Rating: 2.5 / 5
THE SUN ALSO RISES by Ernest Hemingway was the August pick for the #classicsbuddyread on Instagram. I had the opportunity to visit the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Florida while on a Bahamas cruise with a friend a couple years back, so I was happy to have the opportunity to read some of Hemingway’s work. The tour was really interesting, including the large population of polydactyl (six-toed) cats and a house packed full of photos and written work.
THE SUN ALSO RISES follows a group of young people in post-World War I Europe in the 1920s. Jake Barnes is a young man who was injured in the war. Brett Ashley is a socialite out to have fun in life. While Jake is in love with Brett, she isn’t able to handle the sexual impotence resulting from his injuries.
Quite frankly I have little to say about the plot of the book because… there really wasn’t one? Goodreads has this book hyped as Hemingway’s masterpiece and the book that helped establish him as one of the greatest writers, but I have to admit it didn’t hit the mark for me.
The book does successfully get across the disillusionment these people have with the world in recovery after the war. The excessive drinking (and I do mean excessive) alone says a lot about how these characters are hiding from reality. They (especially Brett) bounce around between relationships and travel between countries (drinking in Paris, bull fighting in Spain, a fishing trip along the way) looking for something that will really satisfy, but things continue to miss the mark.
I think this one just missed the mark for me. I do think I’d give Hemingway another try in the future, but this isn’t one I’d personally recommend!