A Farewell to Arms

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Apr 1, 1997 - Fiction - 305 pages
11 Reviews
"If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially."The greatest American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms cemented Ernest Hemingway's reputation as one of the most important novelists of the twentieth century. Drawn largely from Hemingway's own experiences, it is the story of a volunteer ambulance driver wounded on the Italian front, the beautiful British nurse with whom he falls in love, and their journey to find some small sanctuary in a world gone mad with war. By turns beautiful and tragic, tender and harsh and realistic, A Farewell to Arms is one of the supreme literary achievements of our time.
  

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I'm not going to pretend to know how to review a book or what to be critical about. But I will share my thoughts, which are influenced by an understanding of what Hemingway's philosophy of writing (reportedly) was. Description and dialogue is what you get. I was surprised by how much description of setting there was. The setting of time was often treated by mentioning the season and supporting descriptions that made you feel the seasons were turning and gave a somewhat detached sense toward the lives of the characters. I guess this is Hemingway's personality or his view coming through his work. Perhaps it is linked to his illustration of war. It seems a life is not above scrutiny, is not so big that it can't be understood. Hemingway does indeed write the facts. He reports only what the character sees so that we feel what he experiences. Its like you don't identify with the character, you are the character. This isn't perfect though and though it describes the experience of reading Hemingway (understanding experience through observation of only the facts) one may feel more invested in characters of other novels. Hemingway very rarely goes off and just tells us what his character is thinking. When he does it plays out like a dialogue that seems more like the thoughts of the typical man than the coherent paragraphs of so many other characters. In this way Hemingway is relate-able. In terms of appeal, it is not a crazy twisting ride of a plot. It is a portrait of a time (both the era, but especially war-time in that era). It is enjoyable largely because of the no-nonsense approach to recreating an important time, place, and perspective through elegant presentation of dialogue and crisp description.If you are looking for a fun read or an escape this may not be the time for this book. Otherwise, I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy the concrete and the real, I think it will move you. 

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This book was a great read. I will say that as of right now this is my favorite book. You are drawn into this war time and feel like you are there as well. The writing like all Hemingway books is very literal and to the point. The characters are developed well and the story flows nicely. The ending was very shocking for me and after I finished the book I thought about it for a few days.  

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Contents

Section 1
9
Section 2
11
Section 3
16
Section 4
20
Section 5
26
Section 6
32
Section 7
36
Section 8
44
Section 22
132
Section 23
136
Section 24
145
Section 25
151
Section 26
163
Section 27
166
Section 28
177
Section 29
185

Section 9
48
Section 10
62
Section 11
67
Section 12
73
Section 13
79
Section 14
86
Section 15
90
Section 16
96
Section 17
101
Section 18
105
Section 19
110
Section 20
119
Section 21
124
Section 30
190
Section 31
205
Section 32
209
Section 33
215
Section 34
221
Section 35
229
Section 36
239
Section 37
245
Section 38
261
Section 39
272
Section 40
280
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that led to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he also covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.

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