It's books like this that make me wonder what makes a book a classic. This book reads like it was translated from Spanish. Perhaps he intended it to be that way, but it was more distracting than anything. The story itself was okay, but there was nothing I can point to that was very uplifting or depicted the indomitable human spirit. I don't understand why he decided that it was necessary to call the main character by his full name every time he was referenced not in dialog. Overall it was just a "meh" book.
An artistic masterpiece of writing. Mandatory reading /listening for Hemingway aficionados.
Note: If you're considering this title as your first exposure to Hemingway, I suggest you break into his style with a few - or all- of his earlier short stories. You won't regret it, I assure you.
wow! DO NOT BUY THIS AUDIO BOOK!!!
Unless of course, you want to read the North Korean version of it; which is what this appears to be. I'm not sure who is responsible for the castration of this "unabridged" version of the story, but I'll just say this; the censorship of this novel is an absolute atrocity of epic proportions, equivalent to a book burning. Hemingway, a literary legend, has been emasculated by whoever is responsible for this content. He chose every punctuation mark, every syllable, word, and phrase, to paint a picture, and weave a tapestry of melodic flow, drama, and passion. Why oh why, would anyone harm a single letter of this story?
Several times I stopped listening out of frustration and anger. But I continued with this version for the sake of morbid curiosity, and to fuel my rage for this review. Honestly, I am appalled, and will find out who is responsible, and file an official protest. I don't know how far I'll get, but it will be done.
I absolutely adore this story and compliments to narrator Campbell Scott; he played the parts with accent quite perfectly...I enjoyed he reading IMMENSELY.
However, please don't purchase this book. It's a travesty, really.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
It's hard to write a bad review of Hemingway based on the "legend" but this a tough listen for me. The basic story is good. I really knew nothing about the Spanish Civil war but this book made me do some research. In the end you get the idea of " and exactly what were they fighting about?" History has sort of proved that out.
The issue I had is the writing style. Its sort of odd. We would say "what do you think of me?" Hemingway writes this as "what dost thou thinkest of me? Do you think kindly upon me....."
I would rate this a book that you feel good about having listened to, but it is an ordeal. Kind of the same as having a high school teacher assign it as a required book. Probably a book you buy the monarch notes instead of reading it. You may feel the same about the audio version.
Wasn't sure what to expect from an "old" war novel... And I am completely satisfied. The psychology and attitudes and characters could exist today just as easily. Kept me interested too!
It's a personal preference, but this isn't my favorite Hemingway. I prefer the Sun Also Rises. The revolution back drop, war and this plan to blow a bridge just isn't all that appealing. In true form, all the characters are both admirable and easy to hate at the same time. I wouldn't have been able to work my way through this read, the dialog was confusing. However the Audible version was very easy to follow and made it enjoyable. If you're interested in Hemingway and thinking about this as a listen, I recommend it.
I finished this book about a month ago, and in writing this "from memory", I'm getting some interesting insight into this whole phenomenon of storytelling.
I think the most noticeable thing is now "tight" the story is, words are not wasted in creating a vibrant picture of both what's going on, and the undercurrents beneath it.
I'd call this a love story.
And a war story.
And a human story.
Good stuff. I suppose that's why writers often cite Hemingway as an example of a master of the craft of writing.
After some time I would. The narration is and the story gives you plenty of things to things about. Maybe a second listen will give additional insights to the story.
I don't read much fiction at all, so I can't really compare it to anything.
He does a good job bringing the characters to life. I'm not sure what kind of characters and inflection I would have given them in my head. He also reads the Spanish parts very convincingly. I would have just stumbled through them.
I could have listened to this all in one sitting....if that was feasible.