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This is the latest installment in our heroically gruff series on Hemingway Days, examining the charms of spare prose, sport fishing and all things Ernest.

The novels get most of the attention, but our favorite book from Papa is something with a slightly smaller scale: a collection of posthumously compiled short works called The Nick Adams Stories.

Taken together the two dozen stories lead the eponymous hero from boyhood to manhood, with a war, a murder, and a lot of fear-soaked wanderlust lying in between. It’s Hemingway at his quickest, with some of the stories lasting no longer than a paragraph. It’s also Hemingway at his loosest, which means half-formed sketches sitting alongside more polished gems, adding up to an impressionistic portrait of a young man adrift in a turbulent world.

If you’re really sold, we suggest a vintage hardcover copy…but only if you don’t plan on taking it to the beach.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom