Greetings, darling readers!
Welcome back to Boozy Books! It occurred to me that though I have expressed my admiration of Ernest Hemingway in previous posts I have never paired one of his novels. Today, I aim to correct this error by recommending Hemingway’s classic 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises.
The Sun Also Rises is set in Europe (Paris, France and Pamplona, Spain specifically) and follows the travels of a group of young American expatriates. Jack Barnes is Hemingway’s protagonist, a journalist with a war injury who seems to drown in the immorality of the time and company in which he lives. Along with the promiscuous Lady Brett Ashley, his college friend Robert Cohn, Bill Gorton, and Bretts’s fiancee Mike Campbell, Jake travels Europe, often drinking his way through their experiences together. They drink in excess, watch the famous Pamplona bullfights, fight one another, and all seem to be completely lost. Of course, one of the epitaphs at the beginning of the book refers to the “lost generation”, a term coined by Gertrude Stein which befits the group exceedingly well.
Much of the conflict in the novel revolves around Brett’s affairs with each of the men and the growing tensions within their midst. On its surface The Sun Also Rises would appear to be a love story between Jake and Brett, for the novel is bookended with the intimacy of their relationship, but Hemingway also captures the angst of people affected by recent war, change, boredom, and corruption. Hemingway’s signature sparse style is in full effect here, creating a realistic story partially based on his own experiences as an expat.
Hemingway. Hemingway. Hemingway… What to drink while reading Hemingway? Well, if you know anything about the man you know you thoroughly enjoyed his booze. All kinds. All of it, in fact. Booze is a constant presence in his works (practically a recurring character, honestly) and The Sun Also Rises is no exception. Therefore, I have two suggestions for today’s pairing. The first would be a bottle of French Cabernet. Emphasis on the French. Hemingway drank many a fine French red during his own stay in Paris, drinking with the likes of Gertrude Stein and Scott F. Fitzgerald (cause he was a baller like that). If you aren’t into wines or want something stronger go with one of Hemingway’s go to drinks: a whiskey soda.
Happy reading and happy drinking!