Essential for students of modern literature, offering insight into the mind and methods of one of the greatest practitioners...


A gathering of some of Papa’s best—and not so best—short fiction, the genre for which he first became known and is perhaps most honored today.

Ernest Hemingway, as his grandson and editor Seán observes in his excellent introductory essay, was a newspaper reporter before all else, and he learned much from his Kansas City newspaper’s style guide, including the dicta to use short, active sentences and ledes and to “be sparing of extravagant adjectives.” Extraneous adjectives. Extra adjectives, even. In this edition, some of Hemingway’s stories are presented in a draft format, always with cuts and sometimes with additions, that illustrates the application of these rules: “One hot evening in Milan they carried him up onto the roof and I could look out over all the other roofs the flat top of the town,” the phrase “all the other roofs” and the word “flat” thereupon being deleted to yield the desired flatness. In other instances, as with a draft of “Indian Camp,” not just deletions, but a few false starts are highlighted, as is true of the crystalline, now-perfect story “Soldier’s Home,” in which Hemingway removed an obvious description: “then tears came out, then her eyes were red and she was crying” gives way to the simpler “she started crying.” Hemingway’s simple style has been the object of parody and imitation for nine decades, but it is plain from these pages how hard he worked at it, as stories such as the much-revised “A Canary for One” reveal; one wishes for an edition such as Harcourt made of Eliot’s Waste Land showing every single note and draft of stories such as “Big Two-Hearted River” and “A Way You’ll Never Be,” the latter presented here without emendation, as is “The Killers” and a few other of Hemingway’s best-known tales.

Essential for students of modern literature, offering insight into the mind and methods of one of the greatest practitioners of the story form.

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4767-8762-6

Page Count: 576

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: May 15, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

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Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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