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.
I think John Slattery does a great job on this book. First, I have to admit that I first read this novel more than 40 years ago and didn't pick it up again until now. It was the first adult novel that I ever read voluntarily (by adult I mean not The Hardy Boys, etc.). I still like it even though I still remember how it ends. Second, I'm a fan of Slattery from MadMen and many other shows and movies. In this book, he often uses an Italian accent with an ease that makes me think he must have spent a few years there. He also uses at least 4 other accents at various times. It is not at all difficult to "see" Slattery as a young Hemingway during WW 1. One problem I have with Hemingway is keeping track of who is talking during long dialogues. Slattery succeeds most of the time even though I'm driving while listening. I do worry that "The Sun Also Rises" will defeat me as it did when I tried to read it as my second Hemingway.
I wasn't even able to get through the book. It was as if someone digitized a single mic recording of a record playing at a great distance. The narrators wasn't very good anyway. Very bummed.
The accents used throughout the book made it the most enjoyable book I've listened to so far!!
I got lucky and selected "For Whom the Bell Tolls" to listen to before this book. Had I picked "A Farewell to Arms" first, it is unlikely I would have ever selected FWTBT. This book is as bad as FWTBT is great. Everything great about FWTBT is missing from this book, all the way down the the narrarator, who is at least partly responsible for ruining this book. There is barely a story line, and even less character development.The dialog is plodding, and the visual imagry is barren. I'm not a literature scholar, but I can't see why this book is considered written art. I so loved "For Whom the Bell Tolls", I was astonished Hemingway could write this clunker. Chose something else.
I had already read this years ago, but when I saw who was narrating I definitely thought it was worth my time to reread this classic with a great actor with a very appropriate voice narrating. I was not disappointed. Definitely warranted the 'performed by' label without the over the top feeling.
I finally gave up on reading this I tried downloading and listening on the cloud but, every it consistently kept skipping. I tried to follow it as long as I could but, finally gave up. Too bad I really love Ernest Hemmingway and want to read all his novels.
Not sure but, he was not the best. Too monotone
This is the second book I have tried listening to where the playback was so poor I gave up.
Narrator had great accents, but would let his voice fall at the end of sentences for dramatic effect. Or if the characters were whispering, putting the book at full volume still made me strain to hear. I'm 23.
Interested in bicycles, airplanes, SCUBA diving and navigating life.
The vocal performance by John Slattery was the best I've heard, and well suited to the material. I'd wanted to read this for some time and put it off, because war. I only decided to buy it because it was an opportunity to have Roger Sterling read me a bedtime story. I quickly got hooked and even listened during workouts. So much goes unsaid in this heartbreaking work, which made the emotional ending hit me like a freight train in the night.
"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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