Am I retarded? This book is hailed as being one of the best ever, but I thought it was LAME. Maybe I just didn't "get it".
There is practically zero character development for any of the book's characters. How am I supposed to develop an interest in the plot if I don't even know the people in the story? There are references to some of the characters having been in the war, but there aren't enough details to actually sympathize with them as veterans. There are vague references to Jake, the narrator, being injured during the war in a way that is ironic and a joke, but you kind of have to figure out on your own that maybe this means his genitals were wounded? The whole book I kept thinking, "Am I misinterpreting this? Could he really be saying that he injured his penis in the war?" Weird.
Also, what little I did learn of the characters, lead me to conclude that none of them were likeable. Brett Ashley is a slutty drunk who all the men in the book love and most of which sleep with. All the men are boring drunks. I suppose all the drinking and slutting about are reflective of the "lost generation" that Hemingway was famous for capturing? I feel like *I* was the one that was lost - one character, Robert Cohn has an ex wife and 3 kids in the US, but he's busy drinking and feeling sorry for himself in Paris, the main character has a wounded penis and spends the whole book helping the girl he loves hook up with all his friends, one is engaged to a slut and watches his trampy fiance sleep with all his friends and then they all go get "tight" (ie: shit faced) together. At first I excused some of the behavior based on the fact that they must be young, but towards the end of the book you learn that Brett (aka the trampy fiance) is 34 years old. Remind me again why I'm supposed to root for any of these people? That actually made the book sound way more interesting than it really was. Because this book was bor to the ing.
I have a feeling that this book could be analyzed for an entire semester at some pretentious college on the east coast. I suppose the 20 page long descriptions of bloody bull fights is representive of something and that the main character's wounded genitals is symbolic of the impotence that veterans felt post-war. I guess I just don't care. Did I mention that the book was boring?
Immediately after I finished The Sun Also Rises, I picked up The Great Gatsby. I don't think I've ever read it. I got about 20 pages in last night and already I like it much better. Although after I finish it, I will definitely be reading something from the young adult section of the bookstore to counter all the culture I've been getting this month.