Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

68%

17 Critic Reviews

In sum, I can say that I enjoyed this novel much more than The Sun Also Rises, yet its gloomy tone (and insanely depressing plot) and stilted emotional content prevented me from loving it. And poor Catherine! What a sad, sad life story.
-Words to Read By

Synopsis

Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield—weary, demoralized men marching in the rain during the German attack on Caporetto; the profound struggle between loyalty and desertion—this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.

Ernest Hemingway famously said that he rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right. This edition collects all of the alternative endings together for the first time, along with early drafts of other essential passages, offering new insight into Hemingway’s craft and creative process and the evolution of one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. Featuring Hemingway’s own 1948 introduction to an illustrated reissue of the novel, a personal foreword by the author’s son Patrick Hemingway, and a new introduction by the author’s grandson Seán Hemingway, this edition of A Farewell to Arms is truly a celebration.
 

About Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that led to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he also covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.
 
Published July 10, 2012 by Scribner. 353 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Humor & Entertainment, Action & Adventure, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Farewell to Arms
All: 17 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 7

Guardian

Excellent
on Dec 13 1980

There is something so complete in Mr Hemingway's achievement in A Farewell to Arms that one is left speculating as to whether another novel will follow in this manner, and whether it does not complete both a period and a phase.

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Guardian

Good
on Dec 13 1980

The impartiality of the presentation of war is as remarkable as the sincerity of the record of love passion.

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Martin Rubin on Aug 03 2012

What you have here is quite simply the recipe for creating a masterpiece, the genuine overwhelming pleasure that can only come from a great artist feeling that special satisfaction arising from knowing what he has actually produced is worthy of its inspiration.

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Teen Ink

Above average
Reviewed by koolaid-dragonwarrior on Apr 30 2014

A Farewell to Arms is a very entertaining book because it contains variety. Although most of the book portrays Henry’s romantic experiences with Catherine, it also includes intense battle scenes, occasional jokes, and amusing dialogue between Henry and his comrades.

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EzineArticles

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Cooper on Sep 30 2005

I liked this book very much but there were a lot of things I was uncertain of at the end of this story.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
on Apr 21 2015

They are both so opaque that we struggle futilely to develop any empathy for them. Because we don't feel much for them, it's hard to believe they feel anything much for each other.

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Jules' Book Reviews

Above average
Reviewed by Jules on Sep 24 2011

While I didn't hate the book, it isn't exactly my favourite from the author...I would be interested into finding out, where the autobiographical aspect of it ends, and where the fictional side begins.

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Rebecca Reads

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Mar 01 2013

Hemingway’s prose makes it seem so real. This type of novel is why I am glad to read fiction to learn about history. I read the history book as well, but this novel helped me understand the lost generation on a much clearer scale.

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She Reads Novels

Above average
Reviewed by Helen on Nov 03 2012

I had tears in my eyes at the end and I’ve always thought that if an author can make me cry he or she must have done something right!

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Impressions In Ink

Above average
Reviewed by Annette on Jun 30 2012

Did I love this story? Hmmmm, it is moving, memorable. I'm not sure I loved it though. I have grown to like it and I am glad to have read it.

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Diary of an Eccentric

Below average
Reviewed by Anna on Jun 29 2012

A Farewell to Arms is strong when it comes to the war, but less than thrilling when it comes to the romance. Hemingway’s writing style just isn’t for me.

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http://www2.webster.edu

Excellent
Reviewed by Bob Corbett on Apr 30 2014

The story is beautifully told, masterfully constructed and moved this reader to feel the emotions that I think Hemingway wanted to produce which centrally included a bitter distrust of that war and war in general; the complexity but power of a love affair between two fairly normal but relatively insignificant and imperfect people.

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Chicago Center For Literature And Photography

Good
Reviewed by Jason Pettus on May 23 2008

I don't know about the rest of Hemingway's work (yet, anyway), but at least A Farewell to Arms turned out to be a surprisingly cracking read, not only a definite classic but just an all-around amazing book in general. It comes highly recommended today.

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Words to Read By

Above average
Reviewed by sbk on Nov 02 2012

In sum, I can say that I enjoyed this novel much more than The Sun Also Rises, yet its gloomy tone (and insanely depressing plot) and stilted emotional content prevented me from loving it. And poor Catherine! What a sad, sad life story.

Read Full Review of Farewell to Arms

A Common Reader

Good
on Oct 22 2012

As I read A Farewell to Arms I was struck by how fresh it still seemed. As a first person account, the narrator Henry shares his story with the reader as it happens. The writing is sparse, without sentiment or emotion and I could easily imagine that I was in the presence of a battle-hardened ambulance driver...

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Heaful of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Anne Bennett on Oct 05 2013

Dialogue that reminded me of conversations between young teens in their first love relationship. “Do you love me?” “Are you sure you love me?” “Do I kiss better than her?” I found it tremendously tedious.

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The Quiet Voice

Below average
on Sep 26 2012

...this is a book I wanted to feel. I wanted to experience the emotions of love and loss, to be consumed in the crashing waves of power and passion. I was not. Maybe Hemingway wrote Henry in such a stoic way to juxtapose his personality with the severity of war, but as a whole I was not convinced.

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75%

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Andrew Giambertone

Andrew Giambertone 14 Oct 2014

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