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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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13,449141158 (3.76)325
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)

1001 (62) 1001 books (59) 20th century (235) American (219) American fiction (63) American literature (412) classic (395) Classic Literature (52) classics (329) Ernest Hemingway (51) fiction (1,780) Hemingway (189) historical fiction (69) Italy (209) literature (397) lost generation (51) love (94) modernism (59) Nobel Prize (47) novel (361) own (62) read (174) Roman (44) romance (81) to-read (125) unread (88) USA (50) war (356) WWI (476) WWII (44)

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Showing 1-5 of 129 (next | show all)
My encounter with Hemingway has been a long time coming; he sat on my TBR pile for more than a year. Hemingway employs a unique style, a deceptive simplicity that hides layers, and at first I misinterpreted. The spare style had me initially convinced that I was reading a scene from the narrator's childhood. Realizing my mistake, I felt the detached manner reflected his sense of not belonging, a lack of identification with the troops he serves with. When he exchanges a goodnight with the priest who’s been subjected to ribald humour, it's clear he relates more to this outsider than his fellow servicemen.

There's an interesting repetition of words/ideas. From chapter four: "It evidently made no difference whether I was there to look after things or not.” Just a few lines later: “Evidently it did not matter whether I was there or not." Does Hemingway want his readers to pay special attention to this point, or is this to convey a sentiment the narrator dwells upon? It happens mostly in the early chapters, then crops up again later.

The love story begins when Catherine reveals that she sees as clearly as he does the game they’re playing, and suddenly he views her as a person and doesn’t know how to deal with the emotion this engenders. He tries to treat it lightly, then is surprised when he cannot. Their romance develops in a charming way, but takes a poorer turn when she makes statements like "There isn't any me anymore. Just what you want." But how much does she mean it, really? They mutually acknowledge his lies, or at least she does; but he does not challenge her words that might be spoken only as part of their game of love.

You cannot run away or hide from hardship, is the moral. Or perhaps you can for a time, but you'd best appreciate the interval. The narrator has a premonition of this when he is lying awake in the chalet. He has escaped Italy, but he cannot possibly escape all bad things, nor predict from what quarter the next will arrive. The movie "Silver Linings Playbook" spoiled the ending for me, but I was made glad I knew what was coming. War cannot last forever, thus a farewell to arms; nor can most else. ( )
  Cecrow | Dec 6, 2013 |
I wanted to like this, as I usually love books set in WWI but I just can't stand Hemingway's style. ( )
  mlfhlibrarian | Oct 23, 2013 |
I read this in June 1949. On June 7 I said: "Am half way through 'A Farewell to Arms.' It is just a story of a guy's amorous and boring life on the Italian front in World War One. Not very good." On June 8 I said: "Finished 'Farewell to Arms'--well-written, dull, and non-inspiring. Just tells of a couple who sleep together whenever they can, and how they go to Switzerland and she has baby and dies. Twas easy to read, though." ( )
1 vote Schmerguls | Oct 19, 2013 |
Situated around the first world war. Hemingway is so matter of fact about many things. There is something I don't like about this book... ( )
  Kirmuriel | Sep 19, 2013 |
This is both a rather innocent love story and a rather descriptive war story of an American ambulance driver who was in the Italian army in World War I. American Frederic Henry (most often called Tenente by the men under him) met English/Scottish nurse's aide Catherine Barkley, and they were drawn to each other. They separate when he returns to the war effort but are reunited when he is wounded and she cares for him. He returns to the front, then gives "a farewell to arms" locates her once again and they live a blissful life in Switzerland until their baby his born ... and both the baby and Catherine die (perhaps a farewell to her and the baby boy's arms as well).

The narrator Tenente is definitely "a man's man," enjoying good liquor/wine, the company of women, and love of sport. He was admired and respected by his friends (Rinaldi, the priest, various barkeepers he knew) and his fellow soldiers; Tenente responded in kind.

Catherine appeared often to be playing at love, trying to do and say whatever Tenente wished of her, a "good girl." It didn't seem like a profound relationship, though I think they grew to love each other.
  Kelslynn | Sep 16, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 129 (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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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)

» see all 13 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ernest Hemingway

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