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Hemingway: A Biography

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Distinguished by its precision, its graceful use of language, and its resonant depth, the innovative style of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) radically altered literary conventions and influenced generations of writers. In The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and numerous short stories, he explore Distinguished by its precision, its graceful use of language, and its resonant depth, the innovative style of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) radically altered literary conventions and influenced generations of writers. In The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and numerous short stories, he explored such universal themes as stoicism in adversity, as well as our futile struggles against nature and mortality.This evocative, sympathetic biography illuminates the events that informed Hemingway's vigorous life: an accident-prone youth and early rivalry with his father; his experiences in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II; his stormy relationships with writers and women; his sudden fame, slow decline, and suicide. Based on previously unavailable information and exclusive interviews, Hemingway enriches anyone's understanding and appreciation of America's most important twentieth-century writer.


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Distinguished by its precision, its graceful use of language, and its resonant depth, the innovative style of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) radically altered literary conventions and influenced generations of writers. In The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and numerous short stories, he explore Distinguished by its precision, its graceful use of language, and its resonant depth, the innovative style of Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) radically altered literary conventions and influenced generations of writers. In The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Old Man and the Sea, and numerous short stories, he explored such universal themes as stoicism in adversity, as well as our futile struggles against nature and mortality.This evocative, sympathetic biography illuminates the events that informed Hemingway's vigorous life: an accident-prone youth and early rivalry with his father; his experiences in World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and World War II; his stormy relationships with writers and women; his sudden fame, slow decline, and suicide. Based on previously unavailable information and exclusive interviews, Hemingway enriches anyone's understanding and appreciation of America's most important twentieth-century writer.

30 review for Hemingway: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Wow. Hemingway was a bigger jack off than I'd ever imagined. Other than that, the writing is great, the reporting of events seems fair and as unbiased as possible, and I was greatly entertained by Hemingway's train wreck of a life. I will definitely check out Meyers' biography on Fitzgerald next!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    Mostly biography, part literary analysis of Hemingway's works. Overall a very interesting read, but bogged down when the author would compare real persons in Hemingway's life to literary figures in his books. I know this illustrates how Hemingway depended on his real life experiences and personal relationships, but made the book more confusing at times. A good biography on Hemingway and well worth the read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Al

    A fascinating biography in which the author reveals many little known aspects of Hemingway's life and relates how so much of his writing was drawn directly from incidents which occurred during his own life. If you have read and enjoyed Hemingway's novels and short stories, you should definitely read this book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Roycroft

    A thorough and honest portrayal of a giant man's strengths as well as his weaknesses. Meyers' reflections on Hemingway's life reflected in his art is a lucid prism with which to view the man and the history. I rarely award 5 stars. Nearly did this time...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ian Williams

    As a writer, Hemingway is a giant of 20th century literature. His novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, is the only novel that I read as a teenager to which I keep returning again and again and the magic does not fade. His two “African” stories – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Snows of Kilimanjaro – are the most perfect short stories that I at least have ever read. When he wrote well, he wrote beautifully. A style of writing that he learnt as a journalist – straight clear language wi As a writer, Hemingway is a giant of 20th century literature. His novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, is the only novel that I read as a teenager to which I keep returning again and again and the magic does not fade. His two “African” stories – The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber and The Snows of Kilimanjaro – are the most perfect short stories that I at least have ever read. When he wrote well, he wrote beautifully. A style of writing that he learnt as a journalist – straight clear language with no adverbs and no adjectives, - coupled with a perceptive insight into human psychology. As a human being, however, he was less than perfect. In fact he was often a complete shit. He was mean to his wives, turned against all his family and friends, including Scott Fitzgerald and John Dos Passos, physically assaulted critics, and on several occasions, offered people an opportunity to spar with him in the ring, then take that opportunity to beat them up. He had a positive side. He was handsome, a charismatic raconteur, courageous, and could be generous with money. Above all, he was a man of action. He took part in World War 1 and the Spanish Civil War, hunted big game in Africa, fished off the coast of Cuba, and boxed. He never went to university but was extraordinarily well read. He was a voracious reader. His library had 9000 books. Meyers does a good job in bringing to life this complex man, who was easy to admire but difficult to like.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lee Kofman

    I really enjoyed this book. It offers a comprehensive account of the writer’s life interspersed with astute psychological and literary analyses. I also really loved the broad perspective of the biographer, how well he contextualized Hemingway’s life within the broader historical context. I learned a lot from this book – about Hemingway’s creative process, about Cuban history, Spanish war, human nature and more and more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    What an unbelievable life he lead!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Summer Lileck

    Incredibly well-researched. Too much detail about certain irrelevant characters and not enough detail, at times, about more important people in Hem's life. This book did not paint Hem in a good light at all, which may have mostly been due to Hemingway's abhorrent behavior.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Role

    Good book to get to know good old Ernesto better. Generally, written very detailed, but for my taste too much focus on his relationships with women

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Stamfors

    Boring and uninspired. Half the book is unnecessary. A very factual book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    This is reference to Jeffrey Meyers book: An exhaustive presentation of the life of Hemingway and those who he surrounded himself with in his lifetime. Filled with references and explanations of his work and quotes from friends and colleagues, this book is the definitive guide of the novelist's life and work. For anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Lost Generation, the politics of the mid-century, and the psychology of an author, will find this work gratifying, gripping, and historic.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Wilson Hines

    Absolutely adding more light to the subject than Baker's bio, this fantastic book talks about the family in a more retrospective way with more distance than the honorable Baker. Sometimes it takes forty years to really understand the history of a man, and distance to see his greatness. No matter how great Baker's bio is, and it is great, Meyers seems to take the distance of time and the distance from the family that Baker didn't enjoy and use it for his advantage. Read it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This was a really good read on Hemingway. Personally, a little more than I really was looking for, but interesting none the less.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Diane Rashid

    lots of detail. Lots of Papa

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Lau

  16. 5 out of 5

    Steen Alexander

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey W

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ali Athi Ullah

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jack

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christian Badali

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason

  25. 5 out of 5

    R

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  27. 4 out of 5

    Frederick L Owen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  29. 4 out of 5

    Graham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Johanna

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