July Books 17) The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
I had almost no expectations or knowledge of this book before I opened it; my only other Hemingway, read and much enjoyed a year ago, was The Old Man and the Sea so I was mildly braced for more tales of Atlantic fishery, rather than for the intense story of disillusioned young things in Paris in the mid-1920s, drinking too much, shagging each other, and heading off to Spain for the bullfights. I must say I loved it; though the book starts off by telling us about Robert Cohn, in fact it is much more about the narrator, Jake Barnes, and his discreetly undescribed war wound; and a quest for courage and death by him and Brett, his and Cohn's mutual love interest. Hemingway's staccato writing style is enviably clear and crisp, telling us much more with some of the individual punctuation marks than you sometimes get with entire paragraphs. On the basis of this and The Old Man and the Sea I shall try and expand my Hemingway collection fairly rapidly.