Nature Boy – “The Nick Adams Stories” by Ernest Hemingway
One of my great confessions as a reader is that I wish I liked Hemingway’s works more than I actually do. Though I understand how much of an impact he had on modern literature, I just have a hard time getting caught up in his prose. Also, I’m not really a fan of war stories, so a lot of his subject matter leaves me, frankly, bored.
Hemingway does have one thing going for him that should endear him to me – he spent a great deal of time enjoying the nature of northern Michigan. Since I hail from there, I thought I’d look into his works that focus on this time in the hopes that I’d finally find the thread that connects me to this landmark author. “The Nick Adams Stories” are a collection of pieces, most previously published, about a young man growing up within the woods of Northern Michigan, and then heading off to live his adult life as a soldier, journalist, and parent.
Did it make me fall in love with Hemingway?
No. Frankly, It’s probably going to take a great deal more before I rank him on my “adored authors” list.
However, “The Nick Adams Stories” is hands-down my favorite work by Hemingway I’ve ever read. Blame it on the location and my sentimentality if you want, or maybe the vignette format (as the book is really a collection of short stories) but the book was a pleasant read. As expected, it brought a few twinges of homesick-ness.
I’m glad I read it. If you’re looking for some “Hemingway-lite” this might be just the book for you.