A Farewell to Arms

Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
A Farewell to Arms
By turns romantic and harshly realistic, Hemingway's story of a tragic romance set against the brutality and confusion of World War I cemented his fame as a stylist and as a writer of extraordinary literary power. A volunteer ambulance driver and a beautiful English nurse fall in love when he is wounded on the Italian front. The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.

Publisher: New York : Scribner Classics, 1997, c1929
Edition: 1st Scribner classics ed
ISBN: 0684837889
Branch Call Number: FIC H
Characteristics: 297 p. ; 25 cm.


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Dec 01, 2014
  • Greenblum rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

great story about the italian front during WW1. great love story. sharply written-no nonsense approach - the usual great crisp Hemingway style

Sep 29, 2014
  • Musiclover19 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This is not your average war story- the narrator is not a soldier, but a taxi driver, and eventually, not even that. However, the story still touches on important themes of death, coping, and relationships.
Hemingway's writing is very straightforward- and if you like flowery language, this might be a bit dull for you.
Personally, I enjoyed the no-nonsense writing, though I did not become particularly attached to Catherine.

Jul 27, 2014

above detail description obviously miscategorized

Apr 08, 2014
  • AllieTaylor rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I'm a fairly voracious reader and somehow this book had always passed me by so I decided to catch it up. I cannot believe that this is considered a classic. All right, from time to time, the writing is excellent but overall I would have to say that the plot is puerile and the writing is generally infantile. I can think of at least half a dozen books that will give someone a better taste and feel of the First World War: for a Canadian experience, try The Wars (Findley); for a German outlook, All Quiet on the Western Front (Remarque). Additionally, I'd recommend Birdsong (Faulkes) and Regeneration (Barker), and don't forget to read Dr Zhivago (Pasternak)!. And that's saying nothing about the tons of wonderful poetry...

Feb 09, 2013
  • lindadavid43 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book sounds beautiful read aloud--share it with a partner or friend this way!

Apr 27, 2012
  • brianreynolds rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Hemingway's <i>A Farewell to Arms</i> is an interesting depiction of love and war at the WWI Italian Front in Austria in spite of or maybe because of his sparse, objective sentences and heavy reliance on conversation that is annoyingly patrician in tone. A picture is drawn of an American ambulance diver interacting with his comrades and an English nurse. There is high drama as the front collapses and his retreat turns into a desertion, as his girlfriend becomes pregnant and the couple face a disastrous pregnancy. But depiction and drama are elements of a story, not a story in and of itself. If the story was: soldier manages to wise up to the futility or horror of armed conflict and extricate himself, then the subsequent deaths of mother and child do not just confuse the successful escape, they undercut any sense that a problem has been solved or a true hero has prevailed. If the story was: in the midst of war a love affair ends tragically, then why are the deaths so random, why do they have nothing to do with the war or anything else in the story? Why are the impediments to the love story so huge and yet overcome with such ease? Basically the affair is a "nodoubter" from the start--until the very strange end. Whether or not <i>A Farewell</i> is a "classic," it doesn't have a plot that makes much sense to me.

Jan 28, 2012

I read this as a teenager, then again as an adult. Definitely worth a second time around.

May 11, 2010
  • meaganpeters4 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A look inot the life of one man and his love during the War. Absolutely loved it and would reccomend it to any one!

Feb 21, 2010
  • tinybookworm rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I read this book because it is a well-known classic, but I got half way through it and could not finish it (and I enjoy reading all sorts of novels). I thought it was boring and the dialogue between the main characters just didn't interest me.

Jan 22, 2010
  • BENJAMIN KENNEDY rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My first Hemingway novel and it was excellent. Hemingway's knowledge of the english language and his simplicity is what makes this book a classic. The book was an excellent read, and it certaintly won't be my last Hemingway novel.


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Sep 29, 2014
  • Musiclover19 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

If people bring so much courage to the world, the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and many are stronger at the broken places. But those it will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these, you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.


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A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
A Farewell to Arms

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