By Ernest Hemingway
For nearly a century, The Sun Also Rises has endured as one of Hemingway’s masterworks, and is widely regarded as a prime example of the great American writer’s pioneering style and form. His first major novel explores powerful themes like masculinity and male insecurity, sex and love, and the effects of a brutal war on an aimless generation. This roman à clef is based on the real experiences and relationships Hemingway had in the early 1920s.
Set predominantly in France and Spain, the novel follows a group of disillusioned aimless expats tooling around post-war Europe, living hard, drinking heavily, and having complicated sordid love affairs. The novel is told from the perspective of Jake Barnes, a World War II vet turned journalist living in Paris, who is still in love with his former flame, the eccentric and charismatic Lady Brett Ashley. Meanwhile, Jake's friend, author Robert Cohn, becomes tired of his oppressive marriage and sets off to seek out adventure, becoming enamored with Brett himself.
They all eventually drift from the glitz and glamour of 1920s Paris to Pamplona, Spain, where they revel in the rawness of bullfights and alcohol-fueled parties, eventually devolving into jealousy and violent drama. This leads to Jake coming to a stark realization—that he can never be with the woman he truly loves.