Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Book Review: A Farewell to Arms

Another book that I finished over the Thanksgiving break was A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. I have been a bit critical of him despite having only read The Old Man and the Sea which I in fact enjoyed, so I decided to read this novel and see what all the fuss was about. I must admit that it is a good book. I enjoyed the very real dialogue that he used as well as the story line itself. I did not feel that I got a good sense of the characters’ emotions however and especially the main character. He seemed to me to be fairly emotionless, which is fine except that I hoped for a bit more out of him. I also expected there to be more of a critique on war. Maybe it is not so much that there is not a good critique of war, but rather that there is the stronger storyline between the main character and his lover. I felt that he did a good job of showing the insanity of it when they were retreating and he was going to be shot because he was suspected of being a German infiltrator. Also there was the sense that no one really knew what was going on most of the time. The dialogue was often about what would happen next and the soldiers and civilians all had different opinions but never really knew anything. I found this to be true in my own experience in the army. Everyone has an opinion but no one really knows. Well in general I thought that it was a good read. It is both interesting yet insightful, subtle and yet clear.

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