“There is never any ending to Paris and the memory of each person who has lived in it differs from that of any other. We always returned to it no matter who we were or how it was changed or with what difficulties, or ease, it could be reached. Paris was always worth it and you received return for whatever you brought to it.”
A (heavily embellished) memoir of Hemingway’s early years in Paris with his wife Hadley, back when they were too poor to heat their apartment and lived on $5 a day. Gertrude Stein makes an appearance, as does F. Scott Fitzgerald, who here appears as an insecure drunk with a horrible wife. Hemingway’s not doing his old friends any favors here – the gossip comes fast and vicious, while Hemingway sits above everything and clearly thinks he’s the coolest guy the room. He might have been a jerk, but Hemingway is a great writer, and his book is a love note to Paris and the artistic life. The gossip and backstabbing is just fun extra stuff. And I love Paris, especially when Hemingway is writing about it.
Verdict: four out of five stars