A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway Read-A-Long

I am participating in a read-a-long with a few other book bloggers that are members of War Through The Generations Challenge. Farewell to Arms is a novel that Ernest Hemingway wrote about an American ambulance driver named Henry that was with the Italian army during World War I. World War I is the war that our group is reading about in 2012. Although this book is a work of fiction, Hemingway was himself an ambulance driver during World War I. The read-a-long is broken down in to 4 weeks for the 4 weeks of June.
Week 1 June 1-8, Chapters 1-10
Week 2 June 9-15, Chapters 11-20
Week 3 June 16-22, Chapters 21-30
Week 4 June 23-29, Chapters 31-40

Our 2 hostesses for this challenge are Serena and Anna....(thank you---to you both for all your hard work!)

1. "So far, how do you feel about Hemingway's writing style? Are you enjoying it?"
(I have edited a part out in this answer as I boo-booed. Thanks Serena!)

Usually I like a descriptive story, such as the way Charles Dickens wrote. You would think I'd be put-off by Hemingway's choppy, rather benign telling of a story. Instead, I settle back in to my favorite reading chair and enjoy the ride so to speak. I do giggle sometimes at his repeat of description for example:
"Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves." page 1.
I get it, it's dusty and there are leaves. But, once again I'm enjoying this story telling ride of Hemingway's.
I love diligent, on purpose comma's. I love comma's because they give rest in a sentence in order to make the reader pay attention to the mood. I think I expressed that right. By pausing, the reader soaks in what has just been written. A comma also keeps the sentence from bad grammar. But, I am pretty sure Hemingway did not give a flip about grammar, he is a man that did things his way. 

2. Rinaldi and Henry seem to have a brotherly relationship. Do you think that this friendhsip will survive throughout the novel or will something come between them? Speculate."
In combat they are called battle buddies. Rinaldi and Henry live in the same room, work together, eat and drink together, there is camaraderie amongst the war. Also, there is a loyalty in the relationship of battle buddies that is not seen in civilian life. So, do I believe something will come between them? Maybe death.

3. "What Kind of relationship do Lieutenant Henry and Nurse Catherine Barkley seem to have? Are they in love or is it something else?"
They have a relationship of convenience, attraction, comfort. Nurse Barkley, and I think she is not a nurse but an aide, she is a bit of a flibbertigibbet. Maybe she is a wounded bird because her previous lover died. She is still a flibbertigibbet to me. I'm not to found of her at this point. She annoys me.
This is not a relationship where either one of them are sitting down with a discussion about where this is going or do they love each other, etc. It is just going, and maybe no where.
Henry has an attraction to this Barkley woman and he is courting her, he is not thinking about love, just sex.
I am curious if their relationship will morph in to something more. 

Link for reading challenge:


  1. Thanks so much for joining the challenge. I believe that The Great Gatsby is by F. Scott Fitzgerald, not Hemingway.

    I'm not likely Barkley much either.

  2. Thank you Serena, I really made a error! I stand corrected and have re-edited my post!
    Thanks for visiting!

  3. The lack of commas is driving me crazy! And that first chapter, with all the troop movement and the dust, etc. It took him two pages to say something that could be summed up in just a few words. I was so bored, I wanted to stop reading. I'm glad that I kept going, though, because now I feel a bit invested in the story, but I don't think I'll ever be a fan of his writing style.

    Now, Frank Delaney is one author with whom I'll just sit back and go along for the ride. He is an excellent storyteller.

  4. I am glad to be reading one of his books, merely for the reason I can finally state I have a familiarity with him. I feel I know a little about Hemingway, from various articles in the media over the years, never a book, but magazine or newspaper articles.
    From what I remember (from college) this generation of writers really wanted to pull away from the previous writing era. They wanted to show a different writing style. Maybe someone that has an English degree could refresh my memory on this.

    1. I have a degree in English, but sadly studied very little Hemingway. I read a short story and a novella by him in one class, but wasn't "wowed" by them and don't remember any of the discussion. It's times like these I wish I'd saved my notebooks from college!


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