Review by Booklist Review
*Starred Review* The charm and vibrancy of Ernest Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises, has attracted readers since its initial publication. Journalist and cultural historian Blume's deeply researched backstory enhances the novel's depth and restates its very real significance. It was written within and about the American expat community in Paris in the 1920s, of which Hemingway was one of the foremost figures. But, as Blume points out, we forget that in the early years of the existence of this American in Paris colony, Hemingway was an unpublished nobody. Fast-forward to 1926, when The Sun Also Rises appeared and immediately established Hemingway not only as the voice of his generation but also as a lifestyle icon as well. In other words, his novel heralded the arrival of modern literature, rendering as obsolete the more elaborate fictional edifices being created by the likes of Edith Wharton. What happened between those two points in Hemingway's life, from being a nobody to very much a somebody, is reconstructed with authority and insight as Blume brings the story to a dramatic point: the trip Hemingway made with his wife and a group of fellow expats to watch the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, which provided the not-too-disguised grist for the novel that first made his name.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2016 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
In this revealing new study, Blume shows that a series of competing internal and external pressures helped birth Hemingway's now-legendary debut roman à clef, The Sun Also Rises. Blume begins by tracing Hemingway's dogged path to becoming a published writer. By the time Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley, arrived in Paris in 1921, he was considered one of the most promising young American authors, though he had published only a few short stories. The particulars of the Hemingways' epic trip to Pamplona, Spain, with five friends in the summer of 1925-and the romantic entanglements that followed-shed light not only on Hemingway's early career but also on other stories of the lost generation. After Hemingway refashioned their trip into a novel, he focused on a publishing contract for what he firmly believed be a blockbuster sensation. In the subsequent negotiations and editing process, Blume reveals, F. Scott Fitzgerald played a surprisingly large role. Blume has carved a mountain of original research into a riveting tale of Hemingway's literary, romantic, and publishing travails. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Agency. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Journalist and author Blume (Let's Bring Back) focuses on the events in Ernest Hemingway's life from his 1921 arrival in Paris to the publication of The Sun Also Rises in 1926. Drawing on a rich cache of "Lost Generation" memoirs, as well as -Hemingway's and his contemporaries' correspondence, the author portrays Hemingway as a ruthless egotist bent on achieving his literary ambitions, often at the expense of early supporters, including Sherwood Anderson, Gertrude Stein, and Robert McAlmon. Researching the actual trips that form the basis for the roman à clef's account of the San Fermín festival in Pamplona, Spain, Blume reveals how Hemingway transformed the lives of his expatriate friends by turning them into memorable characters in what was soon to become a masterwork of American literature. An epilog follows the lives of those depicted in the wake of the novel's publication. There is also valuable information on the story's editing, marketing, sales, and reception. VERDICT Bloom brings together in one place a wealth of information on Hemingway's first novel that will appeal to students and general readers alike. It may also lead those looking to delve deeper to peruse some of the author's sources, including Hemingway's own A Moveable Feast, Harold Loeb's The Way It Was, and Bertram D. Sarason's Hemingway and the Sun Set. [See Prepub Alert, 1/4/16.]-William Gargan, Brooklyn Coll. Lib., CUNY © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The Lost Generation returns. In 1925, desperately ambitious Ernest Hemingway found the subject for his first novel in the antics of the hard-drinking, bed-hopping companions who accompanied him to a bull-fighting festival in Pamplona, Spain. Working feverishly, and with malice, Hemingway immortalized the misbehaving bunch in The Sun Also Rises, the novel that made him a literary star, acclaimed for the "terse innovative prose" that seemed stunningly modern. Journalist Blume (Julia and the Art of Practical Travel, 2015, etc.) offers a brisk rendering of a familiar Lost Generation story featuring its most colorful protagonist: Hemingway comes to Paris with his young wife, Hadley, who loses his manuscript on a train. During that time, Hemingway met Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Ford Madox Ford, Robert McAlmon, and Harold Loeb, most of whom he came to despise. F. Scott Fitzgerald, already famous, encouraged Hemingway and connected him with Max Perkins at Scribner's, who edited, published, and aggressively marketed The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway had an affair with the predatory Pauline Pfeiffer, which ended his marriage, and he defiantly created his image as a tough man, hunter, boxer, and predator. "Hemingway had a little bit of poison for everyone," writes Blume, "and he was becoming quite adept at co-opting the lives and vulnerabilities of others as grist for his literary mill." Of all those behaving badly, surely he was the worst, betraying his wife and many who mistakenly thought they were his friends. He wounded Sherwood Anderson by publishing a vicious parody of his work and responding to Anderson's pain with a pretentious, patronizing letter. Hemingway, Anderson and Stein agreed, was an "ungrateful protg." Blume brings in some fresh material drawn from two interviews with Patrick Hemingway and with descendants of some Lost Generation figures, but most material comes from memoirs, biographies, and letters that have informed many other narratives. Though not groundbreaking, Blume's reimagining of 1920s Paris and its scandalous denizens is vivid, spirited, and absorbing. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.