Friday, October 11, 2013

Review : A Moveable Feast

Title: A Moveable Feast
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary:

Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers & were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now, this special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author intended it to be published.

Featuring a personal Foreword by Patrick Hemingway, Ernest’s sole surviving son, and an Introduction by the editor and grandson of the author, Sean Hemingway, this new edition also includes a number of unfinished, never-before-published Paris sketches revealing experiences that Hemingway had with his son, Jack, and his first wife Hadley. Also included are irreverent portraits of other literary luminaries, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ford Maddox Ford, and insightful recollections of Hemingway’s own early experiments with his craft.

Sure to excite critics and readers alike, the restored edition of A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and unquenchable enthusiasm that Hemingway himself epitomized.

My thoughts:

Ok. I am going to admit something that I am embarrassed to admit. But I don’t get the fuss over Hemingway. Maybe it was just this particular book, but I don’t get it. 

I was really excited to read it too. I am a big fan of the lost generation, and this time and place in history, so I was really looking forward to diving in. F. Scott is a particular favorite of mine, and maybe that is part of my problem with this book, its treatment of him.

There were some parts that I adored. I loved the part where in his story he and his wife left their cat as a babysitter for their young son. I also loved the story where he described his cold flat, putting tangerines in his coat pocket overnight, because they would freeze if he didn't. How he sometimes only had tangerines and chestnuts to eat. Sitting in a café, writing and observing and thinking. I found his lifestyle wildly romantic – things like this were so beautiful they could make you dream: "we would be together and have our books and at night be warm in bed together with the windows open and the stars bright."  

But then, other parts were so boring. Sometimes I felt like the stories were telling the same thing over and over, so repetitive, and a little bit mean girl too, with his treatment of other writers within the pages, especially F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda.  

Perhaps this wasn't the book to begin with. I am definitely going to read another of Hemingway’s books, I don’t know which one though. Maybe this book and I just weren't meant for each other.

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Read for the Classics Club 


  1. Finding you from Random 5 and I noticed this post. I love Hemingway and have read all of his books except For Whom the Bell Tolls. My favorite -- The Sun Also Rises. I read most of them in high school. Just devoured them. I'm glad to find your book posts!

    1. I want to start over with Hemingway, perhaps that is where I should begin? Thanks for the input and for popping by! :)

  2. I had lots of trouble with this book - the main one being I just didn't like Hemingway. He came across as mean-spirited, arrogant and pompous! So I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    1. I am so glad I am not the only one! Yes, he was so mean! I felt every chapter was an excuse to pick on someone else.


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