Among the list of great classics which I’ve enjoyed reading, this title stands as the first novel that I’ve read written by Ernest Hemingway. The experience was very positive and rewarding from the perspective of an aspiring writer.
In essence, the book is a fiction written by Hemingway loosely based around his very real experiences as an American volunteer enlisted in the Italian army during the height of World War 1.
Hemingway’s writing style is very different from what I’m used to in classic literature, but very vivid and descriptive. He knows how to paint a pretty picture of landscapes, somber environments and great tragedies. He exposes the atrocities of war and the various ironies of life.
Hemingway hits upon issues of love and lust, exposes his alcoholic tendencies and perhaps his cynicism with this world.
The book was an enjoyable read. I was able to see the world through his eyes and through wonderful storytelling I was fully engaged throughout the length of the novel, revealing to me why he had earned a name for himself as one of the great novelists of the 20th century.
The story revolves around a man known as Tenente. He overcomes great hardship through his war experiences and falls in love. His difficulties become paramount after a bad expedition into enemy territories resulting in an ultimate struggle for survival. The book ends tragically and solemnly.
I would highly recommend this novel to anyone interested in improving their own writing style through taking lessons from the greats, or any person interested in the stories of world war 1. The story has aged timelessly because of Hemingway’s ability to relate very human thoughts and emotions which never really change but just adapt to the times.
This book is a cynical tragedy but also beautiful. I imagine evoking great emotion in conversation about its content. Give it a try one day if you are looking for a good read that leaves you thinking!
If you’ve ever read this novel before, feel free to share your thoughts below!