It was definitely not what I expected. First off, I should have known that it wouldn’t be as in-depth as I would have wanted, because Hemingway was such a modest man, and would never speak about himself too much.
I love reading biographies and memoirs, they are so interesting. You begin to feel a personal connection to the writer, because you get to see their lives on a first hand basis. They let you in on personal information and stories about their lives. Not Hemingway. He generalized everything. When he spoke about his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer, he never mentions her by name. He calls her “the girl I was in love with”.
I know Hemingway is too intelligent to care about gossip, but that’s what I was looking for. His feelings and emotions towards Pauline or even for his own wife, Hadley. Maybe some information on his childhood or even a story about his other three wives.
The only emotion he expressed was anger and resentment.
Hemingway had a knack for destroying friendships. He lost friends like Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. The main reasons for their falling out were: money, alcohol and jealousy. Once the tie has been broken between you and Hemingway the gloves come off.
Hemingway wrote to his editor, after his falling out with Gertrude, “She lost all sense of taste when she had the menopause. Was really an extraordinary business. Suddenly she couldn’t tell a good picture from a bad one, a good writer from a bad one, it all went phtt.” (in The Only Thing That Counts, 1996). He was angry because she did not like one of the books he had written (THE TORRENTS OF SPRING, 1926), because insulted a fellow author and friend, Sherman Anderson.
He even recalls a conversation he had with F. Scott Fitzgerald, at the end of the book, over Scott’s insecurity with his penis!! Thank goodness Scott was not around when this book was published or he would have been mortified! (good to know, not to get on Hemingway’s bad side).
I would recommend this book because it is a short read and it does give you a little insight to the life of Ernest Hemingway. But I do recommend reading The Paris Wife afterwards!! I know The Paris Wife is fictitious, but after reading A Moveable Feast, I found there to be a lot more truth than I expected.