Preface; I don’t mean anything I say here. I’m sure all these people are great people. They are probably smart, funny, kind, caring people. I bet there are tons of books we would agree on. I like meeting people who have read some of my favorite books even if we disagree. I genuinely do enjoy that. But sometimes I get sad…just a little…and like any other self-respecting internet dweller to remedy this; I find people online I disagree with and tell them that they are wrong. But I’m far too nice to say these things to these people, and I don’t say these things to these people because this is petty and about as stupid as arguing over music, and of that I’m aware. Instead I say it here and let out some steam. You guys took me too seriously last time around, I don’t care if you don’t like these books, I still love you guys. It’s ok, just let me vent a little. I have fun with this. Also for the record, there are plenty 1 or 2 star reviews that I leave alone because they are perfectly reasonable.
***Acceptable 1 and 2 star reviews***
Katie 6/6/09 1 star
“I think it was Hemingway’s writing that prevented me from connecting with the book.”
Yeah, that’s cool, he is very much an acquired taste and one I’m surprised I acquired seeing as most of my other favorite authors are almost on the exact opposite end of writing styles.
Cait 10/04/15 1 star
“I like Hemingway. Or at least I think I like Hemingway. After this book, it’s 50/50.”
Understand. I felt that way after A Moveable Feast. He made it up to me though later, but this one could kill it for some I suppose.
Dux 11/5/14 2 stars
“The reason that I gave it 2 stars is just for the simple fact that I didn’t get attached to the book. As brilliant as I may think it is, I didn’t feel any impact or any different after closing the novel when I finished it.
Hemingway’s style is certainly something I have never come across before. My impression of it is that it seems so simple while being simultaneously incredibly complex.”
Fair enough. It is more complex than people realize, but I get not feeling any attachment to it. There are plenty of well written classics that I just can’t attach to as well.
The people below need my help. I’m here to help.
Genia Lukin 5/23/26 1 star
“Ah yes. What I needed in my life is a good dose of Lost Generation antisemitism, macho chauvinism and sanctimonious jerkassery. Oh, and bullfighting gore, which was, really, the least offensive of this book’s themes.”
Sounds like maybe you did need some of those things in your life. Glad you found them in this book.
Mary 5/10/16 1 star
“Seriously, Jake needs to find a hobby, give up on Brett, and stop taking train rides, for the good of all involved.”
That’s the trouble. He can’t give up on Brett because he’s in love with her. It’s tragic. It’s a tragic romance, most people miss that part.
Tom Bomp 5/7/15 1 star
“I don’t understand this. At all. I did not like a single aspect of this book. It’s racist, misogynist, anti-semitic crap. Some discussion of all that stuff follows.
I finally gave up when he mentioned a “[n word] drummer” who had 4 words of dialogue, all of which were written in some kind of absurd parody of African-American dialect, which, added to his racist description of Cohn (constant references to his Jewishness as a bad thing and all his bad features owing to him being a Jew) I found unbearable.”
Is it possible that the probably Haitian born African French musician at the turn of the century in Paris possibly spoke in a vernacular that was not crystal clear English? Wouldn’t it be more racist to give said character a perfectly clear English vernacular when it is likely that’s not how someone in his position at the time in history would have spoke? A book cannot be racist. The reader can be though. What does that say about you?
Liz 10/21/15 1 star
I won’t even start talking about the portrayal of women in this one, okay?
Oh that’s more than ok. I hope it’s a promise. Leave your misguided notions of feminism away from Hemingway and the world of lit, you’re not needed here.
Dylan 5/20/13 2 stars
“At its worst the novel wallows in a terribly sexist portrayal of women, and drowns itself in horrendous antisemitism. The latter is hurled at Robert Cohn, a character whose failings are attributed, repeatedly, to his Jewishness.”
Lady Brett Ashley had her way with every single guy in that book. She was in charge. That is not sexist. In the 20’s for her to be completely in control of her own sexual choices and not be ashamed about them…that’s more revolutionary than anything else. I don’t know how this always goes back to sexism or racism with some of you, but to find sexism in Brett Ashley’s character is really desperately reaching.
Pat 2/12/11 2 stars
“If I were an English teacher and someone submitted this to me they would fail. Where is the emotion? The descriptions? I can give a character a minor little injury as well, this isn’t talent.”
Ok, but you’re not actually an English teacher are you? Please tell me you’re not. You would have failed Hemingway. The descriptions of characters are lacking yes, Hemingway relies on his reader to create their own picture. I know that is work, but it is the fun part. And this isn’t a MINOR injury. He’s been rendered impotent due to an injury he sustained in the war. Do you understand what that means? He will never be in a long lasting relationship. He will never experience physical intimacy with someone he loves. He will quite literally die alone. Alone forever. How is that minor? That’s what everyone fears and here is a character that has no other option in life. Really though; you’re not an English teacher are you?
Sara 2/16/11 2 stars
“Ahh yes the boys club of Hemingway, this is trash, I had to read it for a class and I don’t understand why it is assigned it was women hating”
Gee, I hope that class wasn’t an English class because you managed to lose track of your tenses in one sentence. I mean I can get going into a few paragraphs and slip into stream of consciousness and not now what tense I’m in, but you managed to do it in one sentence. Hemingway wrote some of the most tragic love stories ever. To be able to do that he had to have loved deeply. He could not have hated women then created male characters that are so in love with these women. You don’t like it because it’s not Jane Austen. These are love stories told from a male point of view and somehow that becomes women hating.
PaloeAloe 10/12/12 2 stars
“Maybe 3 stars but I didn’t like the bull fighting, it’s inhumane”
This was turn of the century Spain. Please do find a way to put things in historical context. This was a small village that probably left less of a carbon footprint in one year than you do in one month. Their treatment of animals and nature was a part of their history. I don’t particularly care for the idea of bull fighting either, but once again….history.
Patricia S 3/9/09 2 stars
“Lady Ashley is a horrible representation of females. With all the sex and alcohol in this book I’d not allow my daughter to read it, there are no female role models”
I’m beginning to think you ppl who say ‘I’d not let my kid read it’ are insecure in your abilities as parents. You seem to think that your children are not able to read things and filter and make their own choices accordingly.Brett Ashley was a horrible person. She was manipulative, and selfish, and flippant of others. Some females are like that. Some males are like that. Not all females are kind, smart, funny, caring, and all the good things, it is perfectly acceptable in literature to have females that aren’t perfect. Also when I read reviews from people like you I thank my own parents a little more each time. They trusted me and their own parenting abilities enough to tell me to read. Read this book, read that book, read books you don’t like that don’t interest you, read books you love, read books you don’t understand, read children’s books, read about history, read about the future, read about the present. Read that book over there, read this one right here, read Mein Kampf, read The Bible, read things that bore you, read things that excite you, and things that make you happy, and things that make you laugh. And I’m a better person for it. Also your daughter has gotten drunk and had sex before. And if she hasn’t done it yet she’ll do it someday whether or not she reads this book.