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A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell To Arms (original 1929; edition 1929)

by Ernest Hemingway

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13,635145155 (3.76)339
Title:A Farewell To Arms
Authors:Ernest Hemingway
Info:Scribner (1995), Edition: 9th, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Tags:fiction, owned

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A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (1929)


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English (133)  Swedish (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (145)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
Undecided 3 or 4 stars for me. Worth reading, but I have not read enough Hemingway to know how it compares. ( )
  scott.bradley | Jul 24, 2014 |
I am not a fan of the minimalist, reporter that was Hemingway. Nor the amoral characters he populates his novels with. Still, I've read worse. Not all that it is cracked up to be. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
Third reading. ( )
  William345 | Jun 11, 2014 |
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway; (4*)

I found this to 'one' of Papa's best works. I know that it has been slandered and slammed but this reader appreciated the writing and the story lines.
The characters incorporate the desperation of youth, the insanity and traumatization of war and the strategy of day to day living rather than striving for anything like achievement or satisfaction which is the effect of the madness of war upon the human soul. It is a profoundly sexual book. But it also presents a love story between two individuals that has more depth and sensuality than one would expect from Hemingway. In addition, insights into the behavior of the military, both the allies and the axis powers, are fascinating; marked by the idiocy of human beings caught in any dramatic effort. It is a war story that touches on the humans involved and the devastating effect of battle on the individual. It is a love story that ends in tragedy because it is a passion born of war not sincerity. It is a commentary on the madness of politics and the indulgence in mass slaughter in order to accomplish nothing. A very meaningful novel from an author in his prime.
I DO recommend this one and found it to be a very satisfying read. ( )
1 vote rainpebble | Jun 7, 2014 |
In 1918 Ernest Hemingway enlisted in the Italian army as an ambulance driver. His experiences served as a back drop for A Farewell to Arms, the story of an Italian-speaking American lieutenant, Frederic Henry, a “Tenente,” in the Italian army in the First World War.

Although Henry is assigned as an ambulance driver near the front, at first he experiences the war from a relatively safe distance. We learn of his casual friendships with other Italian officers and a local priest through their cryptic Hemingway-esque dialog.

Henry is wounded in an Austrian barrage when he drives his ambulance to the front to ferry wounded behind the lines. During his recuperation, he meets and falls in love with Catherine Barkley, an English nurse. Though he loves her deeply, he feels a tug of male comradeship for the men in his old unit. Once he has fully recovered from his wounds, he returns to his unit. Alas, the "bromance" of war cannot gainsay its hellish aspects. Henry attempts to lead a small caravan of three ambulances to the front, only to be caught in an Austrian offensive at the Battle of Caporetto that drives the Italian army into a full blown retreat. Henry’s vehicles become mired in deep mud. Two Italian sergeants who had hitched a ride refuse to help extract the vehicles and just run away when Henry orders them to pitch in and push. Henry shoots one of them for disobeying his order, but the other escapes. Henry then must escape the pursuing Austrians to the rear on foot.

Things get really nasty when he crosses a bridge over which the retreating army must flee. The Italians have set up a kind of road block where the “battle police” arrest officers who are no longer with their units using a nearly irrebuttable presumption that they are deserters who have abandoned their charges. Punishment by firing squad is swift. Henry escapes by diving into the fast flowing river below, latches on to a large piece of floating debris, and is carried by the current to temporary safety.

Henry obtains some civilian clothes and seeks out and finds the English nurse. He learns that she became pregnant during their time together when he was convalescing. Fortunately, the couple is able to escape to Switzerland by way of a harrowing rowboat trip up Lake Maggiore. But unexpected circumstances mar their reunion.

Discussion:The novel is written as if spoken by Frederic Henry. Hemingway often begins a chapter with a description of the physical appearance of the locale in which the narrative is about to take place. He picks out small details that are unimportant to the story, but which lend an air of realism, such as:

"On a narrow street we passed a British Red Cross ambulance. The driver wore a cap and his face was thin and very tanned. I did not know him."

Once the stage is set, however, nearly all the action is described through conversational dialog among the characters.

Evaluation: I thought the first half of the novel was pretty slow moving. The conversations that established the relationships among the characters were pretty realistic, but often were repetitive. The action, however, became heart-pounding during the retreat from Caporetto when we see how brutally the First World War was fought. Hemingway does an excellent job setting up the reader for a heart-rending conclusion. This is a gripping, rather cynical tale.

(JAB) ( )
  nbmars | Apr 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
In its sustained, inexorable movement, its throbbing preoccupation with flesh and blood and nerves rather than the fanciful fabrics of intellect, it fulfills the prophecies that his most excited admirers have made about Ernest Hemingway... in its depiction of War, the novel bears comparison with its best predecessors. But it is in the hero's perhaps unethical quitting of the battle line to be with the woman whom he has gotten with child that it achieves its greatest significance.
added by jjlong | editTime (Oct 14, 1929)
It is a moving and beautiful book.

» Add other authors (39 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Hemingwayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bleck, CathieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ford, Ford MadoxIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hemingway, PatrickForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hemingway, SeanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Renner, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schuck, MaryCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vranken, KatjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warren, Robert PennIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Four Novels {Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Old Man ..., Sun Also Rises} by Ernest Hemingway

Romanzi volume I by Ernest Hemingway

The Novels Of Ernest Hemingway . by Ernest Hemingway

Five Novels: The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / To Have and Have Not / The Old Man and the Sea / For Whom the Bell Tolls (FOLIO SOCIETY) by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The First Forty-Nine Stories by Ernest Hemingway

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway by Ernest Hemingway (indirect)

Ernest Hemingway 6 Volume Set, "A Moveable Feast", "The Old Man and the Sea", "A Farewell to Arms", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "The Complete Short Stories (Finca Vigia Edition)","the Sun Also Rises" (Ernest Hemingway's 6 most famous works) by Ernest Hemingway (indirect)

Ernest Hemingway 6 Vols: A Moveable Feast / The Old Man and the Sea / A Farewell to Arms / For Whom the Bell Tolls / The Complete Short Stories / The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway (indirect)

Ernest Hemingway 6 Volume Set, "A Moveable Feast", "The Old Man and the Sea", "A Farewell to Arms", "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "The Complete Short Stories (Finca Vigia Edition)","the Sun Also Rises" (Ernest Hemingway's 6 most famous works) by Ernest Hemingway (indirect)

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway

Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway

Four Book Set (QP) {Complete Short Stories; Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Sun Also Rises} by Ernest Hemingway

Book-of-the-Month-Club Set of 5: A Farewell to Arms, A Moveable Feast, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, & The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (The Finca Vigia Edition) (Book-of-the-Month Club) by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast / For Whom the Bell Tolls / A Farewell to Arms / The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway Boxed Set: Comprising Farewell to Arms; for Whom the Bell Tolls; Sun Also Rises; Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway

In Our Time, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms - Boxed set by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway - Four Novels - Complete and Unabridged: The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Hemmingway - The Sun Also Rises, a Farewell to Arms, to Have and Have Not, for Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Aguas primaverale / Fiesta / Adiós a las armas / Tener y no tener by Ernest Hemingway


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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684801469, Paperback)

As a youth of 18, Ernest Hemingway was eager to fight in the Great War. Poor vision kept him out of the army, so he joined the ambulance corps instead and was sent to France. Then he transferred to Italy where he became the first American wounded in that country during World War I. Hemingway came out of the European battlefields with a medal for valor and a wealth of experience that he would, 10 years later, spin into literary gold with A Farewell to Arms. This is the story of Lieutenant Henry, an American, and Catherine Barkley, a British nurse. The two meet in Italy, and almost immediately Hemingway sets up the central tension of the novel: the tenuous nature of love in a time of war. During their first encounter, Catherine tells Henry about her fiancé of eight years who had been killed the year before in the Somme. Explaining why she hadn't married him, she says she was afraid marriage would be bad for him, then admits:
I wanted to do something for him. You see, I didn't care about the other thing and he could have had it all. He could have had anything he wanted if I would have known. I would have married him or anything. I know all about it now. But then he wanted to go to war and I didn't know.
The two begin an affair, with Henry quite convinced that he "did not love Catherine Barkley nor had any idea of loving her. This was a game, like bridge, in which you said things instead of playing cards." Soon enough, however, the game turns serious for both of them and ultimately Henry ends up deserting to be with Catherine.

Hemingway was not known for either unbridled optimism or happy endings, and A Farewell to Arms, like his other novels (For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, and To Have and Have Not), offers neither. What it does provide is an unblinking portrayal of men and women behaving with grace under pressure, both physical and psychological, and somehow finding the courage to go on in the face of certain loss. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:58 -0400)

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An American officer in the Italian ambulance corps and an English Red Cross nurse find love on the battlefield during WW I.

(summary from another edition)

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Legacy Library: Ernest Hemingway

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