A Farewell To Arms was June’s book club read. Hot on the heels of the previous war inspired novel, we had an interesting discussion on how this compared to last month’s The Yellow Birds.
The language of the novel was a struggle for some; one member even queried whether English was the first language of the writer. The sentance structure and the vocabulary used was limited and this in turn lead to the book not being finished by some. The novel also started quite descriptive and then seemed to dissipate.
It definitely wasn’t as gruesome as The Yellow Birds, but we wondered if that was more of the times that it was written in, as people definitely didn’t discuss their experiences then. It was almost told from a distance.
Was it a war story or a love story? The latter we thought, but the ‘love’ was definitely stilted – reminiscent of ‘Brief Encounter’ and other such films told in that time.
The structure of the book was told in 5 different sections but none of the members that finished the book felt that was needed, as each section flowed into one another.
Finally we discussed the description of this book being a ‘classic’ and the definition that this is described as being a novel accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy. As we noted that the author won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature, the conclusion that we came to is that any awards/classic notes are subjective and we all view things differently.