My favorite book by Ernest Hemingway is The Sun Also Rises.
I read TSAR for the first time when I was about 10. Although many of the themes in the novel were over my head then, I was mesmerized by the writing style – the concise prose, the near absence of sentiment, and the maddening gaps in the story – all fueled my fascination. (Although, I despised Lady Brett Ashley then and I haven’t warmed to her in the past 35 years!) The Sun Also Rises is a book I can read over and over; it continually humbles me as a writer.
No amount of analysis can convey the quality of The Sun Also Rises. It is a truly gripping story, told in a lean, hard, athletic narrative prose that puts more literary English to shame. Mr. Hemingway knows how not only to make words be specific but how to arrange a collection of words which shall betray a great deal more than is to be found in the individual parts. It is magnificent writing.
—The New York Times review of The Sun Also Rises, 31 October 1926
It took Hemingway only 2 months to write the draft of TSAR. I long to develop that kind of focus. Hemingway liked to write standing up on his Royal Quiet de Luxe typewriter in his Havana home. That is one writing technique I have not tried, but, as I am brutally frustrated with my lack of progress, I just might have to get out of my chair and stand in front of my desk.
[I believe the Havana Hemingway typewriter sold at auction in 2008 or 2009 for around $2750, so I will have to make do with my MacBook Air in my Colorado Springs apartment for now.]