First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.
The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces, and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises helped to establish Hemingway as one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. (Source: Goodreads)
Happy Friday everyone! We are closing yet another work week. It may have been brimming with challenges but I hope you are all ending your week on a high. I hope you get to spend the weekend recuperating and healing. Turn off those working laptops! It is time to think about yourself after a busy week at the office. As we draw closer to the end of the year, I hope you receive the good news that you have been waiting for. I hope you will reap the benefits of everything you worked hard for this past year and that you will end it with a bang. More importantly, I hope you stay healthy and well, in spirit, in body, and in mind. I am fervently praying that the pandemic will end soon.
As time flies, it is also about time to tick off books from my reading challenges and reading lists. One of my ongoing reading challenges for the year is my 2021 Beat the Backlist challenge. Unfortunately, I have lagged behind in this reading challenge and of the twelve books I have listed, I only managed to complete four. My fifth book in the list is Nobel Laureate in Literature Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. I guess it is also timely for the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature was announced just over a week ago. Again, my congratulations to Abdulrazak Gurnah on his win. I now have a new name added to my reading list.
The Sun Also Rises is my fourth Hemingway novel, and my first since 2018 (For Whom The Bell Tolls). I did appreciate my first two (A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea) but For Whom The Bell Tolls simply challenged me, in all aspects. I am hoping to wash off the effect of the latter in my latest read. Thankfully, I haven’t been experiencing the same difficulties with The Sun Also Rises; it has been smooth sailing, so far. I just learned that it is Hemingway’s first novel although he did publish one novella (The Torrents of Spring) previously.
Originally published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises borrows elements from Hemingway’s life, in particular, his time living in Paris and Spain. Widely acclaimed, it is the story of the “Lost Generation”. The novel was divided into three parts, with the first part exploring the main character, Jake Barnes’ life in Paris. Jake Barnes is an expatriate American journalist and was a veteran of the First World War. While fighting, Jake got wounded which, unfortunately, left him sexually dysfunctional. An important character in Jake’s life is Lady Brett Ashley, a decadent Englishwoman who was twice divorced. From what I have read so far, I figured out that Jake has romantic feelings for Brett but Brett, in contrast to Jake’s dysfunctionality, was promiscuous. She also got tangled in several relationship, including with Jake’s college friend, Robert Cohn.
I have made it to the part where Robert, Jake, Brett and Brett’s latest paramour (actually fiancé), Michael Campbell, traveled to Pamplona, Spain for a fishing trip. Brett wasn’t too kin on the idea and Jake wasn’t a fan of Mike as well but they, nevertheless, pushed with their plans. There is a lightness to the writing that I am still trying to figure out how the narrative is going to pan out in the end. I am still unsure of the message that Hemingway is trying to convey although the story and the light writing reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, without the drunkenness.
The Sun Also Rises has, so far, captured my interest and attention. However, I don’t want to pressure myself into trying to find hidden messages. I just want to enjoy the flow of the narrative and simply let the story rivet me in. Halfway done, I expect to finish the book over the weekend. How about you fellow reader? What book are you indulging on right now? I hope you are enjoying what you are reading. For now, happy weekend and as always, happy reading!