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For Whom the Bell Tolls | [Ernest Hemingway]

For Whom the Bell Tolls

In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.
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Publisher's Summary

In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight", For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise.

"If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it." Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.

©1952 Ernest Hemingway; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This is the best book Ernest Hemingway has written, the fullest, the deepest, the truest. It will, I think, be one of the major novels in American literature." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1377 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gary Boylston, MA, United States 04-06-12
    Gary Boylston, MA, United States 04-06-12 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful and stimulating experience"

    My second Hemingway in a month in a life that previously had ignored this great man. Lovely performance by Mr Scott. I guess that's in his genes.

    Because of this book I have been to Wikipedia so many times, from articles on the Spanish Civil War, to the page dedicated to Spanish profanity. When you listen, you 'll see why. This book is entertains and moves you, but also broadens you knowledge of world history. What more could you ask for? I thought about the famous Chapter 10 for days afterward.

    Now I am moving on to The Old Man and the Sea.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin San Marcos, CA, USA 06-04-07
    Benjamin San Marcos, CA, USA 06-04-07
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    "Very satisfied"

    This was my first experience with an audio book, and I was impressed. Having never read this classic, I figured a long driving trip would be a perfect opportunity to try audible.com's offering. The reader amazed me with his ability to use foreign accents and different voice tones -- acting out the various characters. Without question, this was worth the money. I will surely buy other audio books in the near future.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vida T. Yancy Shreveport, LA United States 03-15-10
    Vida T. Yancy Shreveport, LA United States 03-15-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Obsenity thee"

    What a good book with a great narrator. Why edit the curse words? It is a huge distraction and is not true to an "undabridged version"!

    19 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 03-01-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 03-01-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Choose another Hemingway instead"

    Hemingway uses special "literary techniques" in "For whom the Bell Tolls" that rather than enhancing the reading experience detract from it. Please see the list below. The ending is totally soppy. You learn nothing about the Spanish Civil War, and a better explanation for why Robert Jordan decided to fight with the Republicans should have been given. The scenes depicting physical attraction were bland and insipid. Some dislike the macho behavior of Hemingway's characters, but this doesn't bother me. I see it as typical of the times, and Pilar is the best character of this novel. She is a strong, intelligent, no-nonsense woman! What remains undeniably true though is that Hemingway can draw a scene so you see, hear, smell and feel it in your pores. It is interesting to see what goes through a soldier's mind, but there is so much wrong with this book I cannot justify a better rating.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with Scott Campbell's narration, except that a few bomb blasts fell flat. Even a good narrator cannot save a bad book.

    May I suggest A Farewell to Arms instead?!


    ************************

    Through chapter 7:
    This is what is bugging me:
    1. The dialogs are NOT in the least believable. None of them.
    2. Swear words are replaced with "unprintable word" or "obscenity". This is ridiculous and disrupts the prose! "F*/k you" will be written, "obscenity you", for example. Crazy! Hemingway wrote the book this way; it has not been censored later.
    3. In the 30s people did not speak with the terms "thy", "thee", "thou art". This is driving me nuts. WHY has Hemingway done this?
    (Answer: In Spanish there are different forms of pronouns that show the relationship between the people talking. Since the characters were speaking in Spanish, Hemingway wished to provide this information even in English.)
    4. Robert Jordan is holier than "thou" (:0)), and it drives me crazy. SUCH a perfect soldier with SUCH motivation, and he is SO devoted to his job.
    5. To top it all off the love between Maria and Robert Jordan jumps out of nowhere. The same day they meet they are in bed, no, actually a sleeping bag, and then she says in one of those above mentioned dialogs that she doesn't know how to kiss. Jeez! (OK, if one is a little patient an explanation is given.)
    6. And what is this with calling Robert Jordan Robert Jordan?. Everyone else goes by one name, usually a nickname!
























    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia Laramie, WY, United States 09-10-12
    Marcia Laramie, WY, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "There's better out there."

    Perhaps a different narrator would have made a difference. I've enjoyed Campbell Scott's performances in the past. This time he sounds completely different, uninterested and in need of a cup of coffee. It's a short read in print or find a different narrator. Reading took away from the story so I can't give it more stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ, United States 01-31-12
    Janice NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ, United States 01-31-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Worth Listening To"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I did not enjoy listening to this book. The story line kept me interested but the narrator made me want to shut it off more than once. Not a very pleasant experience, especially considering this is Hemingway!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Can't really tell.


    What didn’t you like about Campbell Scott’s performance?

    Monotone voice. Didn't bring the characters to life.


    Did For Whom the Bell Tolls inspire you to do anything?

    Yes. Think twice about purchasing books narrated by Mr. Scott. Sorry.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Cary, NC, USA 06-05-06
    Timothy Cary, NC, USA 06-05-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Destined to be a Classic!"

    Having not done any Hemmingway since I had to in
    High School (40 years ago), this was a incredible experience. The 16 hours flew by. Great presentation.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
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    "Masculine lit"

    Hemingway has a way with turning a typically feminine way of introspective storytelling into a novel brimming with testosterone. Unlike modern adventure writers like Jack Higgins and Tom Clancy, Hemingway creates a real world both physically and emotionally. Similar events occur-- guns, murder, sex, bombs, heroism, treachery-- but here I feel like I lived it, whereas with others I feel like I watched a movie. And, as I have found is so critical with audio, the interpretive reading is very good.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 09-26-10
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 09-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
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    "Amazing"

    I've listened to this audiobook literally 50 times since I first bought it. The story, itself, is already amazing but they did a superb job on the audio. This book will show you what its like to be a real man instead of someone with a faux hawk who walks around a mall text-messaging and trying to hook up with cougar moms all day. Every boy should be forced to read this at age 21 and when he's done, should be punched in the face.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Austin, TX, United States 08-24-13
    Kevin Austin, TX, United States 08-24-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious"
    What would have made For Whom the Bell Tolls better?

    The induction of Brevity


    What could Ernest Hemingway have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More editing


    Which scene was your favorite?

    those involving action


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    disappointment


    Any additional comments?

    Campbell Scott did a good job of narrating a bloated dialogue. I drive for a living and found that I missed whole passages to daydreaming because of the lack of action in this book. Internalized dialogue is quite frankly boring and this book is mostly that. I like Hemingway, one of my favorites is the Sun Also Rises, but I chose poorly in this instance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 82 results PREVIOUS1239NEXT
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  • Jordan McClements
    Northern Ireland
    3/2/13
    Overall
    "Long..."

    I'm struggling to get through this book.

    It's not terrible, but I can't really warm to it in the same way I did with The Old Man And The Sea. I think it is partly because the narrator of latter was absolutely incredible, and the narrator of this one is just fairly good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mercadier
    Plymouth, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Spanish War novel is excellent value."

    Hemingway was well known for his interest in bullfighting, Spain and war and all of these are in the novel. The story is set in the Spanish hills and it follows a young American adventurer, Robert Jordan, who has volunteered to fight with the Spanish guerillas. The narrator was well-suited to the lead-role and after listening to this book as many times as I have, it is difficult to imagine anyone else portraying him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • christian
    POISSY, France
    10/2/12
    Overall
    "Strangely mesmerising"

    This is one of the classics everyone has heard of, but I had not read it. The audiobook is excellent, the narrator does a great job, and the story, though it evolves slowly by today's standards, is gripping, specially if you are interested in the Spanish Civil War. Apart from the hero and his band, bit player characters on the sidelines, based on real-life protagonists of the War, can be seen: Andre Marty, Karkhov alias Kolstov, etc... As the book progresses towards its conclusion, things become more tense, fraught with danger, and one comes to realize that Hemingway "invented" some of the writing techniques commonly used today in thrillers. I recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ian
    Burntisland, United Kingdom
    4/12/12
    Overall
    "Who is Thee?"

    The narration is a little dull, as is the story. There is something strangely captivating about it, despite all that and the characters have an almost unlimited depth to them, but it's not the most colourful book I've listened to...

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-14 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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