Top positive review
Great presentation of a complex character
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2015
Just a quick note: I recently reread this when I was reminded of the complexities of the Spanish Civil War by a magazine article. The book did what I dimly remembered it did: it showed the local, human dimension of the war rather than the history book battle of ideologies we usually see. What I hadn’t remmbered was the subtlety and complexity of the love story. I’ve always thought Hemingway’s ability to present love has been underrated by many people who prefer to focus on the unwillingness of many of his characters to talk about their feelings. It’s true, his characters generally don’t have much to say on the subject, and even their inner monologues tend to be sparse, but Hemingway still manages to express his characters’ deep, vital and nuanced feelings. I think the lack of verbiage is part a reflection of the view expressed by many of his characters that it doesn’t do to talk about significant things too much and part the simple fact that the characters themselves don’t understand what they’re feeling.
Hemingway was a fabulous writer, and much of his work, though clearly rooted in his time period, still stands up to scrutiny today.