Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto, of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized, is one of the greatest moments in literary history.
A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.
©1929 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed ©1957 Ernest Hemingway; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
The narrator of this book was incredible, reading nice and clear while giving the characters the accent of their native land. As much as I hate to say this about a book, the reader was the best part of this experience. It was really a shame that someone with his talent wasted over 8 hours of reading on something this bland.
If I had to choose, I'd pick the drunken robots Hemingway chose for his characters. They're all bland spoken drunks who all seem to have the same conversation over and over.
The last sentence because the torture was over
I would have scrapped the book entirely.
The only thing that could make this a classic is its age. I'd rather read a dictionary for a story. This "story" had a slow progression only because Hemingway repeated details of the least importance constantly. He probably cared more about getting paid by the word than making a good story. The romance was unappealing and somewhat sexist. The first paragraph of this book is the same sentence repeated in a different way. Despite being in a war, there was no action. When people are killed the tone remains the same. I felt nothing towards any part of this book. Biggest waste of time. -10/10
the first book of Hemingways that I have listened to. the narration is very good, which is why I stuck with it. but the story ran dry and felt no connection with the characters.
I loved For whom the Bell Tolls, so I was surprised at how dull and boring the story was here. And the performance made it hard for me to think these two cared much for each other at all. Disappointed.
Avid listener. Lover of stories and story tellers!
Can't say this was up my alley. I'm sure at the time it was written and for people who lived through the war, and for people who experienced Hemingway as he entered onto the scene, this book stood out as phenomenal. But having grown up long past the time that this book saw it's hay day, I have to say I found it kind of boring. I suppose I have no context in which to appreciate it, but, well, that is my experience.
That being said, I made it through this book. I absorbed a lot of really great moments that are scattered throughout it, and I came to a better understanding of what makes hemingway a great writer, but I would give most of the credit for this to narrator John Slattery, who made long conversations, or even longer description of day to day nothings enjoyable to listen to, simply because listening to him speak is so enjoyable. His easy going delivery, and charming characterizations, his skill in choosing which sentences were important and which to throw away, made this book for me. I will, perhaps, give it one more listen sometime down the road.
Reading books is what I live for.
Unfortunately (at least for me), Farewell to Arms is more of a readerly notch in the belt, a tick off the "to-read" list than a compelling and sustaining novel. Being a long-time Hemingway devotee and having read all of his other novels, I have to say Farewell to Arms is his weakest. That said, I still endorse reading it.
In addition to Papa's slow-plodding narrative, John Slattery doesn't do justice to the handful of high-tense moments in the story. Slattery's pace remains painfully consistent despite the obvious head-over-heals moments. In those highly charged scenes I had to actually pause the audio version, locate the spot in the physical text and read it manually to capture the quicker flow and rhythm. (For an example: listen to the mortar-shelling scene to get the idea.) Further, Slattery reads all of the characters with the same Italian tone and accent--men and women, alike. I can usually ignore this petty grievance but in this particular case the monotonous and repetitive characterizations were unavoidably annoying.
Yes, will try another of Hemingway's books to contrast his style with different story lines
Yes, did not enjoy this one as i was expecting more of a
His ability to inject the accent of each character added to the enjoyment of the story.
Less love story would have appealed to me more.
This is a love story. It does have good scenes of war from time to time but as a whole this is a love story. Personally I was hoping for more of the war side of things but I did enjoy the presentation of the characters and the overall plot of the book. It was well writen and well read. I would recomened it.
I liked the reader. He didn't drone me to sleep. It was very easy to listen along and he read at just the right pace. And his voice isn't obnoxious.
This is a classic tale of love and loss during WWI, and a must read (listen) for any fan of American literature. Slattery does an excellent job of reading the story.
"Farewell to a good listen"
A great book damaged by poor reading. The monotonous narration leaves this lifeless. Conversations are particularly dead. A disappointment.
The experience has taught me to listen to the preview of each download now.
"Narrator performs book"
For many chapters I couldn't get over the impression that this was a take-off of Hemmingway's style. The 'Janet and John' style, as it sounds to UK listeners (of a certain age). But, Hemmingway builds his characters from conversation - the way they talk - and this narrator almost converts the book to a play at some points. I loved the conversation (soliloquy, since the narrator is talking to himself) where he asks himself 'what if his lover/girlfriend dies (in childbirth)'. I can't imagine how it would look on a page - but played by this actor... really something.
"In Another Accent"
John Slattery does a fine job narrating Hemingway's classic novel. He gets the balance between the hard-bitten laconic tone of the narrative, from the terse war reflections to the suppressed pain at the end. He negotiates the accents (American, Italian, English, Scottish, Swiss) convincingly. I read the text alongside the audio and I thought Slattery's reading brought out tones and inflections I might have missed on the page.
The narrator, Frederic Henry, dominates the novel. It's his take on the events he recounts.
In addition to Henry's narrative voice, I liked the way Slattery realised the Italian characters. He did not resort to the stereotype caricatures that an inferior reader might have attempted in order to play to the gallery.
It is too dense a work for a single sitting. The reading makes the listener want to sit and reflect on scenes and chapters.
One of Hemingway's enduring qualities is that he writes on the page the way his narrators would speak. There are several good readings available. William Hurt's reading of The Sun Also Rises is top quality. Stacy Keach's readings of the short stories are excellent. It's a pity that Alexander Scourby's readings of the stories appear to be out of the catalogue, but you can still enjoy his reading of The Great Gatsby, which is masterly. John Slattery's reading of A Farewell To Arms is in the same league.
"No one besides Hemingway"
It's so wonderful to listen to this novel. You hear every word, every tone - when you read you can miss a lot. John Slattery gives life to the - on the surface - subdued lovestory. On my Top Ten!
"Darling it pains me!!!!"
I kept waiting for this story to take off but it repeated words and sentences continually . With the praise so high and the legendary status of Hemingway I am so disappointed .
I would recommend that this is not used to waste your time. There are many many books old and new that give you amazing journeys across war torn Europe with characters that have depth .
I am truly disappointed.
"Dull dull dull"
Have tried to like this story after visiting Hemingway House and feeling like I must be missing the point. Clearly I have missed the point. It's a long and quite dull tale within which not much happens for a very long time, and the narrator's voice lulls me to sleep. Not great for a driving companion! So, have given up. Some things are not meant to be.
"A beautiful story beautifully told"
John Slattery's portrayal of an american medic serving with the Italian infantry in WW2 is just so lovely. He inhabits the Hemingway character perfectly. I was so hooked I barely stopped listening from start to finish.
The relationship between Henry and Barkley is subtle, beautiful and so moving.
"This one has legs?but not wings"
The myth of Hemingway the man and the Boy?s Own nature of his subject-matter sometimes obscures the reader?s ability to evaluate his style and the quality of his prose. I remember years ago his short staccato style being described as having the purity of a clean mountain stream. He is primarily a story teller and does this by retreating as a writer and hiding behind the scenery delivering enough words to get us quickly through the plot. And it is the plot that is the point.
Interesting enough as a story, but the price paid is evident in the interplay between Lieutenant Frederic Henry and Catherine Barkley which remains two dimensional.
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