50 Books- Men Without Women

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Men Without Women By Ernest Hemingway

Where did I get the book and how many pages?

I found this book on Oyster, where it reports it would have 156 printed pages.  Having read the book on my phone, I am pretty sure it had many, many, many, more screens than the reported 156 pages.

Have I read this book before?

No.  I have been thinking about reading Hemingway before, but I had not considered this one.  I have a copy of The Sun Also Rises on my shelf that I figured would be my first Hemingway.  I guess not.

What do I already know?

I didn’t know anything before this started.  When I decided to move this book ahead of a longer one, I learned it was a collection of short stories.  It is not a lot of information, but it was something.

What do I think now?

Some of the stories were good, some were not my thing.  I was surprised to learn I had read one of the stories before without ever knowing it, The Hills Like White Elephants.  It was part of my high school reading, though I cannot remember when.  I remember we were reading the story as much for everything that was not said between the couple as everything that was.  I don’t remember exactly what we were supposed to get from the story, but we were supposed to realize what the couple was talking about without them ever actually saying anything.  Rereading the story, I felt like they were talking about their relationship, like she wanted to get married but was trying not to push the topic, and he was just not that into things.  Looking it up on Cliffnotes I learned that apparently the girl was going to get an abortion and was terrified while the man was not concerned, telling her it wasn’t a big deal.  So not what I read, but I guess that was part of the beauty; the story was vague enough everyone can read something different into the story, apply it to their own life.

Should you read this book before you die?

One of the joys of this book is that it is a collection of short stories.  You can read just a little, and go through the emotional arc of the story in a much shorter time space.  It is like a introduction to the  classic, great writers, without the commitment of a 300+ page book.  It’s perfect.

Moving on past Hemingway, I am working to tackle Withering Heights by Emily Bronte followed by The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope.  Happy Reading Everyone!

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