The Sun Also Rises

Hemingway, Ernest

Book - 1996
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Sun Also Rises
Published in 1926 to explosive acclaim, The Sun Also Rises stands as perhaps the most impressive first novel ever written by an American writer. A roman̉ clef about a group of American and English expatriates on an excursion from Paris's Left Bank to Pamplona for the July fiesta and its climactic bull fight, a journey from the center of a civilization spiritually bankrupted by the First World War to a vital, God-haunted world in which faith and honor have yet to lose their currency, the novel captured for the generation that would come to be called "Lost" the spirit of its age, and marked Ernest Hemingway as the preeminent writer of his time.

Publisher: New York : Scribner, [1996]
ISBN: 9780743297332
Branch Call Number: FICTION HEMINGWAY 1996
Characteristics: 222 p. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

I had the luxury recently of having this read to me aloud, and it was lovely. It even prompted the acquisition of a book of vintage cocktails. (Colleen's pick)

"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 the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hem... Read More »

Hemingway's first novel, written in that sparse style he became known for.

A group of American and English expatriates on an excursion from Paris's Left Bank to Pamplona for the July fiesta and its climactic bull fight, a journey from the center of a civilization spiritually bankrupted by the First World War to a vital, God-haunted world in which faith and honor have ye... Read More »

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Mar 25, 2015
  • 1aa rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Surprised that it was so very disappointing... a high school student could have written as good a book for a summer project.

Jul 15, 2014

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Have you ever wanted to run with the bulls? Hemingway writes it as the characters live it, in this post WWI era life transformation novel of Jake Barnes."

Jul 09, 2014

Worst book ever. Hard to understand and hard to flow

Nov 23, 2013
  • sharonb122 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Even though the book seemed to be fast-paced, for me, it seemed to drag during most of the book as the characters bantered, drank, drank, drank and ate. Sometimes, I didn't know what was meant, but took that to mean slang/references of the 1920's. I had even forgotten that the term "tight" at one time meant "drunk." I enjoyed the later part about the bull fights as I remembered being a teenager in the 1960's watching the bullfights on channel 26 in Chicago and being quite inamoured with El Cordobes! Lol. I can see that this novel describes a small, interesting, eccentric group of people who were living the "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we may die" philosphy of the post WWI world. I kept wondering how they were able to live the high life with little money, but guess that was part of it: who needs money if you are going to die tomorrow?

Jul 23, 2013
  • alpaca85 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Sun Also Rises is my third novel by Ernest Hemingway. There is something fascinating about Hemingway, especially if you know even a little about him. He was a rambunctious man, never settling, always moving. His restlessness led to him being cast as the face of the so called “Lost Generation”, a term recognized prominently in this work. He, along with other American expatriates living in Paris, became known for this and it would haunt them for the rest of their careers. Hemingway’s generation, which matured in the 1920s, was often written off as not quite fitting in to their time or place, hence the title “lost generation”.
Hemingway’s novel encapsulates the feeling of being adrift perfectly in this novel. His story is about a bunch of American expatriates in Paris (like Hemingway himself) with the narrator being Jake Barnes, a former amateur bullfighter and newspaperman (again, like Hemingway himself). We start by focusing on Robert Cohn, a former boxer who hangs around Barnes. We learn all about him, with Hemingway painting a rather pathetic portrait of the man. The story is set in motion when Brett Ashley, Barnes’s former lover comes back into his life. Over the course of a trip to a bullfight, the characters develop and grow, and then nothing much else in particular happens.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that about the book. Just as Hemingway’s other works, it’s fairly anti-climactic and doesn’t really go much of a place. It’s a bit hard to describe why Hemingway’s prose is so attractive if you haven’t read any of him. There’s something beautiful about his brusque, short, anonymous sentences. On their own, they mean nothing, but as a whole they coalesce into something extraordinary. There are passages that do nothing to advance the story and feel extraneous, yet if you think back on it it’s these passages that burn the most vividly in the mind.
Hemingway’s portrait of people is no better than here. Every character feels hyper-real. As if every crack, every twitch is exposed. By the end of the novel we feel like we know these people better than they know each other. In between Hemingway’s vivid descriptions of bullfights and fistfights, there’s something that pretty much sums up something unspoken. It’s hard to describe after the fact, but during the experience it burns a hole in the brain, searing like the heat of a million hot stove tops. There is an essential truth here somewhere. Only I’ve lost it, and I suppose the only way to find it again is to read on.

Mar 28, 2013
  • bwortman rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Hemingway's novel is perhaps a bit lost on me. The narrative is rather straight forward, the language itself rather simplistic and yet extremely evocative. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic. And while the novel is considered one of the great works of fiction of "the lost generation" I'm not sure that I picked up on all of the themes and concepts Heminway is exploring. Definitely a novel that I would love to take apart in a classroom setting to really start digging into the text.

Sep 23, 2012
  • macierules rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I have developed a great appreciation of Hemingway as I've grown older - the power of his spare prose and his haunting characters. Couldn't bare reading his books in high school.

Aug 07, 2012
  • starco77 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A young Ernest Hemingway writes his first novel. I also appreciate his use of symbolism throughout the novel. This book gives a sense of perspective of drama and action.

Jan 05, 2012
  • adoranti rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I an rereading this book after 15-20 years and felt the need after reading "The Paris Wife" Must have been nice to wander around Europe watching bull fights, drinking and fishing with friends, although I don't think any one of them is happy.

Jul 16, 2011
  • ParkRidgeRS rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Participants in our evening book discussion described Hemingway's novel as sad, depressing, with an overall feeling of loneliness. Their opinion of his "Lost Generation" was that their lives were void, wasteful, shallow, and filled with disillusionment. We found his writing to be very descriptive of the Jazz Age, second only to Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. Everyone agreed that the characters drank...a lot.

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Jun 12, 2010
  • Webslung rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Webslung thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Sep 30, 2009

Americans Brett and her drunken fiancé, Mike Campbell, boxer Robert Cohn, novelist Bill Gorton and narrator Jake Barnes leave the drinking and dancing in Paris for the Spanish town of Pamplona.


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