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Hemingway's second novel is among his best. The story of a volunteer American ambulance driver and his romance with a British nurse in the First World War is based largely on Hemingway's own experiences. It is an excellent example of Hemingway's sparse, elegant style and stoic characters.
We're not sure exactly how many books there are out there about bullfighting, but this one is probably the best. Hemingway had an obsession with bullfighting that started in his twenties (he even tried it himself, but decided to stick with writing). This elegantly crafted book details the sport in all its bloody glory.
Hemingway described the contents of this book better than we can: "There are many kinds of stories in this book. I hope that you will find some that you like. Reading them over, the ones I liked the best…are The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, In Another Country, Hills Like White Elephants, A Way You'll Never Be, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, and a story called The Light of the World which nobody else ever liked. There are some others too. Because if you did not like them you would not publish them."_CITATION38_
His memoir of his fellow expatriates in Paris is at times vicious, petty and delightfully dishy. It is also a fascinating meditation on his interior life as a writer. The portrayals of former friends F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein—both of whom, it should be noted, helped and nurtured the young Hemingway in his early days in Paris—are just mean.
Martha Gellhorn, Mrs. Hemingway #3, was a fascinating person—a widely traveled war correspondent and writer with an independent streak that often clashed with her husband's strong personality. Hemingway is the other person in this memoir of her travels, referred to only as U.C.—Unwilling Companion. Their marriage lasted only five years, but this fly-on-the-wall view of their travels is fascinating.
There are many biographies of Ernest Hemingway on the shelves, all of which have their own take on the writer. Lynn was interested in the psychological underpinnings of Hemingway's work. Some critics have panned the book as delving too far into Hemingway's psyche, drawing connections that may not be there. But if you want to go deeper into Hemingway's brain, Lynn's biography is worth a read.
This memoir by Hemingway's third son was critically respected - Norman Mailer wrote the intro - and offers a fascinating (if voyeuristic) glimpse into Hemingway's family life. Gregory Hemingway had a troubled relationship with his father. Like many in the Hemingway line he struggled with depression, and had a lifelong interest in cross-dressing that infuriated his ultra-macho father. Eventually he underwent a sex change operation. He died in 2001 in a women's jail after being arrested for walking naked down a public street in Florida.