I knew I loved A Farewell to Arms, but I couldn’t remember why, and I was seriously second guessing myself after reading The Sun Also Rises last week.
But sometimes you read a book with such an emotional ending that you forget how traumatic it is. This is one of those books.
And not only that, but the rest of the book is so damn simplistic. Yes, it’s about WWI, and but the battle scenes are very minimal. Most of it is about what happens away from the front. And the true beauty of the story is in the way Hemingway writes the very minute details. The small conversations and the little moments. He doesn’t just write “And we ordered dinner…” He writes in vivid detail about the waiter coming into the hotel room and asking whether they want woodcock or souffle. He writes about wanting his whiskey and ice separately so it doesn’t water down so quickly. He writes for two or three pages about a rainstorm. And the way he does it, in that unique Hemingway voice of his, draws you in.
It’s what he hadn’t mastered yet in The Sun Also Rises. I could tell it’s what he was trying to do, but it just wasn’t clicking for me.
I want to read Farewell again already. And again and again and again.