Sunday, February 3, 2013

Illustrated Book Review: Hemingway's Key West by Stuart B. McIver

Hemingway's Key West

Author: Stuart B. McIver
Publisher: Pineapple Press, Inc.
Date of Publication: April 28, 2002
Pages: 165 (Trade Paper Edition)

     This is a nice introduction to Ernest Hemingway and his life in Key West.  Most Hemingway fans are aware that he lived in Key West in the 1930s with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer.  These were productive years for Hemingway as he wrote or completed six books and several of his most noted short stories. during this time.  

     This author does a great job of drawing a distinction between Hemingway the working author of the 1930s and the Hemingway that lives on as a mythical figure in modern day Key West.   He makes the great point that while there are similarities in these "two Hemingways", today's emphasis on the hard-drinking, rough and tumble sportsman and womanizer is somewhat a product of the Key West tourism industry and represents an incomplete picture of who Ernest Hemingway truly was.  

     The main reason I bought this book is the fact that it contains a walking tour of Hemingway sites in Old Town Key West.  Here are those sights as we saw them on our recent trip (January, 2013).  You really should read Mr. McIver's book to appreciate all of the Hemingway lore associated with these locations.

1.  The Hemingway House
The Hemingway House on Whitehead Street

Ernest Hemingway's work study on the second floor

A descendant of one of Hemingway's six-toed cats

Hemingway's Study

The urinal salvaged from the renovation of Sloppy Joe's bar by Hemingway and turned into
a water bowl for his cats.

The penny Hemingway threw on the ground when he realized his wife
Pauline had spent $20,000 to install an in-ground pool in the back yard.

2. Blue Heaven Restaurant

Great Key Lime Pie at Blue Heaven

Lunch or dinner companion

3. Colonial Hotel (Now Crowne Plaza - La Concha Hotel)

Lobby of the Crowne Plaza La Concha Hotel

4.St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church

St. Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Church

Stations of the Cross Garden at St. Mary, Star of the Sea

5. 830 Fleming Street - formerly Electric Kitchen

Now an art gallery

6. Thompson's Docks (Key West Bight)

Memorial for Norberg Thompson

7. 314 Simonton Street (Casa Antigua - private residence) - formerly Trevor and Morris Apartments

8.  Captain Tony's - formerly The Blind Pig and the original Sloppy Joe's

9. Sloppy Joe's Bar
View from Duval Street

Duval and Green Street

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