Review: ‘The Sun Also Rises’ by Ernest Hemingway

Welcome back for another book review 🙂

I’ve been reading some Ernest Hemingway recently, and so when my mum bought me a lovely copy of this book I thought I’d give it a go.

Personally, I find Hemingway’s prose lacking in action, and while I love his detailed descriptions of various places in Europe, his books often seem to hold style over substance.

For that reason, I can appreciate and enjoy his fiction- but Hemingway isn’t the kind of author I would read all the time.

And that’s exactly how I felt about ‘The Sun Also Rises.’ It was an interesting, descriptive and detailed read, and I could really immerse myself in the world of the characters, but overall I found the book relatively dull to read.

I definitely maintain that Hemingway’s life and romances are definitely more interesting to read about than his fiction!

‘The Sun Also Rises’ is about a young man called Jake, who is desperately in love with a young aristocrat, Brett. Brett is charming and beautiful, but extremely flighty, and throughout the book she has numerous affairs, while still stringing along her boyfriend.

She is adored by all, and despite the fact that she is going through a divorce, and is with a boyfriend, she continues to mess with the men of the novel, including Jake and his friend Robert.

As far as I could tell, the book centred on Jake’s run-ins with Brett- from when he first bumps into her dancing, to when he goes on a fishing trip with her and her current boyfriend.

The book also told the experiences of Jake and his friends at the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona, where they watch bull fighting.

I thought this book beautifully portrayed the places Jake went travelling across Europe, but other than that not a great lot happened, and I found the parts about bull fighting boring- despite the fact that this made up a lot of the book.

I also found the character of Brett extremely annoying. I understood that she was meant to be this unattainable beauty, adored by many but only giving love to a few, and even then not wanting to be tied down. And I realise this is why the men fall in love with her: she is the beautiful, rich, alluring woman that none of them can have.

But it just annoyed me how she played with them all, stringing Jake, Robert and even her boyfriend along, and then dropping them when she got bored. And none of this seemed to make her truly happy.

Overall I think this book is definitely an interesting read, and I can see why it is loved by Hemingway fans. Despite this, the lack of action didn’t appeal to me.

Have you read a lot of Ernest Hemingway? Which of his books are your favourite? Do you find his books lacking in action?

Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy reading x

Picture credits here

19 thoughts

  1. I admire your dedication. I am finding it harder to wade through excessive description in any book these days and as a writer, I have cut way back…maybe too much. Have we been spoiled by worldwide tv/film/Internet exposure to almost every place on the planet? In Hemmingway’s day, readers were intrigued by detailed descriptions of places they had never seen. Now we have visually been to Middle Earth, Mars, and the Forbidden City.


  2. I just finished Michael Palin’s book about discovering Ernest Hemingway through a journey to the places Hemingway lived… it was interesting but didnt really inspire me to read any of his books, I’m sorry to say… I just dont find him appealing… I probably should at least try!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I share a similar view to yours. While I can appreciate his style, I can’t read them constantly one after the other or I get bored. For that reason, I’ll slip in a Hemingway every now and then among other faster-paced books.

    Liked by 1 person

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