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Week on the web

weekontheweb

Here are my finds for this week…

Ah, humanity. I give you rainbows, but you prefer 50 Shades of Grey.

Isn’t that funny? Plus, God is following exactly one person, and you know who that is? Justin Bieber! Love it!

    What have you found this week?

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Book beginnings on Friday

mww

Today’s book beginning is from a book by Ernest Hemingway that is on my reading list for the very near future, “Men without women”. The beginning  is from the first story called “The Undefeated”.

Manuel Garcia climbed the stairs to Don Miguel Retana’s office. He set down his suitcase and knocked on the door. There was no answer. Manuel, standing in the hallway felt there was someone in the room. He felt it through the door.

I haven’t read on and I don’t know what the story is about. I like the beginning.

What is YOUR book beginning today? To see more book beginnings go to A few more pages!

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Paris in July: A moveable feast by Ernest Hemingway

A moveable feastBlurb:

‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.’ Hemingway’s memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the 1920s are deeply personal, warmly affectionate and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him – literary ‘stars’ like James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein – he recalls the time when, poor, happy and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation.

 


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x  Yes       No

For people who like: Hemingway, Paris, the 1920s, biographies 


 

My thoughts: 

It took me quite some time to read this, but not because I didn’t like it. It’s just that biographical writing never keeps my attention as much as fiction, no idea why. So I read a lot of stuff in between. Hemingway_1923

This was fascinating. Ernest Hemingway describes a time and a lifestyle that is lost. He and his wife  Hadley were living a lifestyle that sounds unbelievably bohemian and almost romantic. It seems life in Paris in the 1920 cost buttons. He was poor, still they had money to go to the races, drink every day at various cafés, go skiing in Austria, go to Spain for the bull fights…..Working somehow seemed to get done in passing.

Hemingway met a lot of interesting people, all American expats, and what he has to say about them is not always flattering, but always interesting. I know nothing about Gertrude Stein, but what I learned about her here makes me want to go and find out more. The same with Ezra Pound. I particularly enjoyed reading Hemingway’s descriptions and observations about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda.

If you like reading about past times that everyone wishes back, then this is the book for you. Don’t we all want a moveable feast in our lives?

Image: Ernest Hemingway’s passport photo in 1923. Source: Wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title A moveable feast
Author Ernest Hemingway
Publisher Scribner
ISBN 978-0684833637
Buy link Buy A Moveable Feast

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Sakura’s review at chasing bawa

Lakeside Musing

Bookstore bingo 

Bookstorebingo_Moveable_Feast 

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The Garden of Eden by Ernest Hemingway

garden_of_eden_coverBlurb:

A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961. Set on the Côte d’Azur in the 1920s, it is the story of a young American writer, David Bourne, his glamorous wife, Catherine, and the dangerous, erotic game they play when they fall in love with the same woman.

My thoughts: 

I have read reviews of this book that covered the whole range from “a dreadfully boring story without any plot” to “literary porn”. It is neither.

The plot is not quite what you would expect from reading the short blurb. David is far from falling in love with the same woman as Catherine, but rather he is pushed into her arms by his absolute nutcase of a wife.

Hemingway has a knack of creating women who are manipulative and destructive, he must have disliked us a great deal. I hated Catherine from chapter one and felt sorry for David from the start. The poor guy had no idea what he had gotten himself into when he married her three weeks ago. At first I thought that she had successfully hidden her insanity and gender-bending tendencies, until someone, whom I read the book with, pointed out to me that she was obviously pushed into that behaviour by an incident happening after their marriage. That made sense, even though I would have never connected those two things myself.

After realizing that I felt not quite as unforgiving towards her, but still, her behaviour was so creepy that I just couldn’t figure out why David would not only accept it, but actually played along.

The way Marita was added as third person to the triangle was so matter of fact, she turned up, was dragged into the situation by Catherine and, again, David lets her do as she pleases. I found that weird, but then, who can blame him for wanting an additional companion as moral support against his crazy wife. That eventually he’d fall in love with Marita was only natural.

The parallel story that was told by David in his book about the elephant hunt in Africa was very fascinating. I could very much feel what David felt when the elephant was killed. Guilt, regret and the resolve never to confide anything again. I was drawn into it even though before I could not have thought of a less interesting topic than an African elephant hunt.

It was also very interesting to read about the problems of writers when no inspiration comes to them. And about the feelings of the writer when his work gets lost. Again this was done so beautifully, with David’s feelings so clear, I could have killed Catherine myself.

I was glad to see the book end on a positive note though. I don’t think it could have had a better ending. Uplifting and satisfying, especially given the absolutely disturbing atmosphere throughout the whole story.

Title The Garden of Eden
Author Ernest Hemingway
Publisher Scribner
ISBN 9780684804521
Buy link Buy The Garden of Eden
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The sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway

fiesta_engl_3Blurb:

The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century

My thoughts: 

This was my first book by Ernest Hemingway and it made me a fan of his right away. Usually I don’t like books where I cannot relate to the main female character, but that fact didn’t bother me here at all. Instead I revelled in my dislike for Brett throughout the story. What a manipulative bitch! And everything she did was done with an innocent “I can’t help it, I am little woman” touch, I hated that! She loves Jake oh so much, but can’t be together with him (I never understood that conflict in the first place. If she loved him so much she COULD have been with him). So she decides to marry Mike. Poor Mike! But Mike is not here to satisfy her, so she decides to go for a little fling with Robert Cohn, just that the love struck Robert doesn’t recognize her for what she is and takes the affair way too seriously.

I liked how all the threads of this quadrangle – if you can call it a quadrangle – come together in Pamplona in the heat of summer and the excitement of the fiesta. There the young and pretty Pedro Romero, a bullfighter, comes into play when he is the next to fall under Brett’s dubious spell. And when she gets into trouble who does she call to get her out of it? And Jake, the fool, goes and rescues her once more, instead of leaving her to rot in the hotel room in Madrid!

So, you see, the plot gave me a lot to be angry about, but in such a satisfying way that I loved it.

Even the descriptions of the bullfights, something I hate, added to the atmosphere and made this even better. I could picture myself sitting in one of the street cafes, I could feel the excitement and the building tension in the little group. A fantastic read!

There is also a movie adaptation from 1957 that I would like to mention. I can’t recommend it 100%  as it was quite melodramatic with Brett continuously declaring her desperate love for Jake and a rather awful cast. Ava Gardner as Brett and Tyrone Power as Jake are about as wrong as you can get (don’t ask me who would be right, though. I have no idea!) The only actor who fit in my eyes was Mel Ferrer as Robert Cohn. I always found Mel Ferrer quite creepy and that becomes the character Robert quite a bit.

However, if you like movie adaptations it is worth a try.

 

Title The sun also rises
Author Ernest Hemingway
Publisher Scribner
ISBN 9780743297332
Buy link Buy The Sun Also Rises
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Book beginnings on Friday

 

A moveable feast

 

I only started reading “A moveable feast” by Ernest Hemingway today, but already I like it. I liked it from the first sentence. In “A moveable feast” he tells us about the time when he lived in Paris in the 1920. This is how he begins it…

Then there was the bad weather.

The more I read by him the bigger a fan I become.

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Comparing covers: The garden of Eden

There are quite a few different covers out for “The garden of Eden” by Ernest Hemingway.

garden_of_eden_covereden1 eden2

eden3 eden5 eden6

eden7

My two favourite ones are the first two. The third one is ok, I suppose, no. four I am not sure about. What exactly is this supposed to be? The first German one, hm, the girl is not at all what I picture her to be like. The second German one is absurd. Is this supposed to be David? Ridiculous! The beach is ok, not saying much about the story and definitely makes it look more idyllic than it is. The book contains other love stories as well, but The garden of Eden is the cover story.

Which one do you like best, especially if you know the story?

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Book beginnings on Friday

 

garden_of_eden_cover

I started reading “The Garden of Eden” by Ernest Hemingway this week. What a difference to Thomas Mann in writing style!

This is the first sentence:

They were living at le Grau du Roi then and the hotel was on a canal that ran from the walled city of Aigues Mortes straight down to the sea.

Doesn’t this set a nice scene already? I want to go there myself now.

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Book beginnings on Friday

 

1926

Today’s book beginning is from a book I read some weeks ago, “The sun also rises” by Ernest Hemingway. If you would like to see more covers, please have a look at the Comparing Covers post from a few days ago.

Robert Cohn was once middleweight boxing champion of Princeton. Do not think I am very much impressed by that as a boxing title, but it meant a lot to Cohn. He cared nothing for boxing, in fact he disliked it, but he learned it painfully and thoroughly to counteract the feeling of inferiority and shyness he had felt on being treated as a Jew at Princeton.

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Comparing covers: The sun also rises

I read “The sun also rises” by Ernest Hemingway in February and quite liked it. So, it’s time to look at some of its covers. The title of the book when it was published in the UK in 1927 was “Fiesta” and this is what it is still called in Germany.

I couldn’t find a lot of German covers unfortunately, but there are plenty of English ones (and still more than I am showing here).

Fiesta German

Most of the covers focus on the bullfight, not surprising given the book title, but even though the “fiesta” is an important part of the book and there IS a bullfight I think that an image of a bullfight gives the potential reader a wrong impression of the book. Mine is the 6th one, one of the least attractive, but swappers can’t be choosers.

1926 1927 UK fiesta_engl_2

fiesta_engl_3 fiesta_engl_1 fiesta_engl_8

fiesta_engl_7fiesta_engl_4 

I also found an Italian cover, which I actually like best (in spite of the bull motif).

Fiesta Italian

And yet another one, this time Spanish…

Fiesta Spanish

 

Which one do you like best?