I've never read anything from Hemingway but this was fantastic. His discriptions are so specific you can hear the water running, see the snow falling and feel the warmth of the fire. You love or hate his characters because he does such a wonderful job of building their personalities. Can't wait to start my next book.
Perhaps a different narrator would have made a difference. I've enjoyed Campbell Scott's performances in the past. This time he sounds completely different, uninterested and in need of a cup of coffee. It's a short read in print or find a different narrator. Reading took away from the story so I can't give it more stars.
Everyone has a different concept of what makes great literature. For at least one friend of mine it has a lot to do with the use of literary devices and surprising twists. That's fine, but I think to be great literature, you have to start with a great story. Without a satisfying and sensible story, you've got nothing no matter how cleverly the story is constructed.
Fortunately, For Whom the Bell Tolls is, in my books, great literature. It is a compelling war story and it is superbly told (and very well narrated as well).
It is the story of an American who volunteers to fight in the Spanish Civil War against the fascists and with (are you sitting down, my American friends?) the communists. He is assigned a very difficult mission and faces serious challenges created by a key member of his team, among other causes. The story takes place over a couple of days, but there is a lot of drama and genuine-feeling emotion packed into those days. I don't want to spoil the story, so I'll stop there.
If you want to read a great war story and enjoy some great writing, look no further! I really enjoyed it, as have generations before me have and as generations after me will. Don't miss out.
This book is NOT censored. It is an odd device Hemingway employs by substituting "obscenity" or "unprintable" for Spanish cuss words. Well narrated, great writing.
The induction of Brevity
those involving action
Campbell Scott did a good job of narrating a bloated dialogue. I drive for a living and found that I missed whole passages to daydreaming because of the lack of action in this book. Internalized dialogue is quite frankly boring and this book is mostly that. I like Hemingway, one of my favorites is the Sun Also Rises, but I chose poorly in this instance.
I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.
My second Hemingway in a month in a life that previously had ignored this great man. Lovely performance by Mr Scott. I guess that's in his genes.
Because of this book I have been to Wikipedia so many times, from articles on the Spanish Civil War, to the page dedicated to Spanish profanity. When you listen, you 'll see why. This book is entertains and moves you, but also broadens you knowledge of world history. What more could you ask for? I thought about the famous Chapter 10 for days afterward.
Now I am moving on to The Old Man and the Sea.
This was my first experience with an audio book, and I was impressed. Having never read this classic, I figured a long driving trip would be a perfect opportunity to try audible.com's offering. The reader amazed me with his ability to use foreign accents and different voice tones -- acting out the various characters. Without question, this was worth the money. I will surely buy other audio books in the near future.
Other reviewers' complaints that the foul language has been censored is incorrect. Hemingway wrote it as it is read here. Unprintables, and foulnesses, and obscenities in the milk of, are all Hemingway.
Mountainbiker, Skier, Riverman, Dzedo, Pizzaiolo
I first read this book in high school in the late 60s. In re reading/listening recently, it came across as very musty and dated. It was published during WWII. EH pushed the limits of what was permissible in terms of writing about sexuality and the use of profanity. (He apparently could more freely write about war and violence.) There's a lot of sex, violence and profanity in the book and none of it seems gratuitous. But the contrivances that EH was forced to employ - these seemed artificial and diminished what is otherwise a very powerful read. FWBT is very strong but is also sappy and chauvinistic. I would recommend it as THE Hemingway book to read in order to glimpse why EH is at once considered one of our most accomplished writers but also one of our most ridiculed. It is not his best book but I know of no other book of his that so well reveals his unique strengths along with his weaknesses. A must read for anyone interested in EH, which is anyone interested in American literature. Finally, Campbell Scott is a very good narrator. Hope he does more audiobooks.