This is another short story from the book I read “The Standard of Living” by Dorothy Parker in (50 Great Short Stories by Milton Crane). I published a review for that short story last week. Find it here. Now, to start out with, I’m just going to flat out say that I do not like Earnest Hemingway. I minored in English Literature in college and came into contact with many people, including a few professors (meaning that I was forced to read his writing), who loved his writing…or at least were pretending that they did. I, however, could never quite get there with his stories. I knew right away that I should have skipped this story in this compilation and should not have even thought of subjecting myself to another one of Hemingway’s attempts at literature.
Okay, so now you’re probably asking yourself why I am so against Hemingway. Well, let me tell you why. I’m against him because he was against me – women in general. Okay, it’s not only that. It’s that he was a drunken, misogynistic, sexist asshole who’s writing is bland, dry, and boring. Many men, and women, think that Hemingway was this dashing, rugged man who wrote and drank in sophistication (the true American backwoods boy). But, I can tell you, that was not the case. He didn’t care about anyone or anything except his booze and wrote floozy stories that are so read and admired today that it makes me a bit sick to my stomach.
Anyway, I’m supposed to be writing a review. Right. On with it, then.
This is a story about two teenage boys who decide to get drunk for no particular reason (go figure). One has just broken up with his long-term girlfriend and is struggling with if he should call her, try and apologize, and attempt to make-up. But, the other boy talks him out of it, saying that women don’t mean anything anyway and that all this guy needs is him and some booze (again, go figure). So, they get drunk on the second guy’s (the one not heartbroken) dad’s, who happens to be out hunting, liquor. It ends with these two drunk teenagers – sorry not sorry spoiler alert – grabbing their guns to go out and join the father who’s hunting. Sounds like a really smart idea, right? Someone’s probably going to get shot. Whatever.
So, from my first few paragraphs you can probably already tell what I’m going to say about the writing. I’m not a fan. Hemingway has written another bland story. It really wouldn’t hurt him to add some spice to his life, but he’s too busy getting drunk and continuing to write mediocre stories instead of attempting to grow as an author. Okay, I really need to stop getting sidetracked.
The characters are boring and lack depth. There’s really nothing beyond wanting to get drunk in the one boy who convinces his friend to get drunk. In the heartbroken boy there’s a bit more of a personality. We can see that he is indeed struggling a bit with this breakup. But, since he comes to the conclusion that this girl will be at his beck and call whenever he decides to call and try and fix their relationship, he puts her out of his mind and focusses on getting drunk. It all comes back to just getting drunk. Which, in it’s own can be a way of healing, but knowing Hemingway, it’s not.
The story is very short, only about 4 pages, and never fully takes off. There’s no rising action, climax, or falling action. It’s all pretty even. And, I mean, I guess the climax is that they’re going out with guns and will probably end up shooting something or someone they’re not supposed to, because, even though each one insists they’re not actually drunk, they’re both sloshed.
Welp. I should probably end my review now. I probably shouldn’t have even attempted to write this in the first place. I’m honestly not trying to offend anyone. These are all my personal opinions, and, I mean – I’m not happy about it – but if you want to like Hemingway, you go ahead and like him. I can’t stop you. I’ve put in my 2 cents. It’s out there. I may have saved someone from reading a pointless story. That’s the end of this. I’m done for the day. Stay tuned for a more upbeat review tomorrow. (And I mean a WAY more upbeat review tomorrow!)
I heartily applaud you if you made it to the end of my negative review, rant, type thing. Please feel free, as always, to add/follow/chat with me on the following platforms:Tumblr, Goodreads,Instagram, Facebook. And, if you want to add me on Snapchat, just message me on any of the previously listed platforms, and I will give you my username.