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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
The Sun Also Rises: The Hemingway Library Edition - Ernest Hemingway

There are 226 editions of THE SUN ALSO RISES on Goodreads, do we need another? In this case, yes. The Hemingway Library Edition feels like buying one of those double-pack DVD collections loaded with bonus features. If you are already a fan of this book or want more insight into its creation or the Hemmingway legend, then this is a great version to pick up.

 

 

As for the book itself: meh. I loved OLD MAN AND THE SEA, but just couldn’t bring myself to appreciate SUN ALSO RISES on nearly the same level. I think the former is a better representation of Hemmingway’s spare prose, while the latter is bereft of that emotional tug. At many times throughout, I found my mind straying from the content, mainly due to Hemmingway’s indulgent use of dialogue. The theme of the story held a unique interest, but the telling of it dragged in its redundancies.

 

 

However, this is a classic for a reason and clearly carries with it a base of fans. This book is for those appreciative people. The two introductions by Hemmingway family members were interesting, but the end-sections are what shine the most. Here is where you’ll find nearly 100 pages of content, including: an essay on bull fighting in the 20s, pieces of early revisions (I wish all books had this; it’s like a director’s commentary almost); the discarded first chapters; and the other possible book titles (such as RIVER TO THE SEA or TWO LIE TOGETHER). There are also about five pictures, including one of Hemmingway’s ticket stub for the bull fights in Pamplona.

 

 

Stand-alone I would rate this book lower, but I’m a proponent of these “special features”, even in modernly-released books. When I read a book I love, I want to know more about its inception and formulation. In this case, I’m giving it an extra star because the features were fascinating though the book itself was not.

 

 

Thanks to Scribner for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to review.