As Hemingway's first in ten years, this has a waiting and eager audience, but this reader, at any rate, found the novel a bitter disappointment after his For Whom The Bell Tolls The magic of the Hemingway atmosphere- this time Venice and the countryside and early morning in a duck blind -- this is still here. And stark against it is an American Colonel, seeking to recapture the glamor of the Venice he knew in World War I, torn by hatred and disillusion, aware that his life is ebbing fast, his semblance of physical fitness an illusion produced by drugs that fooled even the medical officer, and yet clutching at the drama of first one thing, then another -- the adventure in the duck blind -- the greater and more tenuous adventure of a love freely given. The pattern is there for another Farewell to Arms but the development has an acidity, a cruelty, a harshness that robs it of even a shadow of illusion or appeal on an emotional level. Frankly, I found it difficult reading. There's crassness, lack of subtlety, needless vulgarity in the content, while the style has the erratic abruptness, elisions, and awkwardness that characterizes Hemingway at his least successful..... The promotion will send this off with a bang; the serialization should not be a vital consideration, as the novel has been almost rewritten since that text. Extensive advertising.