Hemingway's Key West

Hemingway's Key West

by Stuart B. McIver
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Hemingway's Key West by Stuart B. McIver

The only place in the United States that Hemingway could really call home after he started writing was the tropical island of Key West. During his decade here in the 1930s, he acquired his famed macho persona as Papa, the biggest Big Daddy of them all. This vivid portrait of Ernest Hemingway's Key West reveals both Hemingway, the writer, and Hemingway, the macho, hard-drinking sportsman. His Key West years turned out to be his most productive: he finished A Farewell to Arms, worked on For Whom the Bell Tolls, and wrote several other books, including Green Hills of Africa, Death in the Afternoon, and To Have and Have Not. He also turned out some of his best short stories. There was plenty of time left over for eating, drinking, fighting, fishing, chasing women, and hanging out with "the Mob." On the two-hour walking tour, you will explore his favorite Key West haunts. This updated edition also details the author's exploits in Bimini and Cuba. Hemingway spent the last years of his life in Cuba, and it was here he overcame several demons -- accidents, failing health, depression -- to write The Old Man and the Sea, for which he won both a Pulitzer and a Nobel Prize in Literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781561640355
Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/1993
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.01(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.43(d)

About the Author

Stuart McIver was the author of eleven books on Florida. In addition, he wrote more than four hundred stories and articles for both regional and national publications and was the editor of South Florida History Magazine. A North Carolina native, McIver has been called “south Florida’s tribal storyteller.”

Table of Contents

IIslands in the Stream1
IIBone Key4
IIIHemingway's Mob10
IVThe House on Whitehead Street17
VThe Sporting Life23
VIIThree Friends and a Foe42
The Mighty Hunter42
Sloppy Joe47
The Kingfish58
VIIIHemingway's Hurricane64
IXThe Key West Book69
XPauline and the Boys75
XIFarewell to Key West81
XIIPapa Lives85
Hemingway Days86
Conch Republic102
XIIIWalk with Papa: A Walking Tour of Key West105
XVIHemingway Trail in Cuba152

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4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Darrold More than 1 year ago
I have been to Key West and toured the Hemingway House on the book's cover. I became curious about Hemingway, and this book goes into some detail about the decade he made Key West his home. McIver (a journalist) is not a great writer, but I was able to overlook that since it is a fast read and full of facts I wanted to know. It helped me fill in some gaps about Hemingway and his world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Molinarolo More than 1 year ago
Referred by author and friend John Dos Passos as just the place for "ole Hem...to dry out his bones" after spending another brutally cold, wet winter in Paris's Left Bank, Ernest Hemingway and pregnant second wife Pauline landed in Key West in the spring of 1928. It was just supposed to be vacation stop before traveling to north to Pauline's ancestral home in Arkansas to give birth to their first child. But a delay in the arrival of the yellow Model A Ford roadster (a wedding gift from Pauline's wealthy uncle Gus) gave the author the time to fall in love with the small town that he dubbed the "St. Tropez of the Poor." For the next decade Ernest Hemingway would write, fish, drink, and end his second marriage in this island town. And Key West would remain his most productive work environment on American soil. Among the palm fronds, bougainvillea, hibiscus, oleander and other tropical foliage outside his studio on the second floor carriage house Hemingway completed such works as A Farewell To Arms, Death in The Afternoon, Winner Take Nothing, The Snows of Kilimanjaro, The Short Life of Francis Macomber, and his Key West novel To Have And Have Not. Florida historian and author Stuart McIver title promises the reader an adventure, but delivers a hodge-podge non cohesive book about Hemingway or of Key West during the time the great author lived there. Why was this decade Ernest Hemingway's most productive? What was the "it" Key West possessed that Ernest found his words flowing at around a 7 pencil day rate? Why Papa got on well and kept his Key West friends (the Mob) as life-long friends but lost many of the "out of town talent" mob members? How his marriage and later his divorce to Pauline changed the townspeople from supporting him to support Pauline, thusly diminishing slightly some important lifelong relationships to his "Key West Mob"? McIver fails to answer these questions adequately or he fails to answer these questions and repeats facts and events from other chapters. Also McIver glosses over two cataclysmic events that had profane effects on the great author: the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 and the meeting and subsequent affair with Martha Gellhorn whom eventually became Ernest's third wife. I found the chapters on Hemingway's beloved boat Pilar (named for the daughter he desperately wanted but could never have) and his deep sea fishing very enlightening as well as the Walking tour of Papa's Key West, but the chapters on Cuba and the Key West of today didn't really enhance or fulfill the promise the author gives the reader: full answers as to why Hemingway loved Key West and was the most productive in that island city and his relationships he developed there. As a Florida resident many of anecdotal stories told in this short volume are widely known and probably to the Hemingway aficionado.
TomBarnes39 More than 1 year ago
In 1948 A.E. Hotchner was dispatched from New York to Havana by Cosmopolitan Magazine to do a story on Hemingway. Hotchner was in awe of the famous writer and tried to dodge the assignment. Well, it didn¿t work and even as he was intimidated by the thoughts of how Hemingway would dismiss him without so much as a hint of a story, he screwed up his nerve and initiated the first contact. And from their first meeting at the Floridita Bar in Havana, to Hotchner¿s dismay, the two connected. A true friendship ensued and Hotchner traveled to Cuba at least once a year and communicated frequently by letter, wire and phone. Papa Hemingway called him Hotch and Hotch was as close to Papa as anyone. During their general conversations apparently very few subjects were off limits. Most of Papa¿s personal problems were discussed; he even talked about some of his writing techniques.
Travel was a big part of Hemingway¿s life. He paid regular visits to New York, Paris, Madrid, Key West and Ketchum, Idaho. Spain was his favorite destination and the Spanish lifestyle was reflected in his writing from `The Sun Also Rises¿ to various short stories.
There was no one thing in this book that defined the Hotchner Hemingway relationship unless you consider brotherly love. That kindness is on full display toward the end as Hotchner describes Hemingway¿s mental path to self-destruction.
Papa Hemingway is a must read human tragedy.
Tom Barnes author of `The Hurricane Hunters and Lost in the Bermuda Triangle.¿
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hemingway was truly a one of a kind.He did it all be it hunting fishing drinking as well as writing.Too bad the demons that dwelled inside him forced him to pull the trigger.A great read ,breezed right through the pages.When in Key West have a drink at Sloppy Joe's.Also tour his home, now a house to many cats.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great biography. This book was filled with all kinds of interesting things about Hemingway¿s and his life during Key West. The authors kept it clear and concise. After reading this book I want to revisit Key West and see all the different things the author was talking about. Reading this book has inspired me to read other Hemingway biographies. I recently purchased the biography written by Kenneth Lynn, which won the Los Angles Times Book Award. This biography gives a more detailed account of Hemingway¿s life. I also purchase a book called ¿Hemingway in Cuba¿, which like the titles implies, chronicles Hemingway time spent in Cuba. I would give this book a five out of five and would definitely read it again, most preferably just before I revisit Key West.