New edition for Papa fans

Jul. 11, 2014 @ 09:54 PM

In my experience, readers either love or hate Ernest Hemingway’s writing. I am among the former, but even Hemingway disciples have disagreements over which novels and short stories are the greatest, or the worst.
Some critics contend that “For Whom the Bell Tolls” needed more editing. Maybe so, but it’s a great war book: Pilar’s soliloquy about a group of villagers who round up fascists is a brilliant description of the consequences of mob rule. I even like the posthumously published “Islands in the Stream,” which many dismiss, about his days chasing U-boats and fishing in Cuba and other Caribbean islands.
You don’t need an excuse to read or re-read his first novel “The Sun Also Rises,” which is almost universally loved among fans. But Scribner publishing has given you one if you need it –- a new edition has been published this month (hardcover, $26). It contains the novel, new foreword material by Hemingway’s son Patrick and grandson Sean, along with photos from the summer in Paris and Spain from which this narrative is drawn. This edition also has chapters that Hemingway eventually took out of the final novel.
I love Hemingway’s description of Jake’s swim in San Sebastian as the novel closes. I don’t care if it’s symbolic – it’s just good writing (and, yes, an ideal beach read). Enjoy this new edition, or go dust off your old paperback one.

Other releases, readings and events:
-- Time magazine book critic and author Lev Grossman has a new novel, “The Magician’s Land” (Viking, $27.95), the final installment of his Magicians trilogy (other titles are “The Magicians” and “The Magician King”).
The book will go on sale Aug. 5, and Grossman’s book tour will bring him to Chapel Hill, where he will read and sign copies of “The Magician’s Land” at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Flyleaf Books, 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel Hill.

-- Duke University has announced some recent new titles from faculty members. James Applewhite’s “Cosmos: A Poem” has been published by Louisiana State University Press. Philip J.  Cook and Kristin A. Goss weigh into the gun control debate with “The Gun Debate: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford University Press). Psychology professor John Staddon has a different take on smoking in “Unlucky Strike: Private Health and the Science, Law and Politics of Smoking” (University of Buckingham Press).

-- All this month, The Regulator Bookshop is sponsoring a “Where’s Waldo?” scavenger hunt at businesses in Durham. The store will host its second annual Find Waldo Wrap Party beginning at 6:30 p.m. July 31 at the store, at 720 Ninth St. This party will have food, prizes, family-friendly activities, crafts and other activities.  The first 100 seekers who get their passports stamped or signed at 15 or more sites can bring those to the Regulator to collect prizes. For information, visit

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