Four Days With Hemingway’s Ghost was so much fun that I’m feeling pumped.
Usually I bask for a little while in the afterglow of a good book and then quickly move on to another one. By the time I get around to mentioning it here the glow is long gone, never to be felt again
This time I’ll try to talk about it while I’m still feeling it.
As I run through this experience in my mind, trying to make sense of it for you, I recognize that it is the emotional experience, more than anything, that makes me categorize a book as great.
It’s wonderful if the subject is interesting and the book is technically well written. It helps if the characters are relatable and the plot flows well and is easy to follow. Everything about the book can be perfect but in the end it’s evoked emotions that leave me loving a book.
This story was a perfect. There was a full range of stirred emotions, with laughter and giggles at the top of the list.
There are many things that could be said about what it takes to write in a way that will stir emotions, but that’s a post for another day. By someone else. I recognize those times when I’ve been made to feel but I can’t tell you how to write to make it happen.
Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. I do know that you have to be real to write like that. It has to flow out of the authentic you. The emotions have to be inside the writer before they can be poured out on the page.
The flow of this whole consideration led me to think about actors. They can make me feel things when they are pretending to be someone they aren’t. At the same time though, their strategy is to conjure up whatever emotion they need, to play the part. In that regard it’s real. Pretend (when it comes to emotions) doesn’t work well for actors either.
So getting back to Hemingway. This story was fantasy, similar to some of the second chance TV shows we’ve seen.
I will admit, as a disclaimer, I have heard of most of the great poets but have not read much of anything they’ve written. I haven’t paid much attention to their lives either. That means I have no idea if the biographical material contained in these stories is accurate in any way. I just know I liked these books, accurate or not.
Four Days With Hemmingway’s Ghost – Tom Winton ….. Jack Phelan had been spending a lot of time reading everything he could find about his favorite poet, and Hemingway was on his mind when a serious accident put Jack in a coma. Imagine the shock, to find himself standing outside of one of Hemingway’s houses, talking to an old man he suddenly recognizes.
The next four days were a real trip. They were days chock full of amazing experiences, places and people. They were also days full of angst. There was uncertainty about how this experience would play out for Jack. Would he pass the test and live?
It could be, that the purpose of this book was to show Hemingway in a different light. Or, it could be that it was just for the fun of it. Either way, I liked it.
Unlike the Hemingway novel this next one is written as Historical Fiction, no fantasy involved.
As mentioned earlier, I have no background knowledge to decide if any of the details set forth are true. For the first time I can remember, I was wishing I did know.
I do know it was immensely enjoyable and it made me think about reading his poetry sometime. Preferably in a book I could hold.
The Lord Byron Series – A Strange Beginning book 1 – Gretta Curran Browne …. a stand alone novel
So…. I decided to do a little research in Wikipedia. It seems the author stayed pretty close to the truth of Byron’s life, although there are differing opinions on several points in the historical accounts. It’s not clear what the truth would be there.
The story has been cleaned up quite a bit too, there was no mention of his debts and only veiled references to his dalliances.
Ms Browne set out to create a work of fiction, loosely based on Lord Byron’s life, so it was the author’s prerogative to write whatever she felt would make it an interesting story. In my opinion, she succeeded admirably.
Now that I’ve read up on Byron, I think I’m glad I didn’t know much at first. There were no comparisons happening in my head as I read. There was even sympathy for the abuse suffered at the hands of his mad mother.
With a clearer understanding of the circumstances of his life and the direction of his thoughts, I seem to be having some doubts about reading his poetry. We’ll see…. maybe.
I did love the book and stand by my assessment of it. Read it if you can, I think you would like it too.