Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $36.54

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

It was the glittering intellectual world of 1920s Paris expatriates in which Pauline Pfeiffer, a writer for Vogue, met Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley among a circle of friends that included Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Dorothy Parker. Pauline grew close to Hadley but eventually forged a stronger bond with Hemingway himself; with her stylish looks and dedication to Hemingway's writing, Pauline became the source of "unbelievable happiness" for Hemingway and, by 1927, his second wife. Pauline was her husband's best editor and critic, and her wealthy family provided moral and financial support, including the conversion of an old barn to a dedicated writing studio at the family home in Piggott, Arkansas. The marriage lasted 13 years, some of Hemingway's most productive, and the couple had two children. But the "unbelievable happiness" met with "final sorrow", as Hemingway wrote, and Pauline would be the second of Hemingway's four wives. Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow paints a full picture of Pauline and the role she played in Ernest Hemingway's becoming one of our greatest literary figures.

The book is published by The University of Arkansas Press.

©2012 The University of Arkansas Press (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"A major scholarly accomplishment - authoritative, thoroughly researched, pioneering, and ably written...a must for Hemingway scholars, teachers, and aficionados." (Anne Marie Candido in Arkansas Historical Quarterly)
"A significant contribution to setting the record straight" ( Publishers Weekly)
"A riveting portrait of a marriage, and a fascinating biography of Pauline Pfeiffer...introduces us to a new heroine in the Hemingway saga." (Mary Dearborn, author of Mailer: A Biography)

What listeners say about Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Deedra
  • Deedra
  • 18-11-2017

Unbelievable Happiness

I found this to be both informative and entertaining.I had no idea 'Poppa' had such a varied background.Talmadge Tegan narrated it beautifully.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mary
  • Mary
  • 22-08-2017

Highly researched and descriptive account

This was a beautiful collection of information on the second marriage of Earnest Hemingway to Pauline Pfeiffer. This book navigates the course of the courting and eventual marriage, including the inevitable breakup of Hemingway and the outgoing Hadley Hemingway. This is a highly researched and descriptive account of the events that took place incorporating many of Hemingway's friends including Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. A must read for lovers of Hemingway.

This audio book was graciously provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 24-09-2017

We are the same guy.

Any additional comments?

A detailed and obviously carefully researched account of the lives of Ernest Hemingway, his second wife, Pauline Pheiffer, and their families. The flamboyant author best known for gritty novels and his love of hunting, fishing and bullfights is revealed as a charasmatic character who could woo and engage others with ease, then as carelessly throw them away when no longer needed. He married into an exceedingly wealthy and generous family when he left his first wife and child for Pauline and continued to benefit from the family's generosity, both in affection and financially, throughout the time they were together. For her part, Pauline appeared to both love him totally and to have devoted her life to making his more comfortable, ignoring her own potential talents.

The author has utilised books, journal and remembrances to bring a very rich picture of all who were involved with the couple, both through the marriage and in the years before and after until Pauline's death. The book is almost as full as one of Hemingway's own novels, with a kalaedescopic swirl of colourful characters and places. It is a romance, also, interwoven between the pages.

Very fulsome in detail, it can be a little repititious at times and would have benefitted from a stronger structure, rather than an all encompassing listing of incidents in chronological order, although, to be fair, this approach does occur when introducing new friends and family members. It would also have been useful to supply a full bibliography at the end - there were various questions which this reader would have liked to follow up and such a resource would have been immeasurably helpful.

The book is narrated by Talunadge Regan, whose voice is well modulated, pace perfect and clear. A pleasant on the ear voice, it does have the slight stridency of a youngish girl, carrying an innocence which is itself fitting with the apparent nature of Pauline herself.

Altogether, a very readable account of a man of huge personality as well as talent and the woman who, above all others, seems to have made it possible. It also provides a fascinating glimpse into the society of the time. My thanks to the rights holder of Unbelievable Happiness for freely gifting me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. Reading more like a novel than an history, it should appeal to anyone interested in Hemingway himself, the time in which he lived and the background to his work.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.