Monday, October 11

Book Review: The Sun Also Rises

Title: The Sun Also Rises

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Pages: 251
Summary: 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 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.

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Overall, I enjoyed the book, it was slow paced, but that was both a good and bad thing for me. Again, Hemingway is a great story teller even with a slow paced book the reader can easily get themselves lost in how he tells the story. This one of course is no exception, as it follows a cast of characters, in the post-world-war-I era and their travels to Spain. He also brings his favourite past times into this story, I wonder if some of the issues the characters went through in this book, are a bit of an imprint of how he felt after the war? Does this book have some similarities to his own personal experiences?

I think the inner demons of some of the characters were portrayed well; the all had complex problems, pasts and histories, almost too complex for a book that is so short. I understand where Hemignway was coming from, and what he was trying to accomplish, but it was almost too much at times for such a short book. One of my main issues with the book, the second was, I didn’t really like any of the characters, they weren’t bad people, but for me they were just there, and happen to be a group of people with a lot of history and issues.

The rest of the book was well done; Hemingway brings to life pleasures like fishing, and bullfighting to life. He really makes the reader engaged in these aspects of the story. I’m not a fan of bull fighting, nor agree with it, but Hemingway did do a fantastic job at brining the event to life, as well as the love and passion those who attend the event have for it. Even fishing, something almost trivial is described in an interesting matter. I wouldn’t normally enjoy a book, focusing on paragraph after paragraph of fishing, but Hemingway seems to be able to bring some magic to it.

Overall, it was well done. Slow paced book, but a good choice for a casual read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, I’d prefer some of his other books to this one, but it is still a good book to read.

What to read next: More Hemingway, I’m not sure of any other authors that might come close to his style of writing. At least at the moment.

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 100+ Challenge, RYOB Challenge


  1. You know, I have never read any Hemingway, though my son just finished The Old Man and the Sea for school. I have heard his writing described as sort of sparse and unencumbered. I would like to try something that he has written, but I am not sure where to start. Any suggestions?

  2. I'm a little scared of this one. I loved the first two Hemingway books I read, but then I read A Farewell to Arms earlier this year and hated it...

  3. Zibilee - Hemingway's writing does take a while to get used to, he writes the story very differently than most authors of his time. Hemingway just tells the story, he doesn't go into elaborate detail, he doesn't explain the in-depth thoughts of his characters for pages, he just tells the story, but still manages to convey all that to the reader. The first Hemingway book I read was Old Man and the Sea, and I really enjoyed it. The writing style may be different than what people expect, but it's the story itself that makes it worth reading. So far I've found that with all his books, is that he can really tell a good story. So, maybe start with that book. Hope I helped:)

    Amanda - This book is a little different (as far as descriptions of the book go) than Farewell to Arms. But it depends on what you hated about Farewell to Arms. This one has a similar pace to the Old Man and the Sea in how the story is spread out and told. And it does have a nice side story on Bull Fighting and the passion the peoples of Spain have for it. So, it just depends on what made you hate the other book, and what made you like the others.