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The Best Friend I Ever Had: 03/05/09
David Nuffer's fascination with Ernest Hemingway (July 21, 1899 — July 2, 1961) in 1971 when he read a library copy of 0684803356?For Whom the Bell Tolls. Something clicked with him and the book and he began a thirty year quest to learn every thing he can about the author. Nuffer's book The Best Friend I Ever Had is the scrapbook compilation of his travels to Hemingway's places and his correspondence (and sometimes friendships) with people who knew the author.
The most interesting parts of the book are the photographs and reproduced letters, articles and maps. They are worth looking at to get a sense of place with Hemingway. What the book lacks is organization. Nuffer's enthusiasm for Hemingway carries the first couple chapters but it's not enough to lead the book to a satisfying conclusion.
Finally Nuffer's devotion to his subject is creepy. As he shares more of his correspondence and interviews I got the impression that not everyone from Hemingway's inner circle were happy to have him tagging along. Hemingway for all his fame and persona was a living, breathing person and he left behind friends and family who have their own lives. They might want to get on with their own lives without the constant reminder of their association with a long dead (but famous) writer.