Michael Reynolds' extraordinary evocation of Hemingway's life continues in this third volume, which finds the American writer in Paris in 1926 and follows him through the dissolution of his first marriage and the beginning of his second, ending with the return from his first African safari. It shows the emergence of the public version of Hemingway and the development of a mature and significant literary talent. Most importantly it shows the radical difference between the two versions of Hemingway's male heroes. The now accepted version of these actors (tough, self-reliant, lapidary figures) is shown to be a distinct break from the earlier figures who are vulnerable, wounded survivors living precariously in a doomed world in which they have little control. These are not men with a code of behaviour, nor are they strong, forceful role models. They do not make things happen. They do not fare well with women. As Reynolds shows, this transition has its roots in Hemingway's own life. Hemingway's transition from a rootless and insecure expatriate to the forceful figure of myth is a complex web involving his father's suicide, the great depression, his second marriage and his return to America. Michael Reynolds reveals this narrative with his customary vigour, style and clarity.
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