The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
A group of English and American expatriates living in France decide to take a trip to Pamplona, Spain to watch the running of the bulls and attend a bullfight. The story is told by the main character, Jake.
This is the first novel of Hemingway's that I've read. This is also the first novel he wrote (after writing several short stories). I enjoyed the detail of the bullfighting - the matadors, the bulls, the event itself - but the storyline and the relationships between the characters was muddied and awkward. I also was annoyed by the constant reference to alcohol. Jake was drinking, drunk, or hungover the entire story. I learned several new terms for drunkenness including "blind," "blind as a tick," and "tight." "The bed went sailing off" means "the bed was spinning." I know Hemingway was a drinker, and because of the peculiar storyline, writing style and continual mention of alcohol, my inclination is that he wrote this book while "blind as a tick." Normally I wouldn't have finished this book, but I felt I had to since it's considered a classic.
I'd like to read some of his other work, such as Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea to get a better feel of his writing style because this really didn't do it for me.