The Killers by Ernest Hemingway (1927)
Tuesday’s Tale of Terror, January 19, 2016
Human evil and violence prevail in this tidy little mystery, which is seedy and suspenseful. Gangsterism! If you are a Hemingway fan, you likely know the Nick Adams Stories. This is one of them. Two men walk into a bar … well, not exactly a bar, a lunchroom/saloon named Henry’s in Summit, near Chicago. We meet two hit men. Did you ever know hit men to eat with their gloves on? You gotta love Hemingway.
In The Killers, male camaraderie, irony, and death are big themes for this noir. For our young and innocent protagonist Nick (the “effaced” narrator), he is initiated into the dark side of life.
Hemingway, known for his ‘minimalist’ writing, who was greatly influenced by Gertrude Stein, wrote The Killers first draft in a frenzy of inspiration before he ate his lunch one day in May 1926. If you want to experience brilliant characterization through terse and clean dialogue, this is the story to read. I read it three times; it was that good.
Want some insight on Hemingway’s thoughts on writing? Here’s one nugget: “The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time… never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day … When you’re still going and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work.” [From With Hemingway, A Year in Key West and Cuba by Arnold Samuelson.]
‘Let your subconscious mind do the work.’ I like that a lot. Trusting that other side of your creativity.
Read The Killers online at Liternet.bg
Listen to the Audio at YouTube.com.
Watch this full feature noir film adapted by Universal, starring Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, John Cassevetes, and Ronald Reagan (1.26 hours): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUSnxAA9qlU
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