Sunday, July 18, 2004

One of the Greats

About two years ago I was in Spain. I returned my text books since the teacher told me to do so. Apparently the return policy of the store is that of my least favorite. Ok sir, you did not need that book afterall. I will reund your money kind of. What do you mean my clerk friend. Well you see mr. consumer, after you spend national currency here you can only get it refunded as store credit.

Store credit screwed me out of about $25 of my own money in this case. Now instead of getting my own money back to spend on whatever I want I have to find interest in some random book store in Spain. Well, cookbooks aside I decide to read one of the "classic" authors. I bought two Hemmingway books.

Two years later, after several fruitless attempts at reading the "Sun Also Rises" I focused myself to read the bloody thing. I came to the realization why I never could get into the book. The plot does not start until page 118. The first 117 pages are all about walking around getting drunk, smoking cigarrettes and wishing some beautiful temptress would stop teasing the main character and simply love him. Apparently Ernest Hemmingway published the first blog himself, because those 117 pages were the most incoherent ramblings of a eternallly frusterated man.

If this was reading for a class of somesort I would have to say the theme is love is not for everyone but being strung along is for everyone. Once the plot started to pick up I felt like I was reading a screen play for the next OC episode. The characters in the story are all rather educated yet all are very trite and image conscious. During reading, all I could think about is how this story really makes me think of the Kennedy family.

The other aspect that bothered me more than it took me two years, and four attempts to read a soft core romance novel is that when I told people that I was reading "The Sun Also Rises" that they told me it was an "easy read." I most definitely do not concure with that. An easy read is a pamphlet. The only easy read that is over 200 pages is the Dr. Suess anthology. 200 pages with and average of ten words per page. That is ease, if you please.

I am sure Hemmingway is a great author. However he even admits to rambling in the story. He has this deep inner monologue of Jake (the main character), only to be concluded by Jake saying "well there is no point to that story." Thanks Ernie, if I wanted rambling I would go to Adams and Wells and listen to the homeless man in front of Walgreens.

I guess this book is a classic because it is about love, rejection, loss, and budding alcoholism. All of which are themes we can relate to. I think it is safe to say that we have all been a sucker for love or a "classic" novel.

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