Monday, January 23, 2012

Papa H

For Christmas Mo bought me several books that connect me to Papa Hemingway and by extension Key West . The first, I Killed Hemingway, is a fine work of fiction by author William McCranor Henderson. Our main man, one Elliot McGuire, is assigned to check out a claim put forward by a man known as 'Pappy' Markham that he not only knew Hemingway but was, in fact, his murderer. Recognizing that this revelation would rock the literary world, McGuire heads to Key West to check out the story for the publisher who is interested in publishing the man's memoir. Ostensibly our man is fact checking, in reality he's doing little more than rubber stamping the project. Roped in to the intrigue, McGuire lends his hand to the telling of the tale, only to find himself readdressing a past he'd thought he buried.

Henderson's story is compelling, keeping readers en rapt with details from Hemingway's life as they are being retold by the irascible Pappy. Character's names are drawn from Hemingway's history- i.e. McGuire's love interest's first name is Lyn- a reference to the biographer Kennith Lynn and the spin on his life (which is all pure fiction according to Pappy) is amusing.  Although the final chapters are rushed and ridiculous, the preceding 250 pages are worth the price of admission and readers may find themselves drawn into the real life drama of Hemingway once the final curtain is drawn.



Next up to bat?  I am in the midst of reading a book called Hemingway's Suitcase- a work of fiction by McDonald Harris. Delving a bit more into the legend's life from a fictional character's perspective, it seems the lost manuscripts that Hadley (Hemingway's first wife) lost have been found. Are they real or are they memorex? I'll let you know...




All this takes me back to the porch I wish I could sit on, tossing about plots and poetic musings. I wouldn't mind reclining here to stir the muse one bit...

 

14 comments:

  1. Hemingway's Suitcase looks like a good book!

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  2. Hemingway definitely influenced me as a writer. I loved his minimalist style when it came to description.

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    1. Hemingway is fine in small doses. He lost his edge after his initial success and became too intent on following his rules about writing. I'm not a fan of his writing but his life was interesting and I LOVE his house!

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  3. Hi, Danette,

    Hauntings of Hemingway. Hmmm. I wonder if his ghost will be around there when I visit at the end of February. Are you coming? We can have a nice latte and we work on that lovely terrace. Hemingway would be rather amused, I am sure.

    I can't wait to go. It has been about ten or more years since I was there last. Two days isn't enough! But since I was invited by friends, I have to comply by their schedule.

    I will think of you for sure! I hope you can make it. Feb. 27 and 28....

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  4. That porch looks fantastic...and warm. Hemingway was an interesting man and had a very unique voice.

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  5. I wish I had a porch!!

    These reads sound intriguing!

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  6. Actually . . . Lynne's biography is by leaps and bounds the best one written about this loutish, overrated, overwrought, and underwritten git. Hemingway's myrmidons don't like it because Lynn is -- o, the presumption!the cheek! -- critical of both Hemingway's writing and his, erm, personality. But, o, that house!!!!!

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  7. Hemingway, he's not everyones cup of tea but definitely an interesting man, I totally agree! I love his thoughts on writing, they always amuse me. And yes, I would love that verandah, oh to take tea or like, mint julep with a view like that one! *lots of clinks* xox

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    1. I have read about him quite extensively and always find him fascinating, but when I read what he wrote I think, "meh..." Even when I read For Whom the Bell Tolls year ago I wasn't swept away with it.

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  8. Award time! :)
    http://thefarseas.blogspot.com/2012/01/awards-round-1.html

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  9. I love Hemingway. I remember my first semester of college, when I was still lonely and reeling, I found this hidden corner of the library and spent hours tucked away reading everything Hemingway had ever written.

    This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. Hi Emily! I am far more inspired by Fitzgerald. I didn't read him in college but when I did finally pick up This Side of Paradise, I was so amazed at his creativity. But that being said, I still enjoy reading about Hemingway and find the whole ex-pat movement fascinating. I am building my reading around it. Next up is First Train to Paradise, then Hemingway's Boat, then I plan on reading The Moveable Feast and I want to finish the time period up with The Great Gatsby. After that I might have to move back in time to Oscar Wilde. I'm also reading his autobiography and am really inspired by him. In fact... well, I shall say no more!

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