Friday, October 9, 2009
"Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway
My grade: A
It actually took me a relatively long time to understand the full brilliance of this book (more than half way in), but I suppose that is just another part of its genius. This is quite a straightforward story about some pretty normal people living in France some time after WWI, although the war has nothing to do with it (mostly). Through this book, Hemingway makes quite a statement about society in general, and more specifically, about the different groups of people that are encountered in the book.
My only criticism of the book is the 'Brett' character, who reminds me entirely of Dostoevsky's 'Nastasia Filipovna' (from "The Idiot"). As these things always go, though, Nastasia was a much more sympathetic character, despite all of her many flaws and being a woman of low morality, and this served a huge (and vital) purpose in the climax of the book. With Brett, the reader never fully understands her and only sees that she is largely liked by people around her, but the reasons for that are not fully clear. I think this book could have been that much stronger if Brett's character were more developed.
I recommend this book only to people who truly like fine literature. If you are just out for a good story, this book is not for you.