Ernest Hemingway remains a puzzle as much as when he was riding the waves from 1920-60 as one of the world's most successful writers. Another enigmatic author, Marty Beckerman, aims to reveal all about him in an amusing book, “The Heming Way: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within ... Just Like Papa!” (St. Martin's, $12.99).
Usually drunk, always adventuresome and seeking excitement, Hemingway rocked the literary world with such classics as “Farewell to Arms,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Old Man and the Sea” and “The Sun Also Rises.” His fire burned so brightly that it dimmed by time he was 60, so he put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.
This book's subhead tells Hemingway's story in a capsule. (“Papa” was a nickname.) It is touted as written in “a raunchy, tongue-in-cheek style.”
Many today puzzle over whether Hemingway's homophobic rants, manly pursuits and four marriages were a cover for homosexuality. Beckerman gives hints to that effect.
“Papa” adored warfare, liked killing wild animals, thought bullfighting was one of life's highlights, loved the sea and ignored the social graces. He had contempt for people who didn't share his practices.
Beckerman has written for The New York Times, Playboy, The Huffington Post and other publications. Author Hunter S. Thompson called him a “morbid little bastard.” No telling what Hemingway would have called him.
— Dennie Hall