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Another timeless classic by Hemmingway, true to the Iceberg Style he made famous, Ernest uses the story to portrait Frederic Henry, providing an intimate understanding of the protagonist, an American ambulance driver serving in the Italian army during the First World War.
A Farewell to Arms, is a combination of a great book that will break your heart.
About an American who evidently volunteered to drive an ambulance during WWI in Italy. A shell goes off nearby where he is located so he goes to a hospital to recover. There he has relations with a naughty nurse till preggers.
He returns to the front and there is a retreat, officers such as himself are being shot so he escapes like James Bond and relocates his gal.
He hears he may get arrested for being AWOL so they decided to row boat to the safety of the Swiss.
Slow early, picks up. Swearing. Feels like junior high level writing, menu/wine list data.
A Farewell to Arms is great in its depictions of war and aspects of Italy’s experience during World War I. Some of the most riveting parts of the novel are when the main character in the book, Frederic Henry, is on or near the front lines. The depiction of the Italian Army’s retreat during the Battle of Caporetto and the collapse of discipline within the ranks of the Italian Army are highlights of the book.
Another interesting aspect of the book is the developing love between Henry and British nurse Catherine Barkley and the heartbreak that can come from relationships and death. Hemingway’s descriptions of the mountains and valleys of Italy and the mountains of Switzerland are good and can help the reader form a good picture of the setting and beauty of the countryside.
A drawback of the novel is that the dialog between some of the characters can be a little hard to follow. There are parts of conversation in the story where it is confusing as to which character is doing the talking. Some of the dialog between characters is a little boring at times as well. This book is an interesting read for those who like classic literature and want a combination of a tragic love story and a representation of war.
If you've never read the book, beware of the Hemingway library edition. There are several introductions and one of them has spoilers in it. Major plot points are revealed by Hemingway's grandson.
A Farewell to Arms is absolutely worth reading. It is the story of how war costs people their humanity, and how temporary all things might be. Hemingway is known for being a "plain" writer who puts great meaning in each word, and this is very clear in this book. It could be a challenging book for younger or infrequent readers, to follow the various themes, but it is absolutely worth the effort. The protagonist is made to experience war and Italy at the behest of others, it is the story of a person struggling for autonomy and the significance of choice.
My second Hemingway read, this one did not disappoint. Compared to other Hemingway novels I did find the start of the book and character development took a bit longer than 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' but in the end you could truly feel the emotions and actions of the Italian front. War buffs will love this read!
"Banned in Italy (1929) because of its painfully accurate account of the Italian retreat from Caporetto, Italy." from www.ala.org American Library Association
I grew up a bad m/f. Real bad. But, let me tell you... this book is a strong and powerful piece of literature. I have read it about 1/2 dozen times throughout my life, and every time I read this book I find myself fighting tears throughout the last pages of this classic. Giving me these emotions is not something easy to do. Ernest Hemingway is the baddest.
You must enjoy Hemingway's writing style to appreciate this novel. If you do, A Farewell to Arms is worth reading...an interesting perspective on the state of the Italian military machine during World War I. If you don't enjoy Hemingway's writing, don't be sucked in to reading this just because you are a war buff. With Ernest, it's all or nothing.
A great novel in the classic Hemingway writing style that helped me get a better understanding of World War 1. The story is interesting enough to follow, and the war-action bits keep you on your toes at times. It's a love story, and a bit mushy at times, but nonetheless full of passion, sacrifice etc. Recommend to anyone interested in a historical fiction or an easy read!
I hate this book. I am in the process of reading it as my best friends Dad gave it to him to read.
Hemingway has a very distinct style that some really love and others despise. This book isn't the most uplifting story, but I thought it was an interesting commentary on WWI. I also like Hemingway's subtle humor.
Just finished this story. It definitely painted a picture of Hemingway's time in the war, an abumlance driver, and the woman he first fell in love with rather more realistically. Yet, because not so much is known about the WWI nurse who stole his heart, I see the fiction side of it. Honestly, this is the very first time I read a story that has a rather sad ending. But yet an ending that seems to be open to interpretation to the reader. I do wonder if he ever reconnected with this mysterious nurse he fell in love with years after WWI.
this is perhaps the primary example of Hem's idealization of women. there's alot to wade through here on the way to the long run on sentence which ends the novel. many at the time classified ernie as a 'realist'---as opposed to a 'romantic' (like fitzgerald) writer. well, i for one think this needs to be revaluated. too bad his marriage to an equally talented martha gellhorn, did not last (both were too busy working ).
Ernest Hemingway’s classic A Farewell to Arms displays the commonalities of war and love. Frederic Henry is an American man serving in the Italian army as an ambulance driver whose character develops through his views on the raging war and his romantic involvement with Catherine Barkley, an English nurse. Caught amidst merciless slaughter, despair, comradeship, and love, Henry’s feelings towards his surroundings transform in a very realistic way. Hemingway’s prose is delightful to read and enhances the effectiveness of the story. Furthermore, the dialogues and descriptions of settings are thorough and enjoyable. Throughout the narrative, thematic elements pertaining to war and love are beautifully demonstrated. Powerful, historical, and definitely worth reading!
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
World War I romance between Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley. The love affair between Catherine and Frederic is a little ham-handed and forced. Sometimes it made me think of how people in a desperate situation, faced with war and death at every turn, might fall in love. Other times it felt a little dry and silly. Still, the language around it was rich and it felt like a classic. If you can get past some of the cheese, you arrive at a brilliant war story, one of the great ones.
When I read this book as a teenager, I couldn't understand the characters or the writing style or the dialogue. But I read it again for a lit class in my senior year of undergrad, and I was moved to tears. Being able to understand this as a wartime novel, being able to decipher the character choices and motives, I was overwhelmed by the sadness and desperation for normalcy that both of these characters feel. Not everyone likes Hemingway's style, and that's understandable, but it must be acknowledged that he was capable of crafting incredible, human stories.
If considering for an elective book report, the text is easy to follow. The content (war and human suffering) might be disturbing for younger readers. Parental consent where appropriate.
A Farewell to Arms is a tremendous novel. It employs Hemingway's signature simplicity, but it is not as simple as I remember Hemingway's other works being. He used elegant language and description more freely, but never more than you'd expect from Hemingway. This blend makes for a wonderful novel, a novel that lets the story and the characters speak for themselves. It is well-casted, well-plotted, and paced perfectly. It is thrilling and heartbreaking.
If you have seen the movie Silver Linings Playbook, you may recall a scene where the protagonist, so frustrated with the ending of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms, ends up chucking the classic novel out the attic window of his parents house. After finishing this novel, I can sort of relate to that frustration.
This novel concerns a man named Lieutenant Henry, who works as an ambulance driver in the Italian Army during WWI. Each day he's on duty is a struggle to stay alive. It's not all so bad though, after Henry meets a nurse named Catherine Barkley, who he falls in love with over time. Hope for their future together fuels Henry through the hardships he comes to face in the war.
I don't really want to spoil anything here, despite the fact that the novel came out in 1929, so I'll just say that Henry cant seem to catch a break through the whole novel. It's pretty devastating at points.
While the material is pretty heavy, this couldn't be an simpler book to read. This is the first book I've read by Hemingway, and I have to say, I really dig this dude's style. The writing is pretty straightforward and to the point. Hemingway makes his material very easy for his audience to digest. I, for one, appreciate that.
great story about the italian front during WW1. great love story. sharply written-no nonsense approach - the usual great crisp Hemingway style
This is not your average war story- the narrator is not a soldier, but a taxi driver, and eventually, not even that. However, the story still touches on important themes of death, coping, and relationships.
Hemingway's writing is very straightforward- and if you like flowery language, this might be a bit dull for you.
Personally, I enjoyed the no-nonsense writing, though I did not become particularly attached to Catherine.