Customer Reviews for

A Farewell to Arms

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

I know what you're saying, I said it too. Why with so many wonderful contemporary authors do I want to go back and read this out dated novel. Well my in-person book club decided for me that's what I was going to do. And I am so glad I did.

First published in 1929 when Hemingway was 30 A Farewell to Arms is viewed through the eyes of an American serving in the Italian army during the WW1, his love of one woman and his eventual life on the run. We today are used to the prose like, flowing dialogue of contem...
First published in 1929 when Hemingway was 30 A Farewell to Arms is viewed through the eyes of an American serving in the Italian army during the WW1, his love of one woman and his eventual life on the run. We today are used to the prose like, flowing dialogue of contemporary authors, so I was at first un-prepared for Hemingway's staccato, and very pragmatic verse, he puts us on the front lines with the soldiers and shows us how life away from the front was spent. He tells us of medical procedures of the time, procedures that we view as expectant as an aspirin, but in his day were life saving and sometimes life taking techniques. He takes us on an unequaled journey from the Mountains to the small villages and finally to the cities of Italy and ends our voyage in a small village in Switzerland. He takes us behind enemy lines and in the trenches of allies and he does it with an amazing proficiency. His characters are unforgettable in their portrayals from his protagonist Frederic and his love interest Catherine to his comrades in arms. His love story is poignant and heartwarming and tragic and yet beautiful in it's telling. He was truly a masterful narrator.
So come back to the classic tale of love found and love lost, of war and desertion and of human frailty. Come back and see why this tale has survived a number of reprints and almost a century in time. Come back and make Papa proud. Come back and read the one and only A Farewell to Arms.

posted by dhaupt on April 27, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

worst book I've ever read in my life

I've read a lot of books in my day, and this was the worst one ever. I had absolutely no symptathy for any of the characters; I didn't care whether they lived or died, I just wanted it to end. I would give this zero stars if possible. So boring.

posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2004

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    A Must

    Hemingway's "A Farewell To Arms" is an absolute necessity in order to understand the time in which it takes place. The dichotomy between love and war is an idea explored in depth in the novel. The novel paints a picture of war as pointless, confused, and without victor. Though it lacks an uplifting ending to say the least, this piece of literature is one that deserves a permanent spot on your bookshelf.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2009

    A Tale of Love and the Hardships of War

    A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway is wonderful story that really touches your soul and makes you think about life in the 1900's. This book takes place during World War I and tells the story of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American working as an ambulance driver for the Italian army, and his love for a British nurse, Catherine Barkley. I'm not going to say much about the story, however I will talk about some parts of the book that really make the reader think. There is a part in the book when it is raining outside and Catherine breaks down into tears because she is afraid and wont stop until Henry comforts her. Later in the book there are several instinces when rain keeps showing up. I think that in this book, rain symbolizes our greatest fears being realized. Throughout the book, whenever Henry was in a life or death situation the weather outside was always raining. The rain is an important part of the end of the book. That is just one example of the many ways that this book makes the reader think. Becuase this book makes us think about the story then it can be considered a classic novel. If a novel makes us think about the story then it can be considered a classic. If a book does not make the reader think then the book can't be remembered. A Farewell to Arms has a story that transcends through time and touches people throughout the world even today. I found myself tearing up a little bit at the end. A Farewell to Arms is a wonderful book that everyone should read, however I think that you have to be at least thirteen to read this book. This is a mature book that can only be understood if thought about. I thouroughlly enjoyed reading this book and I can't wait to read some of Ernest Hemingway's other great works.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    Look beyond the pages

    When considering that this book is counted amoung the classics i would agree with its standards. There are countless motifs and events that speak of the human nature. It is somewhat surprising to me as to the fact that Hemingway wrote this book while he was mostly drunk and it also doesnt seem like man who was hugely suicidal could claim several works of literary merit to his name. However Hemingway seems to have an in depth perception of emotion and action upon emotion. Though the novels language is simple with mostly dialogue Hemingway does this to allow the reader free thought based upon what he reads. So though it might not seem like a very complicated book there is substance to it. You only have to look deeper beyond the words on the page and connect with the author and the charcters. That in itself is an adventure. So then for my personal opinion it was enertaining but the likablness of the theme varies for readers. Even though it might not be your theme like it wasnt mine it is still worthwhile to read.

    Written by LV

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2014

    pretty good read

    Good read. You can ignore the last pages its all the same repetitions...but good book and edition.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Jack

    This is agreat book and u cant get enogh of it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Hemingway is a genius. His talent for dialogue and setting desc

    Hemingway is a genius. His talent for dialogue and setting description emerges in this book with a twist ending. Although the character in Silver Linings Playbook finds the ending disturbing, I thought it was original and that it taught a lot about life. It is an enjoyable read from beginning to end where the character moves in and out of the clutches of war.

    I would recommend this product along with Sirens of Morning Light by Benjamin Anderson, a quest for a man in Iowa to regain his identity, which becomes entangled with people who claim to have known him when he discovers he is a scientific experiment. Make sure not to miss either book.

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Hemingway's spare verbiage and highly descriptive style are unma

    Hemingway's spare verbiage and highly descriptive style are unmatched in American literature.  This is one of his best.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Gee i farted aka thomas

    Hey

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    A Farewell to Arms is the story of an American ambulance driver

    A Farewell to Arms is the story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, both caught amidst WWI, glows with an intensity. His description of the German attack on Caporetto- of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized- is one of the most intriguing parts of the book. This is a story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, and represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Absolutely amazing

    I read this book last year because my professor recommended it and im very glad he did. Hemingway definitely gives full detail of the consequences of love and war. This book will grab you from start to finish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Fantastic

    If you're not familiar with Hemingway, expect a different style of writing than you are used to. You will be forced to interpret and develop characters yourself. Things are left vague as to provide a deeper and more personal read. If you are looking for something that you can simply skim through, this is probably not the novel for you.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    heartbreaking but yet mesmerizing

    "A Farewell to Arms" was the first novel I ever read by Hemingway. It's charming and mesmerizing. It will take you back in time, and will keep you there until done reading the novel.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Carpe Diem

    Hemingway artfully penned this war-time romance embracing the beauty of life if we have courage to live it. The beautiful rare gift that genuine love can be in our lives if we let it in. The frailty of life that love depends upon to survive... and courage to capture love when it is within our grasp. Hemingway breaths life into landscapes and sculpts characters like an accomplished artist as they evolve through the story. Lt. Henry and Catherine dive into the insecure depths of sorrow and the euphoric heights of joy as they try to escape the ugly realities of World War I on the European landscape.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2009

    summary & review

    A farewell to arms is story that talks about a man named Frederick Henry. He was an ambulance driver for the Italian army. Hemingway describes the difficulties of going to the war and as well as going through it. the romance that occurs between Frederick Henry and Catherine Barkley are challenged through out the book because of the war. In my opinion the A Farewell to Arms is a good to read. Hemingway goes straight to the point when something needs to be said. For example in one part of the story Frederick is being told that he is going to be arrested the next day, the characters don't go on and on talking. Many things happen in a very short period. Hemingway does not go around the bushes in that sense. Although, the story at some points lacked detail to explain why Frederick did the things he did as well as the other characters. The romance between Frederick and Catherine was good. They always tried to show their affection every chance they had since they could not do so in front of any people. The story was very realistic in the way that the soldiers acted and how their lives were written. It wasn't just being the hero like most war stereotypes. The men die and even go through problems within the war to say the least. The book was also pretty thorough in the explanation of how some of the men were dying. The books ending was good but not great I think that it could have had more explanation to Fredericks concluding actions. Either way the book was still very good to read.

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  • Posted September 8, 2009

    A Farewell to Arms: Review.

    "A Farewell to Arms" isn't so much about war, as it is about Henry and Catherine: Accidently in Love. This book shows you the reality of life and how everything could change in a second. I really enjoyed reading it, because it really does have a lot of meaning to it. Henry and Catherine meet and Henry has no intention of being with her. Catherine seems a little crazy, but he still kept in touch with her because he just needed someone there and so did she. At one point of their relationship they leave everything to be with one another, only to find out the fate that's in stored for them. I think both of them go through a lot of changes through out the book, it really is worth reading. It has a lot of surprising turning points. Also this book is very straight forward, which i love. It's not of what you would expect. I think books that make you think a little after you read them are the best. This is one of those books. I would definitely recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2009

    farewll to arms ag review

    A farewll to arms was a very straight foreword book that I enjoyed. Written by Ernest Hemingway one of the greatest writers in history, gives us a look into his worl.This book is a direct reflection ofhis expiernces in world war one.It describes objects in their simplest forms." The plain was rich with crops;there was many orchards of fruit trees and beyond the plain the mountains were brown and bare. There was fighting in the mountains and at night we could see the flashes from the artillery." Here it gives you the beauty aspect of the world and then it dips into realization aboutnthe war.Which was very dark because of the death toll of the war. Even with Hemingways simple textstructure there are many things you could think about to make your reading expiernce more enjoyable. For example rain in the book represented death because of the situations that occurred during the rain.There are many different aspects of the book that have hidden meaning however the book is very simple and to the point for that is Hemingway style of writing. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a simplistic classical novel that anyone could enjoy.

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  • Posted September 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Farewell to Arms

    A Farewell to Arms introduces us to Lieutenant Frederick Henry. A lively depiction of a setting which is revolved around war. An ambulance driver wit ha n ambition to escape the war, Henry turns to sources of comfort as the horror of war becomes more apparent. With this we meet Rinaldi, a rather childish surgeon with a seductive flirtatious personality along with a penchant for heading to the whorehouse. Then there is the lovely Miss Catherine Barkley, a nurse who starts off an initial awkward attachment to Frederick. Following up is the poor priest who is picked upon by the others with the exception of Henry, whom he shares a close friendship. The impact of symbols is enormous foreshadowing the events which have yet to come. We look at the grim despair of war as seen in Hemingway's own experience. It is not romantically depicted, but a realistic account which shows the suffering it can bring. At the decisions of the characters whose actions affect them throughout the book. The relationship between Henry and Catherine who become each others comfort. A straightforward well written prose by Hemingway that gives inside knowledge into his own personal life. The text sweeps you off your feet with the vivid scenery Hemingway brought forth. A marvelous tale of a time in peril that stills allows the characters to acquire partial solace. It carries literature with serenity and passion placing them onto a powerful moment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2009

    A Farewell to Arms... a great classic

    Earnst Hemmingway's a Farewell to Arms is a classic that I believe everyone should read. It includes every aspect of an interesting piece such as action, romance, life, and death. It features Frederick Henry as the main character, who goes through it all. He is an ambulance driver for the Italian army in their war against Austria. A farewell to arms is briliantly written in a simple way with great description. Hemmingway's style is short and to the point the whole way through, making it an easy read for anyone. Another aspect that caught my eye was the great way in which each character was described. I could relate to each one and realy feel how they felt. Hemmingway did an outstanding job making each person in the novel so real. A Farewell To Arms also had themes and symbols that were easy to discover, such as rain and the river. Anyone who reads the novel can pick up on the many details Hemmingway included. When the book finally came to an end I was at first left puzzled. But after thinking it through I realize that it was honestly a great ending and very fitting to the kind of man that Henry is. Overall I found the novel very well rounded and easy to comprehend. I suggest it to anyone in need of a great classic to read.

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  • Posted September 6, 2009

    Hi Ms. Hanrahan

    I thought Hemmingway did an excellent job in writing "A Farewell To Arms". He gets his point across and gets it across fast. He makes his text clear while also giving it a more deeper meaning. Certain little details in scenery or events that take place or things that characters say end up being played out in the most ironic, or sometimes tragic ways. Hemmingway also displays Lt. Henry, the main character, as "the perfect soldier", he doesn't care what his orders are he just does them to the best of his abilities. The relationship between Lt. Henry and Ms. Catherine Barkley, call it love or lust, is displayed beautifully in the novel. if you want to read this book because you think it's a book of violence and blood lust, then i suggest not to because this is a romantic love story my friend. Hemmingway's use of symbolism in this book is remarkable. The littlest things that you wouldn't care to remember end up blowing your mind away near the end, when the pieces fall into place. (this book, by the way is written in chapters but separated by books. If you are one to enjoy love stories then this book is perfect for you but like i said earlier, this novel is NOT a war story but, there are small scenes of intense battle. The perfect example of, "A Man's Love Story", this book, this small book I can say truly changed my outlook on life. Morale: cherish what you got now for, when it's gone, it's gone forever. The Rain, enough said.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    Alls fair in love and war

    A farewell to arms is Ernest Hemingway's ground breaking novel about an American ambulance driver (Frederick Henry) and how he falls in love to an English nurse (Catherine Barkley) while he is working on the Italian front during WW1. Before you pick up this book it is important to know what you're getting into. At first glance it may seem like a novel depicting the war, this is not true. This novel is a hear felt, dramatic love story, so if you are expecting a Saving Private Ryan type story with violence and gore, you will be disappointed. I however, was not disappointed. Even with my general distaste for love stories, I found this novel to be an engaging and gripping tale about what may be the most unique and down right weird couple ever to grace literacy history. When Fred and Catherine have sex in a hospital, I found myself laughing, and during the ending, I found myself crying. This is due to the relatable characters as well as a believable story line. Not only is the story worth your money, but the writing style of Hemingway presents it in a way that is clear and to the point. Not having read Hemingway before, I found myself pleasantly surprised, with his direct way of presenting story points and the way he can describe a setting so clearly using only a few words. He provides for an easy read with the depth of the North Atlantic. His symbolism (such as his use of rain to show great change) is very precise and used amazingly well to show exactly how the reader should feel, but his views on love and war can be deciphered one hundred and one ways. I feel that if any other author had attempted to write this book, this review would have been a lot worse. So, if you're looking for a very readable, very well written love story, you will want to pick up this classic, a farewell to arms.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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