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In Our Time ~ Ernest Hemingway

December 22, 2010

Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Scribner
ISBN: 9780684822761
Source: Library

I’ve read a lot of Hemingway but I’ve always stayed away from In Our Time since I’m generally, not a short story fan. Hemingway’s voice, however, does lend itself to exploration through smaller vignettes even though For Whom the Bell Tolls, his longest book, is my true favorite.

I really can’t believe that this was his first published work. I mean, it is truly so, well, him. The most impressive or, really comforting, thing for me about the stories included in In Our Time was the similarity to the themes found in his later, more fleshed out work. The snippets of story about friendship, family, romance and life on the land and sea are the things that have always driven my Hemingway reading.

It is such a different style than my own preferred, flowery, ramblings that I’ve always been surprised that I do enjoy reading his books. With the same measure of difference, though, Hemingway’s prose received amazing acclaim from Fitzgerald who is as verbose as the day is long.

Of course, much of the stilted, simplicity that is attributed to Hemingway’s writing is not really warranted after a few pages of writing. He does dip into a little bit of a lyrical style once he gets rolling in most of his works. Of course, he’s not Fitzgerald but very few people actually are.

For readers who haven’t read much of Papa’s work, or were scared off by some monstrosity of a literature ogre in middle school who traumatized them with a seven week slogging through of The Old Man in the Sea, this is a good one to pick up.  Again, it gives the reader just a little taste of what Hemingway offers in his later works while still getting into deeper moments between friends on those moonlit nights, drinking down on the dock.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2010 5:24 pm

    I am so intimidated by Ernest Hemingway but know he’s an author who’s work I should try.

    • December 23, 2010 11:54 am

      Aw, no way! He’s really not hard from a reading stand point. The only thing I have trouble with in his writing is the very white male voice he has especially for the time. I don’t think he would write with the same racial and gender bias, today, as he did 80 years ago, though, although I don’t give him a total pass. I really would recommend For Whom the Bell Tolls for you since it’s more of a fleshed out story than his cut and dry prose. Let me know if you pick up anything by him!

  2. December 23, 2010 1:15 pm

    I haven’t read any Hemingway, though my son just finished The Old Man and the Sea for school. I have heard his prose style described as terse and embellished, which actually sounds like something I would enjoy. I am going to have to give this book a try, as it sounds like the perfect place to dip my toes into his work. Great review!

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