A group of ex-patriots go out drinking in Paris and San Sebastian sometime after WWI but before the Great Depression. Jake, a journalist and classic Hemingway bad-ass tough guy catch-fish-with-his-bare-hands character, once had/still secretly does have a thing for Bret Ashley, a somewhat shallow yet entirely human British aristocrat who is basically a tease to every man she meets. All they and their cohorts seem to do is get drunk in cafés, an activity that culminates in a week-long bull fighting fiesta in Northern Spain.
The novel, like every other Hemingway, is written in a really simple, natural style, but is never lacking in depth or characterization or description or anything else that makes a great novel great. I personally liked The Old Man and the Sea better, but that's probably because I just don't understand this generation at all. They don't really do anything. It actually reminds me of some of my friends who just go to the same bars with the same people week after week after week and never do anything exciting or unique. Except in this novel the people were doing stuff... fishing, bull fighting, traveling, but they were still incredibly jaded.
I'd read The Sun Also Rises over The Great Gatsby for sure. Plus, Hemingway could kick Fitzgerald's ass if it came down to it. Solid B+