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Thu June 21, 2012
Good Read: A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
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The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway’s frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto – of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized – is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.
“This semi-autobiographical novel feels very real. It apparently established Hemingway as an American writer and was made into a couple of films in the 30’s and 50’s. Ultimately a tragedy, A Farewell to Arms expounds upon Hemingway’s World War I experience as an ambulance driver. The narrative follows the romance between an American soldier and a British nurse during their service on the Italian front. The book doesn’t really show its tragic hand until its end, though; which can leave you writhing with emotion and feeling very miniscule and inane.” - Chris Taylor