Friday, December 2, 2011

The One on A Farewell to Farewell to Arms

Twitter: Nothing better than reading in a park

Finally! After multiple scratches with destiny (for example, the loss of the book for about a month) I have been able to finish and evaluate A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemmingway.

Here's the Goodreads review:

A Farewell to ArmsA Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The biggest fault I can find in this book are its lack of originality (I mean, a war love story? She's a nurse and he gets injured? They have a baby? Come on), although, given that this book was written about 100 years ago before any novel became "unoriginal" this might be overlooked.

Anyways, I think that of greater importance than the plot is notorious style that Hemmingway is known for. From what I recall of The Old Man and the Sea, in said novel Hemmingway fully embraced his sort of cavemannish way of writing, enveloping the story in a sorts of mist of image. Rather than the endless blathering that some other authors could have given to the times out at sea, EH kept it succint and beautiful.

HOWEVER, what the heck happened here? A Farewell to Arms is pretty much a failure in this sense. What I enjoy about the so called "Iceberg Theory" is that you have to think things through a bit, visualize them is harder but "realer", etc. In summary, it creates attentive readers.


What the "Iceberg Theory" created in A Farewell To Arms, however, was the opposite from attentive readers. After all, it provided shallow characters in boring settings with a predictable plot and evident foreshadowing. Maybe he was trying to portray Catherine as a flimsy kind of woman, but given her life history I highly doubt it. And then, the main character of the story, there are some hints at what his line of thought are, which is the only time when I think this theory of omission worked, but his dialogue was stupid. Just that, stupid. He wouldn't respond to what other characters asked him, he was monosyllabic to the point were it become obnoxious.

I have to say I'm a bigger fan of the verbose author, even if it can be a lot more painful to read.

View all my reviews

Now, honestly, this book did not impress me at all. I originally rewarded it with three out of five stars but then came to the realization that this was very unfair of my side, especially when I have been a rather hard critic on many other books, and lowered the stars to two.

After all, at times the book was entertaining and easy to read, etc, etc..

Yet what seems impressive to me is that even though I am a sucker for romance novels, and the fact that Gone with the Wind is one of my favorite books (thus hinting at my aprecciation for war romance), I did not in the least feel moved by this one. Oh, yes, I nearly cried at the ending, but then, it was cry-worthy and I cry about everything. (Cryworthy: see "melodramatic and obvious.")

Anyways, the Goodreads review covers what I think to be the "Nobel Laureate Conclusion."

Thank you for reading, hope you have a nice day!

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