I'm enjoying it but not blowing away, even a bit disappointed because I expect more from him. I give this book 3 stars out of 5.
I've heard many writers being called writer's writer. Here, Hemingway is called man's man. He likes to watch killing bulls for entertainment. He likes boxing. Man Withour Women is a macho book; this is a world of men's, and most stories don't even have a female character.
There are 14 stories in this collection and I was impressed by a bunch of them. Here is my subjective continuum: The Killers at the top, then comes Hills Like White Elephants, then The Undefeated and Fifty Grand (in Chinese, they are stories about 英雄迟暮), the last will be An Alpine Idyll and Now I Lay Me.
The Undefeated's ending is not good. Fifty Grand's is much better. But whose fix is it? which makes me confused. Jack knows he will lose the game anyway, but he keeps fighting to 12th round. So he's Hemingway's flawed hero? Compared to Fifty Grand, I like The Undefeated more. The bull and the bull figher are really undefeated.
An Alpine Idyll is kind of creepy. Just imagine, a man is working in the shed at night, his dead and frozen wife stood there, a lantern hung from her open mouth to light his work. What a disturbing image! The people in the inn calls the man beast. Some readers think this is too judgmental. I'm fine with this, but I agree the dead is dead, the alive man is deserved to respect. "I judge all of you for not judging him." Haha...
A reader's comment: tough guys with a gentle heart, or heroes with flaws.