The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

by Ernest Hemingway

Paperback, 2003




New York : Scribner, 2003.


The definitive collection by the man whose craft and vision remains an enduring influence on generations of readers and writers. Contains twenty-one stories not included in the 1938 omnibus "The first forty-nine."

User reviews

LibraryThing member RoseCityReader
How can I review a book that took me 30 years to read? This is not just a book, it is part of my life. I have been working on The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway longer than all my formal education, two marriages, and my law practice.

But I can’t review Hemingway, especially when my
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attitudes about his writing have changed over the decades. I was unquestionably awed as a teenager, snide as a college English major, a genuine fan as an adult, and now just a little weary.

His writing is masterful. He was a genius with spare dialog and creating reality with only a few brush strokes. (Of course, because he taught Americans a new way of writing, reading the original does not pack the wallop it must have before everyone copied him.) What wore me out was the subject matter – the bull fights and the Spanish Civil War in particular. It just got to be a chore for me to get to the end.

Longer version posted on Rose City Reader.
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LibraryThing member JBreedlove
All of Hemingways' stories in one collection. Including The Big Two-Hearted River and A Clean, Well Lighted Place.
LibraryThing member bzedan
This is a tome. It's difficult to summarise or review short story collections, especially one so extensive as this.So lemme just say, there is a reason that Heminway is canon. He reminds me of Chekhov, of Vonnegut—the sadness implicit in humanity's existence and the true, yet sometimes hollow joy
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that is found despite it.
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LibraryThing member santhony
Having read several of Hemingway's longer novels (The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls) I looked forward to this collection with great anticipation. My appetite was only whetted with the first story in the collection, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber", which I
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found to be magnificent. Alas, it proved to be the star of the collection.

While several of the remaining stories were certainly outstanding (in particular "Fifty Grand", A Way You'll never Be", "Under the Ridge", "An African Story" and "I Guess Everything Reminds You of Something"), a number of the stories were less than spectacular. Particularly disappointing were the numerous efforts of under 750 words.

Now, you may be a brilliant writer, and even a master of the art of story telling, but in my opinion, you cannot tell a story in two pages. You can set a scene; you can paint a picture, but you cannot tell a story. I counted ten such SHORT SHORT short stories and another fifteen only slightly longer. Those stories which ran beyond 6-8 pages were, by and large quite enjoyable.

Having read several of Hemingway's longer works and found them to be, in some cases, in need of editing, and now having read a number of his works which can only be described as overly brief, I'm left with the opinion that he is best enjoyed in those works of 10-200 pages, not coincidentally the length of his Pulitzer Prize winning novella, "The Old Man and the Sea".

I'm struck by a passage in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in which the Communist partisan Pilar recounts the revolution within her village in which the Fascists (a/k/a the successful citizens) were rounded up and murdered. Those twenty pages, lifted out, would have qualified as one of the greatest short stories ever written, yet it becomes somewhat lost in a story that wanders at times.

Certainly, this book will be enjoyed by anyone who has developed a taste for Hemingway and to a lesser extent, those who enjoy the art of the short story. I only gave high marks to roughly a third of the offerings, however those 23 stories account for almost 75% of the pages in the book. The other efforts are simply too short for my taste, and they account for a majority of the stories in the collection.
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LibraryThing member chrisv
I read this about 6 years ago, until then I had read most of Hemingway's novels which I enjoyed immensely, on a flight from Havana I got talking to my neighbour who taught Hemingway she told me her favourites were the short stories. Some of these stories are very short indeed and the quality does
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vary but the very best and there are a huge number of very well written stories are very very good. I love Hemingway although I don't usually read short stories these are amongst his best works. They have a haunting quality and a still remember scenes from them, a boy with his canoe hiding amongst lakes and rivers or an man skiing, tales of love obviously written by a young man with the arrogance and cockiness of youth.
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LibraryThing member hoffm130
In his short story Hills like White Elephants, Ernest Hemingway writes as on onlooker showing the full perspective of a situation between and man and a “girl” debating whether or not to have an abortion. In a way Hemingway is using this scene to represent the role that many men and women often
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find themselves playing in today’s society. In his story the female is continuously referred to as the “girl” representing that she is of lesser power then the man who she is in a relationship. When making decision in real life it would make more sense that a man would have the power over a young girl, and often times this is how men in societies treat women. It is even how many religions are still taught.

Throughout the entire piece the girl is only trying to win over the man’s approval. She states to him, “If I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?” demonstrating how she is only trying to please him.

Hemingway uses the symbolism of the shadow to further support idea that women are constantly in the darkness of the decisions the men around them make. When the girl attempts to walk into the sun light to create an opinion of her own as to whether bringing in a new life to the world is something she wants, the man asks her to “Come back into the shade,” as if to tell her to stop thinking and having her own opinions.
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LibraryThing member schwi101
In Hemingway's Hills Like White Elephants, he begins the story by explaining the scenery extensively. He starts off with bountiful hills that symbolism purity and maybe pregnancy. He then contrasts the barren valley that is constantly sunny. These adjectives express how the girl could be pregnant
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but is thinking about an abortion. Soon after Hemingway places the American and the girl at a train station with two opposing directions. This shows that the girl must make a decision between two different ideas. I am not sure what this decision is but I can assume that it probably has something to do with keeping or aborting her child. During this scene the American tries to express his opinion to abort the child by saying statements such as “cut it out”. This expression is a pun for telling the girl to stop. as well as to get an abortion. The American is trying to express his opinion without forcing it upon her. He also says that he will stay with her the whole time and that the operation is completely normal, just like letting the air in. He is trying to reassure the girl that he will be there and an abortion is not a huge deal. She then asks him what they will do afterward. By asking this question the girl expresses how she believes the relationship is over even if she does get the abortion. He says it will be like it was before because their only problem was this child. She knows there is no chance that everything will go back to normal because to much has happened. In the end, I believe the girl says she is fine because she believes she is fine the way she is and she will not be having the abortion no matter the Americans’ feelings.
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LibraryThing member newar100
In Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, Hemingway describes a couples’ experience in a bar halfway between Madrid and Barcelona. Hemingway does this in a very intriguing and unique way. The couple is discussing having an abortion but Hemingway never straight out says that. He uses
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many literary devices to convey what is happening between them.

Hemingway is an excellent writer, he knows how to use symbolism, characters, settings, and point of view to give the reader all the information they need but they still have to figure it out for themselves. He forces the reader to connect the dots. Everything in Hills Like White Elephants has a purpose and every sentence plays an integral part in the story.

The train station in the story resembles that the couple is going in two different directions. They are in the middle of two important things, a metaphor because physically they are between Barcelona and Madrid, but emotionally they are in the midst of a huge decision, to keep or to abort their baby. But at the moment they are in the middle of nowhere, as in nowhere close to making a decision on the matter. The hills in the background of the train station resemble a baby bump. The couple orders drink after drink at the bar in an attempt to avoid their obvious problems. The two are clearly disconnected from one another. Hemingway portrays the complications in the relationship in a couple of ways. He never gives the reader the name of “the girl,” she is referred to as Jig a couple of times but that is it. Additionally he never gives “the American” a name either. The girl is very dependent on the American, she cannot speak Spanish, so he is the one ordering for her and he is the one who carries their bags to the other side of the station. These may be little details, but, in this story nothing is irrelevant, every sentence has a calculated purpose in the story.

Personally I enjoyed reading the short story, it showed abortion, a very controversial topic in a new light. It took me a while to understand the metaphors because they are by no means explicit, but once I made the connection it made the story a lot more interesting and very unique. Even though I have never been in a situation remotely like the one Jig is in I still found it pretty relatable. Every relationship has its weaknesses and theirs is clearly communication. I feel like the American and the girl are on totally different planes. He does not want the baby because he seems immature and is afraid of change. While the girl, originally is doubting herself and her ability to care for a baby but once she thinks about it a little more it seems to me that she wants to keep the child. Either way it is an incredibly difficult and emotional decision to make and they need to openly and honestly discuss it with one another.
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LibraryThing member bexaplex
The Complete Short Stories consists of the First Forty-Nine (itself a compilation of stories from In Our Time, Men Without Women, Winner Take Nothing and The Snows of Kilimanjaro), 14 stories published after 1938, and 7 unpublished stories, some of which are actually drafts for a novel.

I absolutely
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love Hemingway. I sometimes wish I didn't, as some of these stories are completely depressing, but there it is. I haven't read most of the novels, but the short stories are magnificent, and I'm going to stop there, give away my copies of The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and A Farewell to Arms, and let the stories stand on their own.
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LibraryThing member Salmondaze
This book is certainly a collection that outstrips The First Forty-Nine, but some of the "bonus stories" are fileted from other books instead of being short stories in their own true rights, making this collection a step away from "perfect" or "complete" as the title would indicate. I would get the
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Everyman Library Collected Stories instead of this for people who really want to dig into Hemingway's short story prowess.
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LibraryThing member beabatllori
I went to a large bookshop today in order to get a bunch of books from my to-obtain shelf.

I returned with this.


I have a TBR problem.
LibraryThing member pessoanongrata
His best work. This is where his true legacy resides.
LibraryThing member dandelionroots
Ack, I really do love his prose - his subject matter is often another thing. My favorite by far, "The Last Good Country", is of course one of the few uncompleted works. The only others I noted are: Indian Camp, A Very Short Story, Soldier's Home, Mr. and Mrs. Elliot, The Undefeated, In Another
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Country, Fifty Grand, Ten Indians, Today Is Friday, Banal Story, Homage to Switzerland, A Day's Wait, A Natural History of the Dead, Get a Seeing-Eyed Dog, and An African Story.
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LibraryThing member parp
Nice, crisp language, beautiful dialogs. When I was young I thought it was great. Now, I'm not so sure.
LibraryThing member Tracy_Tomkowiak
One of my very first purchases after I discovered the likes of bookstores such as Borders and B&N. Great writing from a true master. The physical sensation of handling a book – the weight of it, the crispness of the pages, the particular smell... I'll never own an e-reader.



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