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A Farewell to Arms Audiobook

A Farewell to Arms

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Publisher's Summary

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1724 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Eb123 07-21-15
    Eb123 07-21-15 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    ""classic" failure"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Ernest Hemingway’s story?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last sentence because the torture was over


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Farewell to Arms?

    I would have scrapped the book entirely.


    Any additional comments?

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-29-15 Member Since 2013
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    10
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    "dry, no attachment to characters"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Ladner Succasunna, NJ United States 03-31-15
    G. Ladner Succasunna, NJ United States 03-31-15 Member Since 2013

    travel captive

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    "Boring"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john 01-31-15
    john 01-31-15
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    "Struggled to finish."

    I thought there was too much repetitive and trivial conversation. I. almost gave up on finishing the book a couple of times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teddy H. North Hollywood 01-14-15
    Teddy H. North Hollywood 01-14-15 Member Since 2013

    Avid listener. Lover of stories and story tellers!

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    "before my time?"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek McDow sacramento 11-05-12
    Derek McDow sacramento 11-05-12 Member Since 2016

    Reading books is what I live for.

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    "Consistently Monotonous"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve San Antonio, TX, United States 01-09-12
    Steve San Antonio, TX, United States 01-09-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Love Story?/War Story?"
    Would you try another book from Ernest Hemingway and/or John Slattery?

    Yes, will try another of Hemingway's books to contrast his style with different story lines


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ernest Hemingway again?

    Yes, did not enjoy this one as i was expecting more of a


    What does John Slattery bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His ability to inject the accent of each character added to the enjoyment of the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Farewell to Arms?

    Less love story would have appealed to me more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 11-27-11
    shane GRAND RAPIDS, MI, United States 11-27-11
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    "A farewell to arms"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi KILLEEN, TX, United States 11-22-11
    Heidi KILLEEN, TX, United States 11-22-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easy listening"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. E. Beatty forest, VA, United States 09-17-11
    R. E. Beatty forest, VA, United States 09-17-11 Member Since 2011

    r_e_beatty

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Hemingway"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • James
    Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom
    12/16/07
    Overall
    "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.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Corstjens
    9/6/12
    Overall
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • john
    Haddington, United Kingdom
    3/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In Another Accent"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Farewell to Arms to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator, Frederic Henry, dominates the novel. It's his take on the events he recounts.


    Which character – as performed by John Slattery – was your favourite?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is too dense a work for a single sitting. The reading makes the listener want to sit and reflect on scenes and chapters.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jytte
    Gedved, Denmark
    8/13/11
    Overall
    "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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • hans
    9/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing. One of hemingways best"

    The naration corresponded well with the storyline. The choice of narator was very good. amazing book. amazing story. i loved it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • PAUL LEONARD
    ireland
    2/25/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Debbie
    United Kingdom
    12/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dan N Smith
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A beautiful story beautifully told"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Farewell to Arms to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Farewell to Arms?

    The relationship between Henry and Barkley is subtle, beautiful and so moving.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    Rowlands Gill,, United Kingdom
    9/13/08
    Overall
    "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.

    0 of 12 people found this review helpful

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