Thursday, May 12, 2011

Literary Blog Hop: Much Hyped but....

Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. If you features book reviews of literary fiction, classic literature, and general literary discussion, you too can join in!

This week's question is:

What books have you read that have been hyped as literary and, in your opinion, were not?

For Whom the Bells Toll by Ernest Hemingway: I just couldn't get into it. I mean I finished it but somehow found it very lacking. I might be in the minority for saying so, Hemingway did nothing for my reading. I didn't feel elevated or enhanced. I felt as if I missed something. 

Told from the point of view of Robert Jordan, a character supposedly inspired by Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War, I simply couldn't comprehend what was going on. Yes, it depicts the brutality of war and conflicts in Jordan's mind but do I need to read a novel of almost 500 pages to learn that? I felt it was a let down and nothing literary about it... Except for The Old Man and the Sea, I have not read any of his other books.  

8 comments:

petekarnas said...

I've had the same problem with Hemmingway. I really want to get into him but I just cant. I did like The Old Man and the Sea, but I've picked up a few of his other works and just haven't been able to keep going.

James said...

While it was quite a few years ago, I had the same problem with this novel. In recent years I have read and enjoyed The Sun Also Rises, but I have not any interest in retrying this later work. Thanks for reminding me why.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

Interesting response! Like you, I did not like this book, either, but I'm not sure that I'd suggest that it wasn't literary...maybe I just don't have the guts to suggest that about Hemingway! : )

petekarnas said...

I've had the same problem with Hemmingway. I really want to get into him but I just cant. I did like The Old Man and the Sea, but I've picked up a few of his other works and just haven't been able to keep going.

James said...

While it was quite a few years ago, I had the same problem with this novel. In recent years I have read and enjoyed The Sun Also Rises, but I have not any interest in retrying this later work. Thanks for reminding me why.

thebookstop said...

I've also never been able to get into Hemingway, although I don't suppose I've really tried.

parrish lantern said...

it's not so much whether it's of literary merit, more a case does it work for you, the rest is just publishing bumf.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Oh maaaaaan! I freaking love this book BUT I'll say that I think aside from one friend from high schoool and my lonesome self, I don't know many other people who love him all that much. I think it's like a very specific taste like Pynchon though they're about as far away from each other on a word usage spectrum as two people can possibly get.