Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This is the first of many books I have to read for university during November and I’m a little disappointed to say that I really didn’t like this novel.

Being a modern classic I expected there to be some sort of ‘wow factor’, something that makes it stand out from the crowd, but unfortunately I just don’t understand why so many people love this book.

The writing style, being Hemingway, is very sparse and simplistic which is the main problem I had with this book. Although the characters travelled through France and Spain, the feel of those countries really didn’t come across at all so the whole thing just felt very bland to me. Having read, and disliked, the short story ‘Indian Camp’ I was prepared for the sparsity of the writing but I just think that it made me very distanced from the story and I found myself not wanting to pick it back up once I’d set it down.

Characters definitely don’t have to be likeable or relateable but I found that the characters in Fiesta were very 2-dimensional; they were not fully fleshed out and I found myself being confused a lot of the time about who was speaking at certain points.

Overall I think this is a bit of a Marmite book: you’ll either love it or hate it. I have come to the conclusion that Hemingway just might not be my cup of tea and honestly if this wasn’t a university book, I probably would never have finished it. I think it deserves 2 stars because I can appreciate it as a novel and understand why some people would like it but I think the time pressure of having to read it by a deadline coupled with the amount of aspects that I disliked about the novel, I didn’t enjoy the reading experience and don’t know if I’ll be reading any more Hemingway in the future.

2 out of 5 stars!


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