My book Reading Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, co-authored with Robert W. Lewis, was published by Kent State University Press in June 2019.
A close analysis and commentary on Hemingway’s great novel of love, war, and ideas.
In this comprehensive guide, Lewis and Roos reveal how A Farewell to Arms represents a complex alchemy of Hemingway’s personal experience as a Red Cross ambulance driver in 1918, his extensive historical research of a time period and terrain with which he was personally unfamiliar, and the impact of his vast reading in the great works of 19th-century fiction. Ultimately, Lewis and Roos assert, Hemingway’s great novel is not simply a story of love and war, as most have concluded, but an intricate novel of ideas exploring the clash of reason and faith and deep questions of epistemology.
The commentary also delves deeply into the roots of controversy surrounding the novel’s treatment of gender issues through the characters of Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley. Catherine, they argue, is far more than an object of love; she is a real feminist heroine who is responsible for Frederic’s maturation in developing a capacity for true love.
Written in clear and accessible prose that will appeal to scholars and Hemingway neophytes alike, Reading Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms is the most sweeping guide yet available to Hemingway’s finest novel and contributes to a richer understanding of the writer’s entire body of work.
Praise for the book:
“Reading Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms can certainly stand proudly
alongside the preceding volumes in the Reading Hemingway series. The editorshave provided us with a highly readable presentation of facts, interpretations,and sources. It is an immense endeavor, an incredible resource, and a fitting tribute to one of Ernest Hemingway’s most enduring masterpieces.”
–Stacey Guill, The Hemingway Review
“Reading Hemingway’s A Farwell to Arms deserves a place alongside
Hemingway’s masterpiece third novel. Lewis and Roos’ guide and commentary will reveal the hidden seven-eighths of AFTA’s iceberg like no other critical glossary extant.”
–Ricardo Landeiro, Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature
“Lewis and Roos offer detailed and well researched comment on a very extensive array of pertinent foreground and background topics, making this the ultimate book of footnotes on the Hemingway’s classic novel A Farewell to Arms. In addition, however, this volume still has an engaging and well developed thesis regarding the novel’s presentation of the faith/religious view of life versus the rational/scientific view. It can be used as a reference book, or it can be read straight through if you are already familiar with the novel. Maps and photos are included. This is an admirably complete package. If you have shelf space for just one book on A Farewell to Arms, this is the book.”
My song “Caporetto” was inspired by the novel. Watch a YouTube video of the song here.
My song “Unfinished Church” was inspired by another of Hemingway’s great novels, The Sun Also Rises. Watch its video here.