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.
Really a great story from really a great narrator. If it was truly unabridged, I would unhesitatingly go for five stars. However, all of the profanity is omitted. There is a silent gap where Hemingway intended a profane word. Hemingway chose his words carefully and he used profanity to make a point about World War I. Of another of his works, Hemingway said "I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred."
The censorship is conspicuous and, in the case of the retreat chapter, it compromises the narrative. It is a lie to call this audiobook "unabridged." Audible needs to either respect Hemingway's work, or re-categorize this audiobook as abridged.
Amazingly, this is the edited version (curse words removed). As I understand it, that's how it was published originally, yet it's still a bizarre choice for today's audio version.
Audible Member Since 2003
While a very good book, not my favorite of Hemingway novels. Written in classic Hemingway prose, with very mundanely realistic dialogues, it was the story itself that I did not love. This is purely a personal opinion, but I found the narrative dragged at times.
Excellent reader, easy to listen to.
I would suggest to anyone considering listening to Hemingway on Audible, that you might be better served with THE SUN ALSO RISES or FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.
This book is a classic and has been reviewed by many more qualified than me. I will address the narration. I was impressed with the narrator's ability to manage the many voices while using great expression to give the story greater life. An excellent listen:)
I am relatively new to Hemingway. I had read all the criticisms of Hemingway particularly by journalists over the years, and since they said he wrote using simple words I did not bother with him.
They said Hemingway was too concerned with being macho, well this story tells one sweetest stories I have read, and the macho thing is a silly remark to have been made.
The reader was very good and I was taken with his ability to do various Italian accents so clearly, along with his other characterizations.
What a wonderful and tender story, and the characters I understood as if they were real.
Hemingway's character portrayals are remarkable because they seem like you really knew these people.
I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Of course this is a wonderful, affecting novel, and I am enjoying listening to it. But this narrator! What a wonderful performance! He has the perfect delivery for Frederic Henry, capturing the character with his voice, timing, and inflection. Slattery switches between accents and genders without missing a beat. I can lose myself in the narrative and dialogue, thinking that the characters are real and speaking to me.
This always remarkable book comes alive with this reading. I love audio books for their convenience and I get through many more books in audio format than I do with physical books. Comparing what I get from sitting in a chair reading to listening to a book generally is a toss up for me often with reading the book getting a slight edge. But once in a while the audio format far exceeds the page turning experience. This book is a perfect example of how well audio books can be done.
This is my favorite book ever, and I was excited to see that they finally made an audiobook of it. Aside from the story, which we know is already a classic, the reading job is top knotch on this. The reader does good Italian, Irish, English, and Austrian accents. I thoroughly enjoyed this.
simply the Hemingway Experience at its best. the performance is outstanding. I listened to the book twice. Thank You for putting this book together with sound! WHAT A TRIP!!!
I was not a Hemingway fan, but wanted to listen to one of his books. I chose this one because it was medium in length (compared to others). It is one of the audio books that you find yourself listening to any time you can. It's a terrific story, extremely well narrated and the story is not so obvious that you know what's about to happen next. This was so well done I decided to get For whom the bell tolls to continue exploring Hemingway. You will enjoy this book.
"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.
"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!
"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.
"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.
"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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