33. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Topic/Theme: a book from the 20th century
A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions.
I chose this book for the theme because I had enjoyed Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea when I had to read it in high school. Although both are completely different, I do like Hemingway's writing style for the most part. This book was just okay. I'm not a fan of bullfighting, which is what a good portion of this story is about.
Generally speaking, The Sun Also Rises is about a group of friends who drink their troubles away. They don't always agree with each other and sometimes cause trouble (thanks to drunkenness), but remain loyal and still get together. I didn't really care that much for the beginning when they were in France as it lacked in detail. Talking, complaining, and arguing about the same things all the time got to be annoying. When they took their journey to Spain, I was able to get I to it a little bit more. I found myself feeling sorry for Robert, who seemed to get the most rigging from the others. I had a love-hate relationships with the characters in general, liking them at times and other times, I would just be frustrated at them for the way they acted and accepted things for what they were.
As I've already mentioned, I'm not interested in bullfighting or the running of the bulls so I don't have anything really that stuck out to me throughout the story. What I did like was getting to know more about France in the 1920s, as well as Spain and the whole traditions there about bullfighting and such. The Sun Also Rises is based on actual events that took place (then and now, like the Festival of San Fermin in Pamplona) and people back then. I found that pretty interesting that Hemingway was able to create good fiction off from his own experiences.
Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!