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At the age of twenty-two, Ernest Hemingway wrote his first short story, "Up in Michigan." Seventeen years and forty-eight titles later, he was the undisputed master of the short-story form and the leading American man of letters. The Short Stories, introduced here with a revealing preface by the author, chronicles Hemingway's development as a writer, from his earliest atte At the age of twenty-two, Ernest Hemingway wrote his first short story, "Up in Michigan." Seventeen years and forty-eight titles later, he was the undisputed master of the short-story form and the leading American man of letters. The Short Stories, introduced here with a revealing preface by the author, chronicles Hemingway's development as a writer, from his earliest attempts in the chapbook Three Stories and Ten Poems, published in Paris in 1923, to his more mature accomplishments in Winner Take Nothing. Originally published in 1938 along with The Fifth Column, this collection premiered "The Capital of the World" and "Old Man at the Bridge," which derive from Hemingway's experiences in Spain, as well as "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," which figure among the finest of Hemingway's short fictions.


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At the age of twenty-two, Ernest Hemingway wrote his first short story, "Up in Michigan." Seventeen years and forty-eight titles later, he was the undisputed master of the short-story form and the leading American man of letters. The Short Stories, introduced here with a revealing preface by the author, chronicles Hemingway's development as a writer, from his earliest atte At the age of twenty-two, Ernest Hemingway wrote his first short story, "Up in Michigan." Seventeen years and forty-eight titles later, he was the undisputed master of the short-story form and the leading American man of letters. The Short Stories, introduced here with a revealing preface by the author, chronicles Hemingway's development as a writer, from his earliest attempts in the chapbook Three Stories and Ten Poems, published in Paris in 1923, to his more mature accomplishments in Winner Take Nothing. Originally published in 1938 along with The Fifth Column, this collection premiered "The Capital of the World" and "Old Man at the Bridge," which derive from Hemingway's experiences in Spain, as well as "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," which figure among the finest of Hemingway's short fictions.

30 review for The Short Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    There is a story, probably apocryphal, that Hemingway once bet that he could write an entire short story in six words. He was taken up on that bet, and produced the following diminutive masterpiece: "For Sale: baby shoes. Never used." I like to believe that story is true. It's not possible to review the 49 stories in this book, which range in length from dozens of pages to a single paragraph. Actually, it is possible, but I'm just not the man to do it. So I'll just throw out some scattered thoug There is a story, probably apocryphal, that Hemingway once bet that he could write an entire short story in six words. He was taken up on that bet, and produced the following diminutive masterpiece: "For Sale: baby shoes. Never used." I like to believe that story is true. It's not possible to review the 49 stories in this book, which range in length from dozens of pages to a single paragraph. Actually, it is possible, but I'm just not the man to do it. So I'll just throw out some scattered thoughts: - The Snows of Kilimanjaro was a little disappointing. I thought it was derivative of Bierce. - The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber is still as brutally awesome as it was in high school. Hemingway at his bitter, drunken, misogynistic best. - The stories dance around sexuality a lot. Sometimes Hemingway is so discrete, you have to read the story twice to see between the lines. For instance, A Simple Inquiry involves an Italian major trying to seduce his orderly (or at least that's what I got out of it). On the other hand, there's a semi-graphic rape in Up in Michigan, and an extended conversation with three, three-hundred pound prostitutes in The Light of the World. I'm not sure why I mention this, other than that I'm a literalist. That is, I prefer an author who telegraphs to me that sex is occurring. So I don't miss it. - Hemingway's treatment of women is uniformly shabby. At their best (I'm thinking Lady Ashley in The Sun Also Rises or Maria in For Whom the Bell Tolls) they either boldly use sex as a weapon or are paragons of Mary-like purity. Most of the time, in this collection, they are prostitutes, seductresses, or objects to be discarded (speaking of discarded, The End of Something is a realistic little break-up scene). This is probably part of the reason why I've never said this to a woman: I've lost my underwear, can I see yours? Hey, you should read something by Hemingway. - There is some good STD humor. One story is written as a letter by a woman to a doctor. The woman is asking about her husband's syphilis, which he contracted during his time in the military. STD humor is always funny, unless you have an STD. Or this line, from A Very Short Story: The major did not marry her in the spring, or any other time. Luz never got an answer to the letter to Chicago about it. A short time after he contracted gonorrhea from a sales girl in a loop department store while riding in a taxicab through Lincoln Park. What a great way to end a story! - There is a lot of dark humor, especially in An Alpine Idyll, where a husband makes odd use of his wife's corpse. But you can still enjoy this collection, even if you don't find the comic-gold in Weekend at Bernies. - A lot of these stories follows the adventures of Nick Adams, Michigan boy. These were my favorite stories, especially Big Two-Hearted River: Part 1 & 2. Here, Hemingway pulls himself away from the elitist, intellectually-disillusioned expatriate shtick (where his characters are inevitably drunk and disillusioned in Italy, Spain, or Greece) and gives us some nice, detailed stories about hiking, camping, fishing, and cooking food over an open fire. I enjoyed this. It was like reading a more misanthropic version of Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It. For example: Nick took the line in his left hand and pulled the trout, thumping tiredly against the current, to the surface. His back was mottled the clear, water-over-gravel color, his side flashing in the sun. The rod under his right arm, Nick stooped, dipping his right hand into the current. He held the trout, never still, with his moist right hand, while he unhooked the barb from his mouth, then dropped him back into the stream...He's all right, Nick thought. He was only tired. Parting thoughts: This collection is the short story equivalent of a frat house. It's all men, all the time. The only real love shown in any of the passages are between male friends. Most of the time, its booze, shotguns, hunting, fishing, talking about women, bullfighting, and participating in revolutions. In other words, all the stuff that men use to filter their love for other men, without being thought gay. Of course, Hemingway might have disagreed. He might have insisted that this is really all about booze, shotguns, hunting, fishing, talking about women, bullfighting, and participating in revolutions. To that end, it still succeeds on a certain level. But that is just my opinion, and it should be noted that I love my male friends, but also like booze, shotguns, hunting, fishing, talking about women, bullfighting*, and participating in revolutions**. So I'm sort of the target audience. * Bullfighting is when a man boxes a bull, right? ** I confess, I haven't actually participated in any revolutions. Oh, wait, does the sexual revolution count? Because I also did not participate in that either.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    I need to go back and read these again, but I recall being as impressed with Hemingway's short stories as with his novels. He was a fantastic writer and so influential. I would read A Moveable Feast or another novel before reading these stories though. I need to go back and read these again, but I recall being as impressed with Hemingway's short stories as with his novels. He was a fantastic writer and so influential. I would read A Moveable Feast or another novel before reading these stories though.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Conrad

    The conventional wisdom is that Hemingway wrote short, choppy sentences and was fundamentally a bloodthirsty person, possibly as a consequence of insecurity about his masculinity. I don't think either is quite true. As for the first point, I just don't find it to be anything but a stereotype perpetuated by people who haven't read him very carefully. Hemingway wrote a lot of sentences the length of which would have made Faulkner envious (though Faulkner was fond of the short, choppy sentences peop The conventional wisdom is that Hemingway wrote short, choppy sentences and was fundamentally a bloodthirsty person, possibly as a consequence of insecurity about his masculinity. I don't think either is quite true. As for the first point, I just don't find it to be anything but a stereotype perpetuated by people who haven't read him very carefully. Hemingway wrote a lot of sentences the length of which would have made Faulkner envious (though Faulkner was fond of the short, choppy sentences people usually give Papa Ernest credit for... but I digress). One of his favorite tricks (particularly when writing about Africa) was to go from a landscape to a single person and back again in the context of a single sentence. Not really the habit of a devout minimalist. As for the second point, I can understand people's misgivings about Hemingway's hypermasculine posing, but ask yourself this: why would an unquestioning misogynist write "Hills Like White Elephants?" Would there be much of a point (if that was your worldview) in going on and on about what castrating shitheels women can be? He did write some terrible female characters, but he also explored the corrosive effects of isolation from women on the male psyche (I'm thinking here of the story about Nick Adams' wartime experiences.) As for the violence, in Hemingway's short fiction it usually consists of exhilaration alloyed with horror. People also occasionally portray him as an opportunistic war tourist, but it was no small feat joining the Lincoln Brigades during the Spanish civil war, and he should get a lot of credit for having done so. [Oops. After having written this I had this nagging sense of having been wrong, and I was: Hemingway was an ambulance driver in WWI before having been a writer, and was wounded; he was then a reporter during the Spanish Civil War, and World War II and was wounded more than once in each.] In (I think) "The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber" one of the macho characters Hemingway was widely noted for says something like, "When you jaw things up too much, they lose their meaning." And yet it's a long and fairly verbose story. Hemingway's writing was at war with itself, and I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt, particularly in his early short fiction, before he settled into his tics. Short works mercifully deprive him of the chance to underinterpret female motive, and I think his best stories are sometimes the snapshot-like vignettes. Anyway, this collection of shorts is exemplary and worth reading, even if it's not everyone's cup of tea. Can't remember how many of the Nick Adams stories are in here, but those are my favorites, alongside "Hills", "Kilimanjaro", "Macomber", and this great one about a child watching his father attempt to deliver a baby. There's a lot of peevishness that goes around about Hemingway, and it's a shame - at the same time as he reified masculinity he also detested the burdens it placed on him, the same way he both enjoyed the perils of warfare and recoiled at its reality. That attitude might be a cliche now, but it wasn't when Ernest invented it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dave Russell

    What I've read so far (possible spoilers): THE SHORT, HAPPY LIFE OF FRANCIS MACOMBER A man has the good sense to run away from a charging lion, and because of that, his wife sleeps with another man who bears a physical resemblance to Hemingway. CAPITAL OF THE WORLD A waiter and dishwasher are fooling around, pretending to be a bull and matador, and the waiter ends up with a knife in his femoral artery. I wonder if Hemingway were alive he would be writing stirring stories about the courage of those g What I've read so far (possible spoilers): THE SHORT, HAPPY LIFE OF FRANCIS MACOMBER A man has the good sense to run away from a charging lion, and because of that, his wife sleeps with another man who bears a physical resemblance to Hemingway. CAPITAL OF THE WORLD A waiter and dishwasher are fooling around, pretending to be a bull and matador, and the waiter ends up with a knife in his femoral artery. I wonder if Hemingway were alive he would be writing stirring stories about the courage of those guys on Jackass. THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO This is a terrific story (aside from the dig at Fitzgerald.) I love the wide open ending. OLD MAN AT THE BRIDGE Old man--check. Bridge--check. UP IN MICHIGAN ON THE QUAI AT SMYRNA INDIAN CAMP THE DOCTOR AND THE DOCTOR'S WIFE THE END OF SOMETHING THE THREE-DAY BLOW It's been three days since I read this one and it still blows. THE BATTLER A VERY SHORT STORY The title doesn't lie. SOLDIER'S HOME I read this in High School, but had forgotten how good it is. When you've seen enough death the business of living seems so unimportant. THE REVOLUTIONIST MR. AND MRS. ELLIOT CAT IN THE RAIN OUT OF SEASON CROSS-COUNTRY SNOW MY OLD MAN BIG TWO-HEARTED RIVER: PARTS I AND II A guy catches two fish. Big ones. THE UNDEFEATED A man is torturing a bull to death, but the crowd boos him because he's kind of botching it. IN ANOTHER COUNTRY I think Hemingway is at his best (here and in SOLDIER'S HOME) when he describes what happens to people after they've faced violence. They no longer belong to the world the rest of us do. HILLS LIKE WHITE ELEPHANTS Can someone tell me what this story is about? What operation? THE KILLERS CHE TI DICE LA PATRIA? FIFTY GRAND A SIMPLE ENQUIRY TEN INDIANS A CANARY FOR ONE AN ALPINE IDYLL A PURSUIT RACE TODAY IS FRIDAY What the hell? Weirdness. After a hard day of crucifying Christ three Roman soldiers hang out at a wine bar run by a Hebrew man named George. A BANAL STORY NOW I LAY ME AFTER THE STORM A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE Another story I read in HS and had forgotten how good it was. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD Another wonderfully tender story about how terribly lonely the world can be. GOD REST YE MERRY, GENTLEMEN I always thought the comma goes before "Merry." The things you learn. THE SEA CHANGE A WAY YOU'LL NEVER BE THE MOTHER OF A QUEEN ONE READER WRITES HOMAGE TO SWITZERLAND A DAY'S WAIT A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE DEAD Contrary to what those Weekend at Bernie's movies try to tell you, death is no fun. No fun at all. THE WINE OF WYOMING THE GAMBLER, THE NUN, AND THE RADIO I don't remember reading this before, but it is my favorite story in this collection. Luck, prayer, the opium of the masses, and the futility of it all. FATHERS AND SONS

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    I have only read Hemingway's short stories but I feel like I am content with that for now. Their length seems completely adequate for his writing style. I was introduced to him in my junior year of high school when the teacher asked us to read and discuss Hills Like White Elephants. It seemed to stretch on forever with cryptic, emotional dialogue between the two sole characters who are waiting at a train station, peppered with bits of internal narrative describing the opposing landscapes on eith I have only read Hemingway's short stories but I feel like I am content with that for now. Their length seems completely adequate for his writing style. I was introduced to him in my junior year of high school when the teacher asked us to read and discuss Hills Like White Elephants. It seemed to stretch on forever with cryptic, emotional dialogue between the two sole characters who are waiting at a train station, peppered with bits of internal narrative describing the opposing landscapes on either side (one is lush and green while the other is hilly with white sand). You come to find out that the narrative is cluing you in on the topic of their conversation. I had not read anything quite like that before and it really turned me on my ear about the potential of literature. This is a great book if you feel like investing your mind in stories about the surprisingly important minute details of life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rick Slane

    Stories of hunting and fishing near the Great Lakes along with a few on bull-fighting and war, nothing seemed as good to me as The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.

  7. 4 out of 5

    R.a.

    When Hemingway's "on," he's on. Other than that, Faulkner's critique seems apt. And here's a bit of the proof in this collection. The great stories: "Macomber," "The Capital of the World," "Snows of Kilimanjaro," "In Another Country," "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean Well-Lighted Place." Less so: "Up in Michigan," "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," "The Battler," "Cat in the Rain," "Cross-Country Snow," "The Undefeated," "Fifty Grand," and some others. His style has unquest When Hemingway's "on," he's on. Other than that, Faulkner's critique seems apt. And here's a bit of the proof in this collection. The great stories: "Macomber," "The Capital of the World," "Snows of Kilimanjaro," "In Another Country," "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean Well-Lighted Place." Less so: "Up in Michigan," "Indian Camp," "The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife," "The Battler," "Cat in the Rain," "Cross-Country Snow," "The Undefeated," "Fifty Grand," and some others. His style has unquestionably impacted writers since. However, the other half of these stories, I forgot shortly after having read them due to such sparcity of narrative—i.e., the "style." I absolutely respect his seemingly Herculean task of "writing the perfect sentence." However, readers still need "connection." And, his best stories do this, (as above). So, we have a three star review here as averaged: 5.0 for the best down to 1.0 and 1.5 for the worst. Sorry Papa.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Koelker

    A lot of great stories, but some of my favorites were: -The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber -The Snows of Kilimanjaro -The Doctor and The Doctor's Wife -Big Two-Hearted River Parts I/II -The Undefeated -After The Storm -The Sea Change And most of the Nick Adams stories, really. A lot of great stories, but some of my favorites were: -The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber -The Snows of Kilimanjaro -The Doctor and The Doctor's Wife -Big Two-Hearted River Parts I/II -The Undefeated -After The Storm -The Sea Change And most of the Nick Adams stories, really.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    Hemingway's true element was the short story and the selection in this collection shows the development of his status as a master in that particular art form. Despite being technically astute, Hemmingway's writing style and stories are definitely an acquired taste. I personally find it interesting that many people criticize Hemmingway for being unabashedly male and particularly of the classic 'macho' variety. This can be a turn-off for many readers, but I read it as refreshingly honest and true t Hemingway's true element was the short story and the selection in this collection shows the development of his status as a master in that particular art form. Despite being technically astute, Hemmingway's writing style and stories are definitely an acquired taste. I personally find it interesting that many people criticize Hemmingway for being unabashedly male and particularly of the classic 'macho' variety. This can be a turn-off for many readers, but I read it as refreshingly honest and true to who he really was as a person. Sure, it might be uncomfortable to know that there are men who really do not -care- what the women around them think or, heaven forbid, feel and even go so far as to distance themselves from female company for long periods of time, but it's real. And that's what Hemmingway's writing is...it's reality...a slice of reality from usually a single 'macho' point of view. What I enjoy most about Hemmingway's stories is that they make you think...at least if you can get engaged in them in the first place! Rarely did I finish a story with a total feeling of ambivalence and lack of curiosity. Almost always I was left with questions and I think this sense of incompletion was critical to Hemmingway's writing style, demonstrated in his abbreviated sentence structure, staccato word flow and ambiguous sections of dialogue.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Misha

    "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" -- It's been at least 13 years since I'd read this story in a college American Lit survey, so it was pleasant to read it now and rediscover the beautiful simplicity of this brief tale about the inevitable loneliness of aging. I was struck by the dichotomy between the waiter-with-a-wife and the older waiter/the old man. The waiter-with-a-wife has the narrow view of someone who is relatively fulfilled. He can't understand why the old man would despair if he has plenty "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" -- It's been at least 13 years since I'd read this story in a college American Lit survey, so it was pleasant to read it now and rediscover the beautiful simplicity of this brief tale about the inevitable loneliness of aging. I was struck by the dichotomy between the waiter-with-a-wife and the older waiter/the old man. The waiter-with-a-wife has the narrow view of someone who is relatively fulfilled. He can't understand why the old man would despair if he has plenty of money, and rushes the old man out of the cafe so he can get home to his own life. The older waiter gives us the perspective we need to understand the point of the story -- that we're all alone in the end, reaching out for some little bit of comfort, even if it's just a clean, well-lighted cafe. I love that Hemingway gives just enough detail of the scene and setting that I could create a vivid mental picture, but allowed enough flexibility that I was creating the picture. It's my imagination filling in the gaps, and so the cafe and the old man and the shadows and the empty tables became mine.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I've only read selected stories, but I loved them all. This is a good book to read if you're trying to get into Hemingway. Many people are force fed The Old Man and the Sea in their youth. I know it was a bad experience, but put it behind you and move on to better things. Hemingway really gets broken down into small and manageable pieces in this collection. I really enjoyed A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Soldier's Home, and A Way You'll Never Be. Also, a great conversation can be had about how pla I've only read selected stories, but I loved them all. This is a good book to read if you're trying to get into Hemingway. Many people are force fed The Old Man and the Sea in their youth. I know it was a bad experience, but put it behind you and move on to better things. Hemingway really gets broken down into small and manageable pieces in this collection. I really enjoyed A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Soldier's Home, and A Way You'll Never Be. Also, a great conversation can be had about how placing a comma anywhere in the title of The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber can change the meaning of the entire title. Lastly, Hills Like White Elephants is regarded by many to be one of Hemingway's best short stories so I'd start either there or with A Clean, Well-Lighted Place. Also, read the preface. It's excellent and short. Hopefully this collection will teach you to love Papa.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sagar Jethani

    If I have to read about one more bloody matador, I will gore someone myself.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Visited his home in Key West, and decided to read some of his work. I found it very tough to get through and sometimes hard to follow the story line. I know he is a lauded author, but just not my preference.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bradley D

    Some of the stories herein are better than others, but Hemingway’s voice throughout the collection is palpable. The dude got style

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cathie

    Some of the stories were really good and some were, well, meh. (i do not have Hemingway's way with words). Some of the stories were really good and some were, well, meh. (i do not have Hemingway's way with words).

  16. 4 out of 5

    Troy Mita

    SPOILER WARNING!! Hemingway’s book of short stories isn’t the typical book I would find myself reading, but after a few of the short stories, I was hooked. I loved how Hemingway kept the idea of loss, and death, very realistic in how people deal with it, even though it can be a dark and touchy subject to write about. Nick Addams was definitely my favorite character, not because he was one of the main characters, but because of how interesting his character was. His life seems so boring, but the t SPOILER WARNING!! Hemingway’s book of short stories isn’t the typical book I would find myself reading, but after a few of the short stories, I was hooked. I loved how Hemingway kept the idea of loss, and death, very realistic in how people deal with it, even though it can be a dark and touchy subject to write about. Nick Addams was definitely my favorite character, not because he was one of the main characters, but because of how interesting his character was. His life seems so boring, but the things he does are so fascinating at the same time. The biggest connection that I made from the book to the outside world is how the lack of war creates a need for men to find other ways to express their masculinity. One example of this is the short story “soldier’s home”, where a young man struggles to find a job, as well as his place in the world after World War One. For me, I want to join the marines to help find my purpose, but in the meantime I love to play sports, which helps me to identify my place in the world for the time being. In my group, the most juicy questions that sparked the most discussion were about the connection between Nick Addams, and Hemingway himself. The first question was “why do you think Hemingway wanted to represent himself in the book with a recurring character like nick?” Afterwards we had a long discussion about how Hemingway used his writing as a way to vent, and express his feelings, while also helping those who are dealing with similar problems in their life. The second most juicy question was “many times nick was found unhappy with his life, and at times expressed his feelings to the reader, but never to other people. Why do you think this was?” This question led to a long discussion about how masculinity played a role, and how men typically they do not share their feelings, but want to. Some of the most important overall messages that I saw throughout the book were surrounded by the brutal effects of war. This includes loss, death, and the unease of not having a place or purpose in the world. The best example of this is how Nick just drifts from situation to situation, not having any particular purpose in any story. I would recommend this book to people who feel like they can relate to feeling loss or death, because I believe they would have a higher appreciation for how much it hurts, especially if that loss was to war, or similar to war.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    On the rating I waffled between a 3 and 4. It was different reading Hemmingway as a 45-year-old than it was as a teenager. When I first ready this collection of stories I was considering a career as a writier, possibly as a journalist, and I was exploring as much of the literary canon as possible. In some ways, I was much more open to different things than I am now, especially works of critical acclaim. Nowadays I read mostly for pleasure in my leisure hours and have fallen into a bit of a rut a On the rating I waffled between a 3 and 4. It was different reading Hemmingway as a 45-year-old than it was as a teenager. When I first ready this collection of stories I was considering a career as a writier, possibly as a journalist, and I was exploring as much of the literary canon as possible. In some ways, I was much more open to different things than I am now, especially works of critical acclaim. Nowadays I read mostly for pleasure in my leisure hours and have fallen into a bit of a rut as far as the genres I favor. That said, Hemmingway's sparse style is refreshing after an appetite of mysteries, thrillers, chick lit and fantasy. I have to say I am not crazy about his prominent topics of bullfighting and war, but I do appreciate has "man communing with nature" stories, especially those featuring Nick Adams. Having recently read The Paris Wife, it seems obvious that some of his stories in this collection come from his own experiences. In particular, I was struck by "A Canary for One," which I imagine is based on a train trip Hemmingway took with his first wife, Hadley, after they realized they were breaking up. By the same token, I favor the relationship stores, whether between a man and a woman ("Hills Like White Elephants") or between man and the rest of humanity ("A Clean, Well-Lighted Place"). Overall, I am glad I reread these stories and I ended up liking them enough that I am getting ready to start A Moveable Feast.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Marcos

    This is a master in the prime of his craft and talent. Merciless, vital, and spare; Mr. Hemingway spares no one from his gorgeous prose. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "The Snows of Kilamanjaro" are amazing examples that flesh out his eye for nuance, detail, and relationships. "Francis Macomber" is my favorite from the collection: An adventurous story of cowardice, friendship and love triangle that ends badly in the African wilderness. "Hills Like White Elephants" was my introduc This is a master in the prime of his craft and talent. Merciless, vital, and spare; Mr. Hemingway spares no one from his gorgeous prose. "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" and "The Snows of Kilamanjaro" are amazing examples that flesh out his eye for nuance, detail, and relationships. "Francis Macomber" is my favorite from the collection: An adventurous story of cowardice, friendship and love triangle that ends badly in the African wilderness. "Hills Like White Elephants" was my introduction to great dialogue writing that ends in cold-hearted ambiguity; and re-reading this gem was spine-tingling. It's a fantastic predecessor to those greats: Updike, Carver, and Yates.

  19. 5 out of 5

    daniel silliman

    There are a few stories here, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and "The Capital of the World," that, all by themselves, would earn Hemingway a place in the canon. There are others, though, which are stupid, macho, self-destructive and infuriatingly awful. For the awful misuse of the amazing title "Hills Like White Elephants" alone, Hemingway should have been punched in the face. Judging from some of these stories, he would have liked it. There are a few stories here, "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and "The Capital of the World," that, all by themselves, would earn Hemingway a place in the canon. There are others, though, which are stupid, macho, self-destructive and infuriatingly awful. For the awful misuse of the amazing title "Hills Like White Elephants" alone, Hemingway should have been punched in the face. Judging from some of these stories, he would have liked it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    It pains me to say this as an English-degree holder, but I've never made it all the way through a Hemingway novel. (The Old Man and the Sea doesn't count.) In a long context, the staccato, sparse style leaves me cold. However, Hemingway's short stories just kill me. In these stories, the simplicity of his text makes the subtext all the more clear. It pains me to say this as an English-degree holder, but I've never made it all the way through a Hemingway novel. (The Old Man and the Sea doesn't count.) In a long context, the staccato, sparse style leaves me cold. However, Hemingway's short stories just kill me. In these stories, the simplicity of his text makes the subtext all the more clear.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    I really wish you could have a section on Goodreads for books you will read a bit at a time. I read the first 80 pages of The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway and they were wonderful. Unfortunately, I want to parse them out and read more at another time. I'll say this book is "to be continued..." I really wish you could have a section on Goodreads for books you will read a bit at a time. I read the first 80 pages of The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway and they were wonderful. Unfortunately, I want to parse them out and read more at another time. I'll say this book is "to be continued..."

  22. 4 out of 5

    John Devlin

    Hemingway's terse prose works best in shorts and this collection is the essence of what short stories try to accomplish. Hemingway's terse prose works best in shorts and this collection is the essence of what short stories try to accomplish.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gary McDowell

    Duh.

  24. 4 out of 5

    JayDiddums10

    Powerful. Straightforward. Real. Brilliant.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brizeida Alvarez

    Warning this review may contain SPOILERS. I found this book to be well written, biographical, and amusing, though very laconic in the way the stories were presented. Even though the stories were short, Hemingway achieved to implement symbols, settings, and an overall message in just a couple of pages. However, not all of his short stories were as engaging as others. In fact, I found some stories to be dreary: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Old Man At the Bridge, and Indian Camp. Furthermore, the grand Warning this review may contain SPOILERS. I found this book to be well written, biographical, and amusing, though very laconic in the way the stories were presented. Even though the stories were short, Hemingway achieved to implement symbols, settings, and an overall message in just a couple of pages. However, not all of his short stories were as engaging as others. In fact, I found some stories to be dreary: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Old Man At the Bridge, and Indian Camp. Furthermore, the grandiose stories covered a variety of topics whether it was hunting, crime, love, war, etc… Some of my favorite stories included The Short Life of Francis Macomber, The Killers, and In Another Country. These stories were the most relatable to me and the real world. Additionally, cheating was a very common thing to see in Hemingway's stories and is still a situation that happens today in relationships. Just like in the story people are being hurt by their significant other having an affair. Another element that I connected to was the death of a loved one. When someone you love deeply passes away it can be painful and difficult to deal with, for each person has their own way of grieving and death is just something that comes with life. A message from the story The Killers revealed that one must face evil and cannot outrun it. When Nick finds out that Anderson is going to be killed he immediately goes over and tells him. To his surprise, Anderson has been in his apartment all day and plans to do nothing about his situation. Nick is shocked and can’t accept the fact that this will be Anderson’s fate. As a result, he is unable to come face to face with evil. In The Short Life of Francis Macomber, the message is that men must be courageous and masculine. They should also be able to prove these traits in outdoor activities like hunting as seen with Macomber. Sadly, for Macomber, this wasn’t the case. Throughout the story, Francis Macomber is just a coward who can’t do anything right. No matter how many times Macomber tried to prove his masculinity he always managed to fail. It begins the night Macomber was awakened by the roar of a lion and had trouble falling back to sleep. Then the next day on a hunting trip Macomber was to kill a lion but was too afraid to encounter it. The weak character fled the scene and left Wilson along with other hunters to witness his cowardness and finish the job for him. “The three with the medals were like hunting-hawks; and I was not a hawk, although I might seem a hawk to those who had never hunted; they, the three, knew better and so we drifted apart” (Hemingway 270). In the story you have three men bragging about their metals meanwhile Nick, the narrator does not feel the need to be likewise. These men live by the importance of their medals and don’t realize the true reality. Unlike the other soldiers, Nick represents a humble and respectable human being. This character knows that by bragging about himself to others isn’t going to get him anywhere revealing that he has a moral code and therefore, decides to dissociate himself away from the “hunting hawks”. “I’m going to get out of this town, Nick said” (289) This passage is important because you see Nick wanting to steer away from this town due to the news he just heard. He is so overwhelmed by the fact that Ole Anderson won’t leave town to save his own life. The main cause for Nick leaving is that he has been faced with evil and cannot bear it starting with the two gangsters, Al and Max. Meanwhile, a symbol is used in the story to represent the evilness these two characters carry in themselves being the black overcoats and gloves. This is my first time reading one of Hemingway's books and must say that I am happy with what I just read. Hemingway has been a very controversial author but I feel like readers should give it a try like the old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Being that this is a book with a number of short stories I believe that there must be at least one story each reader can enjoy. Each story has a unique outtake on the perspectives of life and may even find yourself to agree. In addition, the forty-nine stories manage to implement a variety of topics including crime, hunting, fishing, boxing, bull-fighting, and love and war. If any of these topics catch your eye you should consider reading the book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Zoë Glenn

    The genius of Hemingway is self evident. His 630 word A Very Short Story, expresses man’s disappointment in relationships in a way that is all together gruesome, depressing, and utterly realistic. This commentary on love — its pitfalls, its joys, its inevitable demise — is made uncomfortably real through Hemingway’s use of setting. In a sentence, the author brings the reader to the foot of ‘place.’ It is as if we sweat, we smell, we feel the breeze through the window. Hemingway’s ability to cra The genius of Hemingway is self evident. His 630 word A Very Short Story, expresses man’s disappointment in relationships in a way that is all together gruesome, depressing, and utterly realistic. This commentary on love — its pitfalls, its joys, its inevitable demise — is made uncomfortably real through Hemingway’s use of setting. In a sentence, the author brings the reader to the foot of ‘place.’ It is as if we sweat, we smell, we feel the breeze through the window. Hemingway’s ability to craft a scene is instantaneous. The descriptions are neither flowery nor copious, but fit the mood and tone of the place the author takes the reader; and, so, setting becomes a reality that we can better place the characters. A Very Short Story, though seemingly summary heavy, is not rushed. Instead, it becomes a description of everyday life. Luz, an Italian war nurse is fickle; her lover: predictable. There are no surprises, no shocks, not even discontentment. Hemingway’s well known biting concise language replaces romance with realism. The author’s voice is the thing by which we as readers feel the depth of Luz and the nameless man. As readers, we must begin to wonder at the futility of this story. Although this example of Hemingway’s work is less chauvinistic than some of his major works, similar themes arise. When they are in love, we feel the truth of it. The last paragraph reveals the bitterness that is seems Hemingway holds for relationships. Both characters end up unhappy and alone. It seems that the blame falls mostly on the shoulders of Luz, the woman. What is so interesting about this particular short story, aside from its length, is the fact that it is considered a story at all. Hemingway refuses to give us the reason, or moral, of this story; instead we are left with the summary of part of two strangers lives. There is no obvious crisis (although every event is painful) for us to pin the story on. In the end, there is some amount of cause and effect, but no resolve. And yet, we connect; we see ourselves in the life and love of Hemingway’s characters.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Robert Palmer

    This book of Hemingway’s short stories has been on my book shelf for many years,I have read many of his novels over the years but the closest thing to a short story would be his “ A Moveable Feast “. I’m not going to go through all of the stories which were for the most part very good,some of the were just OKAY,many of the stories were of war and or fishing,overall the collection touches on many themes. There was one very,very short story that I will never forget,it is a story that is full of He This book of Hemingway’s short stories has been on my book shelf for many years,I have read many of his novels over the years but the closest thing to a short story would be his “ A Moveable Feast “. I’m not going to go through all of the stories which were for the most part very good,some of the were just OKAY,many of the stories were of war and or fishing,overall the collection touches on many themes. There was one very,very short story that I will never forget,it is a story that is full of Hemingway’s “write one true thing “ While the bombardment was knocking to pieces at Fossalt he lay very flat and sweated and prayed oh Jesus Christ get Me out of here . Dear Jesus please get me out. Christ please Please please Christ. If you’ll only keep me from getting Killed I’ll do anything you say.I believe in you and I’ll tell Everyone in the world that you are the only one that matters. Please please dear Jesus. The shelling moved further up the Line. We went to work on the trench and in the morning the Sun came up and the day was hot and muggy and cheerful and quite. The next night back at Mestre he did not tell the Girl he went upstairs with at the Villa Rose about Jesus. And he never told anybody about Jesus. In the end I would have to say that Hemingway wrote the way Borgat Spock

  28. 5 out of 5

    F.

    “Be a damn fire eater now. He'd seen it in the war work the same way. More of a change than any loss of virginity. Fear gone like an operation. Something else grew in its place. Main thing a man had. Made him into a man. Women knew it too. No bloody fear.” Hemingway has grown on me more as I've gotten older and I suspect that's not a coincidence. I think that the themes that he covers are universal to men of a certain age and with a certain life experience. I think that's also why his heyday may “Be a damn fire eater now. He'd seen it in the war work the same way. More of a change than any loss of virginity. Fear gone like an operation. Something else grew in its place. Main thing a man had. Made him into a man. Women knew it too. No bloody fear.” Hemingway has grown on me more as I've gotten older and I suspect that's not a coincidence. I think that the themes that he covers are universal to men of a certain age and with a certain life experience. I think that's also why his heyday may have been at the time when men ruled supreme in American society because I'm not sure the world would be as interested in him if he were writing today. I just don't know if it would stick the way it did in our imaginations. “In the day time the street was dusty, but at night the dew settled the dust and the old man liked to sit late because he was deaf and now at night it was quiet and he felt the difference.”

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I found this book very hard to get through and in fact the act of finishing it has been several years in the making. At one end the collected short stories are written brilliantly in typical blunt elegance that Hemingway is famous for, but on the other end, I found the characters to be in no way engaging and mostly all deplorable. I am a firm believer that all writers write in some way or another from their own experiences of life and if these stories are a mirror of the life that Hemingway live I found this book very hard to get through and in fact the act of finishing it has been several years in the making. At one end the collected short stories are written brilliantly in typical blunt elegance that Hemingway is famous for, but on the other end, I found the characters to be in no way engaging and mostly all deplorable. I am a firm believer that all writers write in some way or another from their own experiences of life and if these stories are a mirror of the life that Hemingway lived, how bleak and depressing it must have been. I have greatly enjoyed other works by Hemingway such as "The Old Man and the Sea" but struggled to complete one story in my many sittings reading this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Frederick

    Some of these are bloody awful but some of them are pure brilliance, genius in writing. Some of the best are very short, leave a lot to the imagination, and leave you wondering. He was one of the greatest writers of history but you have to develop a taste for him. He's not for everyone but there is no question about his genius with a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or just an idea. Hemingway painted word pictures that I can see. He created paintings of words, as each story seemed to be. 'The Sh Some of these are bloody awful but some of them are pure brilliance, genius in writing. Some of the best are very short, leave a lot to the imagination, and leave you wondering. He was one of the greatest writers of history but you have to develop a taste for him. He's not for everyone but there is no question about his genius with a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, or just an idea. Hemingway painted word pictures that I can see. He created paintings of words, as each story seemed to be. 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber' and 'The Snows of Kiliminjaro' are amazing but so are 'Old Man at the Bridge', and 'Hills like White Elephants.'

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