Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hemingway Cutthroat - Michael Atkinson

There were no bullfights in 1937 Madrid, just bombs, freedom fighters, journalists, and plenty of corpses. Ernest Hemingway, covering the Spanish Civil War for the American press, came looking for stories and danger, and found something else: a friend murdered amid the ruins.
With a new novel stirring in his head and his veins pumping with booze, Hemingway sets out to find who killed José Robles Pazos, a bureaucrat in the Popular Front, and who's covering it up. There is, after all, nothing like risking death in a war zone if it means living fast, nailing the bastards, and avoiding a deadline. With the writer John Dos Passos at his side, Hemingway wades into the darkness, discovering that his old WWI buddy is no mere casualty of war--but a victim of something far more terrible.
Boisterous, bare knuckled, and stewed to the gills, Hemingway Cutthroat captures the writer at the height of his career and in a Europe teetering on untold cataclysm, struggling to find out not just for whom, but why the bell tolled.

Title: Hemingway Cutthroat
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 20, 2010
Source: Received for review from publicist. Many thanks to Dana from Kaye Publicity for sending me this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: 4/5

Hemingway is in Spain covering the Spanish Civil War for the American papers back home. While there, he satiates his need for women, and booze. He certainly is nursing ideas for his next novel as well, however he finds out that a friend of his has disappeared, and is presumed dead. His interest is piqued, and he immediately sets off to get some answers.
Hemingway is a bawdy, larger than life character. He carouses with women, drinks booze as if it's water, and he manages to get into a large amount of sticky situations. He will stop at nothing to figure out what happened to Robles, even if it ends up killing him. He ends up flirting with death throughout the novel. He gets out of one situation to immediately fall into another, and somehow manages to pull through every time.
Atkinson has created an uproarious, and witty representation of Hemingway. Life in Spain during the Civil War certainly wouldn't have been easy, especially for someone searching for answers. Atkinson's vision of Spain circa 1937 is authentic, and though this novel does have its tongue-in-cheek moments, it also has a darker side. It is a quick read, though it will stick with the reader once finished.
All in all, fans of Hemingway's novels, or mystery lovers will love the thrill ride this author will take you on.


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Sounds really good!! Thanks for the review!

Corrine said...

Thank you Carrie! :)

Juju at Tales of said...

This sounds great!