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One of the things that I am most grateful to Audible for is introducing me to Hemingway. Like everything else of his this is sparsely written but magnificent and evocative. The economy of construction lends well to narration and the narrator is clear and interesing to listen to.
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The book is 40% the rambling thoughts of a war veteran, and 50% banter between him and his young girlfriend. With that alone, Hemingway is able to make the reader understand.
I wasn't sure I liked it until it was over. I didn't think there was much to it until I looked back and saw how much I had learned about a person.
So much about what is essential to this closely post war work has become common-place - ironically largely due to the enormous influence exerted over 1950?s and 60?s popular culture by Hemingway.
The landscape of Venice is now very familiar, Harry?s Bar being a central tourist destination, Valpolicella is on the shelf at every supermarket, there?s an Italian restaurant seemingly on every corner of every town, Generals David Petraeus, Stanley McChrystal and Nick Parker chase each other back and forth across the Six O?Clock News...and, whilst once there was a Hemingway on every bookshelf of every house, the link with the 1954 Nobel Laureate is broken.
Where there is talk these days, it is of the other major works - and so dipping into this secondary tier of the oeuvre is an interesting and well worth while excursion.
Lots to enjoy - and plenty to reflect on. Nothing more striking than the role of the Hero-Colonel and the siting of this mucho macho romance over the table top and across the counterpane of the 51 year old Hemingway?s liaison with the 19 year old Adriana Ivancich.
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