I have finished The Sun Also Rises. Good book? Yes and no. From a literary point of view, I loved it. Hemingway’s style and craft and command of the language humble me as I seek to become a better writer. He can do things with words and dialogue that most can’t. He can speed and slow the pace at will, and he tells a great story of a man alone among the crowd. He brings out Jake’s character well. I feel like I knew what he would do on more than one occasion. I don’t think this was because the writing was predictable, but it was because the reader knew Jake well after a time.
Now, the book was depressing. I have heard it said that it glorifies drinking and sex. I am not sure “glorify” is the word I would use. I think it clearly shows the ugly side of heavy drinking and the loneliness that comes from a promiscuous lifestyle. In that sense, it might be a corrective to how drink and sex are often portrayed in today’s media. But it is a depressing read. Will I read it again? Probably, but maybe just bits and pieces to see how Hemingway does what he does. Would I recommend it? Depends upon what you are looking for. If you love good literature, and by that I mean good craft, then yes, by all means. If you are looking to be uplifted or encouraged, skip it and hug your kid instead.