Friday, December 30, 2005

Aloha Friday Cookery Book Review

A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway

Although A Moveable Feast is not strictly a foodie book, food plays a big part in it. A sort-of-memoir, the book deals with the years 1921-1926 when Hemingway lived and wrote in Paris. It the book, Hemingway spends a great deal of time describing cafes he frequented, and what he ate (and didn't eat) there. Hunger plays a big part in the narrative, because Hemingway was very poor at the time and often went without meals so that he could feed his wife and small child. In the book he says that hunger "sharpens all of your perceptions...". That said, however, he also spends a great deal of time talking about how often he walked far out of his way to avoid streets with good food smells on them, and describes in detail what wonderful things could be found on those streets.

The thing I like most about Ernest Hemingway is the simplicity of his prose. He writes sparely, economically. There were times, as I read A Moveable Feast that I was reminded of MFK Fisher because of the simple but powerful descriptions of France, and of the writer's small culinary adventures.

A Moveable Feast is a rich, wonderful book that shows the reader a different side of Ernest Hemingway.


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