Dateline: Toronto collects all 172 pieces that Hemingway published in the Star, including those under pseudonyms. Hemingway readers will discern his unique voice already present in many of these pieces, particularly his knack for dialogue. It is also fascinating to discover early reportorial accounts of events and subjects that figure in his later fiction. As William White points out in his introduction to this work, "Much of it, over sixty years later, can still be read both as a record of the early twenties and as evidence of how Ernest Hemingway learned the craft of writing." The enthusiasm, wit, and skill with which these pieces were written guarantee that Dateline: Toronto will be read for pleasure, as excellent journalism, and for the insights it gives to Hemingway's works.
They are a highly readable feast, these 172 articles written by Hemingway for the Toronto Star between early 1920 and late 1924. They range from amusing sketches of everyday life in Toronto to firsthand and sometimes quite lengthly reports on the social and political scene in postwar Europe. Whether the subjects are Lloyd George's visit to Canada, the behavior of women at prize-fights, Christmas in Paris, bullfighting in Pamplona, France's political woes, Mussolini's Fascists or Toronto's young Communists, the pieces invariably exhibit Hemingway's expertise at digging out the facts, his uncanny grasp of dialogue and his shining simplicity of style. They also contain a surprisingly strong element of humor. Here is Hemingway ironically knowing, skilled in his craft and very wide awake, a literary apprentice who hardly seems an apprentice. November 18