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The Young Hemingway

Reynolds, Michael

203 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0631147861 / ISBN 13: 9780631147862
Published by B. Blackwell, 1987
New Condition: New Hardcover

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Brand new tight crisp unread first edition hard back in new- jacket. (slight discoloring to spine & cut corner on inside flap. Also, the interior of jacket edges have been tape reinforced to prevent shelf wear, and a tiny chip was forrming at bottom edge of front cover that I repaired with a piece of acid-free tape.). Bookseller Inventory # 030283

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Young Hemingway

Publisher: B. Blackwell

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Michael Reynolds recreates the milieu that forged one of America's greatest and most influential writers. He reveals the fraught foundations of Hemingway's persona: his father's self-destructive battle with depression and his mother's fierce independence and spiritualism. He brings Hemingway through World War I, where he was frustrated by being too far away from the action and glory, despite his being wounded and nursed to health by Agnes Von Kurowsky-the older woman with whom he fell terribly in love.


In this, the first volume in Michael Reynolds's five-volume biography of Ernest Hemingway, he freely mimics Papa's writing style; pastiches such as the following can test even the most persevering reader's limits:

There had been things to prove to himself. Now they were done. There had been a job to do in Toronto. Now that was done. He had done the job. He had made his own way. His stories had sold to the Toronto Star. Not the stories of Italy, but newspaper stories. The real stories all came back to him. That did not matter. He had settled the question of who he was. He was a writer. When people asked, that is what he told them. If he stuck to his story, it would become true. Now he was almost home at the lake and it was summer. He was there, in the good place. He was still free. He would try not to let anything spoil the summer.

The biographical narrative itself deals chiefly with three years of Hemingway's life, from his return home in 1919 from the First World War to his departure for Paris with his first wife, Hadley, in 1921. Along the way, Reynolds uses Hemingway's conflicts with his parents over his future as an opportunity to probe into the family's past, providing rich detail on his father's depressive condition and his mother's struggle for independence. Reynolds also provides plenty of background on Hemingway's boyhood home of Oak Park, Illinois (although a brief prologue that concerns itself chiefly with the town's politics and mores is made somewhat superfluous by re-addressing the same subjects in the main narrative). While The Young Hemingway is not the best of Reynolds's undertakings from a stylistic standpoint, and probably not the most interesting period of its subject's life, Reynolds establishes a standard for detail--and restrained psychological interpretation--that is kept up throughout the series. --Ron Hogan

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