I'd read the earlier Hemingway novels a long time ago and in memory, after a while Hemingway's writing style seemed a parody of itself. But I thought My Old Man quite perfect; the spareness of the style ideally suited to this story of loss and innocence corrupted, an expression of the zeitgeist of its time but also universal. My heart broke for Joe even as he started developing the callous that was going to let him survive, orphaned, in a crooked world. Also notable is how Hemingway was able to evoke the world of European horse racing with such economy. It's a gem.
And given that, I can't resist sharing that when I googled for links to the story I came across one to the tv movie version from the late 70s, staring Kristy MacNichol as "Jo," I kid you not. About equal measures of funny and painful to contemplate!
Next up for me is A Moveable Feast which is on my library stack.