Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Papa Rules

I read artsy-fartsy complimacated shit for awhile, then I need to cleanse the palate. Hemingway is good for that, because you get his straight-on, no-frills prose. People go to war, they get wounded, their friends die, there's a love affair, and it's all presented in that marvelous crisp and detached style. Papa doesn't intrude his judgments into the text, and he never writes purple. That same even keel takes you from a dreadful mortar attack where the hero is blown up a bit to sex with a nurse in a hospital bed to the delivery room months later.

Yes, the lovers' dialogue is not only tiresome, but outright bad ("lovely," "fine," "swell," "gorgeous" are used ad infinitum ); let that slide and get through to the manly existential heart of this great read. An outstanding anti-war novel, and you can polish it off in a couple evenings.

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