjoy it, so I recommend you to read it.

Nota bene: in the preface of the book, there are references & comparisons to William Faulkner's [en.wikipedia] novel The Sound and the Fury [en.wikipedia]. Now, since I have received this one as a gift some time ago (Thank you!), I guess I should read it at some point...

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