I recently finished reading Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, and thought I would share my experience with reading this well-known, widely read classic. Prior to reading this novel, I had only read his short stories (“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” anyone?), and I was a little hesitant to read an entire novel because sometimes when I really enjoy a writer’s short stories, I end up disliking their extended works. However, I actually enjoyed The Sun Also Rises all the way through. Reading the novel took me a little longer than I anticipated because I haven’t really been in a super reading mode lately considering all the stress I’ve been under, but this novel got me back into reading mode once I hit page 100. The story follows Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley on their journey through France and Spain in the 1920s. There is a tortured quality to their relationship, and it’s as if Brett, a strong and independent woman, only reaches out to Jake when she is at her most vulnerable. Throughout the novel, I was rooting for Jake and Brett to finally end up together, but since don’t want to ruin the novel for you, I suppose you will have to read the novel to find out if that happens.
A majority of the novel takes place in cafes and hotels, which envelops the story in a romantic light. I liked Hemingway’s quick dialogue, and found the story to be entertaining. He chooses his words carefully, and only gives details that you absolutely need to understand the story, which I appreciate. He’s definitely not one of those writers that fill pages with fluff, which is probably why he’s so renowned. I hope you might take a little time to read this book because the writing is truly beautiful. The ending made me tear up, which is highly unusual for me (unless I’m reading John Green, that is a completely different story). But the ending of this novel has some great last words. So, grab some shoes, go to your bookstore, and check it out!
Some quotes I found to be especially beautiful were:
“You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”
“I am always in love.”
“I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it. Maybe if you found out how to live in it you learned from that what is was all about.”
“Everyone behaves badly–given the chance.”
At the risk of sounding oxymoronic, I would recommend this novel to people looking for an easy-read classic.