I’ve gotten 50 pages from the end of this book, and I have to say, it’s boring as hell. I had higher hopes for a Hemingway novel, as I loved The Old Man and the Sea, but this one is just uninteresting. It’s written very dispassionately, and has a lot of, “and then we did this, and then we did this,” with very little inner dialog.
There are a couple of noteworthy themes in this book, one of which is the aimless, bitter outlook of the post-war society. All of the characters seem to just accept life as it is, with little hope for greatness, spending all of their time partying and drinking. What’s especially frustrating is how none of the characters really fight for what they want. There are a lot of unfulfilled desires.
One supposedly noteworthy theme of this book is the free-spirit mentality of Lady Brett Ashley. I know she is an important literary figure, having heard her name several times before, but I just don’t see what’s so special about her. I guess for the 20’s she’s pretty sexually forward, but she doesn’t seem to have real independence as she jumps from one relationship to another, most of the time having affairs. She is obviously in love with the main character, and won’t do anything about it. I don’t know. . . seems like a poor example of an independent woman.
So far I’m sadly disappointed in this book. I assume the last 50 pages will be as boring as the first 200, but I’m gonna plow through.
Update: For the record, The Sun Also Rises ended just as anti-climatically as the rest of the story suggested it would, and I took absolutely nothing from it except a decent description of the Running of the Bulls, which I found entertaining. Otherwise, the story ended with the main character and the leading lady both denying their true feelings, and being in the exact same position they were in at the start of the book. Big disappointment.