Friday, 20 November 2015

A Review of ‘The Moveable Feast’ by Ernest Hemingway

The Bookshop Guru
A master storyteller is how I would describe Hemingway. Those of you that have read his most popular and well known novels need no introduction into how the clarity and originality of his stories grip you from the beginning. I was intrigued when I found this book, because although it’s described as fiction, it is really an account of him as a poor and struggling unknown writer living in Paris in the 1920’s. His memories have a bouquet that lingers and captivates you into understanding much more about the man, almost as if you can smell and taste the wine as he recalls the café life. Hemingway describes Paris as a great treasure given to you, and regardless of how poor you are, you could still live and work well there. You could take Paris with you wherever you went and so ‘The Moveable Feast.’

Hemingway recalls his encounters with other writers such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and many more. Interestingly, his early confidence is best described as ‘unsure’ without the authority of a novel to his name. His friend Fitzgerald talks about his latest book ‘The Great Gatsby’ and how good reviews hadn’t translated into meaningful sales. Hemingway then recalls how he spent a whole morning of work just to write a paragraph and he wasn’t sure how he could ever write anything as long as a novel. But he also recalls his disapproval of Fitzgerald’s practice of changing short stories to suit the twists required for magazine submission. Hemingway describes this practice as ‘whoring,’ but Fitzgerald says he has no choice as he needs the money to fund the writing of future books.

Throughout the meandering of life as a young writer Hemingway leads you into his world and shares with you all the beauty of living and loving life. There is a vibrancy of colour in the way the words make it onto the page of the story, which is how Hemingway recalls his early struggle to tell a story.

A great read!
Anthony fox
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