Title: The Garden of Eden
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Page Count/Review Word Count: 267
The Garden of Eden has a bit of history to it – it’s Hemingway’s second posthumous novel, published in 1986, 25 years after the writer’s suicide by shotgun. Hemingway started work on the novel in 1946, and was still working on it at the time of his death, sixteen years later. During this time, he also wrote ‘The Old Man and the Sea‘, ‘A Moveable Feast‘ and several of his other major works.
Some people have criticised the published manuscript because the editor removed over 100,000 words and several major subplots, but I enjoyed it all the same – for all I know, those cuts might have been justified, and it still worked beautifully as a novel as it was. Perhaps one day I’ll get hold of the full thing somehow and compare the two, but I’m judging it purely as it was presented – if we miss the author’s original intention then so be it.
I must admit that it was interesting to see a different side of Hemingway – he examines androgyny and sexuality, pushing against sexual stereotypes that still exist today, although they were much more prominent at the time of writing, some sixty years ago.
But it was slow reading at times, and I could only feel sympathy for the novel’s main character, David Bourne. There’s a scene where all of his creative hard work is undone, and as a fellow writer, it upset me. Like when we had a database fail and lost scores of unpublished reviews…