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For Whom the Bell Tolls Audiobook

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

4.2 (2779 )
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4.4 (1926 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-28-11
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'm done with Hemmingway"

    I've tried two of his audiobooks now and could not get through either one. I'm not exactly sure why his writing style disagrees with me so badly, but it does. Maybe it is the fact that he feels the need to have show his character's first and last name each time the address each other....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Gee 06-05-06
    Tim Gee 06-05-06 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 09-26-10
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 09-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    223
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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
  •  
    Marc Roy 05-15-15
    Marc Roy 05-15-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It hasn't been censored."
    Any additional comments?

    Other reviewers' complaints that the foul language has been censored is incorrect. Hemingway wrote it as it is read here. Unprintables, and foulnesses, and obscenities in the milk of, are all Hemingway.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ethan Dazelle 04-10-15 Member Since 2014

    I love books and love talking about books. Hope my reviews are helpful!

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    "Best performance on audible yet"

    Truly an outstanding performance. I enjoyed this book far more than Farewell to Arms. Frankly I don't understand why we didn't read this instead in high school.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Sigel 03-22-15
    Jeff Sigel 03-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Classic American author at his best"

    Solid Hemingway book. Sorry that publishers allowed author's words to be censored. Kind of silly in today's world of Netflix and the Internet.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 03-01-13
    Chrissie Brussels, Belgium 03-01-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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!
























    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 07-30-12
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a classic adverture/romance done well."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It is excellent fiction that carries a moral message.about how terrible war is.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pilar- She had to be strong and wise for everyone.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The end-when Roberto is telling Maria why she has to go on.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me teary in one or two places.


    Any additional comments?

    It is a candidate for " The Great American Novel " of the 20th century.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom G Montreal, Canada 04-05-12
    Tom G Montreal, Canada 04-05-12 Listener Since 2005

    Incredibly curious and love to listen.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE worst performance I have ever heard"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who has not had exposure to international accents and cultures.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I couldn't finish it to say.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Campbell Scott?

    1. Saul Reichlin2. Christopher Lane3. me


    What character would you cut from For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    None. Masterpiece.


    Any additional comments?

    The only reason I can believe it was Simon & Schuster audio that produced it is that it was done in 2006, before audiobooks really took off due to smartphones. True performers are now hired, not hacks. Mr. Scott may be a talented man, but he is not a talented reader in this particular instance. His accents are truly atrocious. A Russian sounds like a Spaniard who sounds like a first generation immigrant from Jersey. Thank the Lord that Mr. Hemingway is dead and didn't have to listen to this butchery or the bells may have tolled for Mr. Scott, who is probably a very nice man.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • Gregory
    United Kingdom
    5/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lumbers along."
    Would you try another book written by Ernest Hemingway or narrated by Campbell Scott?

    No.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Dead pan ending...sort of dead pan all the way through for me.


    What aspect of Campbell Scott’s performance might you have changed?

    would like to try Hemingway narrated by an Englishmen.


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Len
    Moss, Norway
    2/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Descriptive Masterpiece"
    What made the experience of listening to For Whom the Bell Tolls the most enjoyable?

    Almost being there


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Old Man


    Have you listened to any of Campbell Scott’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    First I have listened to


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Illustrates well that Civil War is Never Civil


    Any additional comments?

    Read the Book, then see the film.

    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
  • Sarah
    darlington, United Kingdom
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'd just watch the film"
    Would you try another book written by Ernest Hemingway or narrated by Campbell Scott?

    I have already tried other Hemingway books on audible, but I'm not being very successful. This I'd the first one I haven't finished.


    What was most disappointing about Ernest Hemingway’s story?

    It was so slow and boring. I got very fed up with the way he writes. I know he is supposed to have honed the language to make it sparse, but he seemed to use the same phrases over and over. I can't tell you about the story - I think they were still lying in the camp the last time I listened.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Campbell Scott’s performances?

    I haven't checked if he was the same narrator in the other Hemingway books, but I will actively avoid him.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I wish I could say it did. It must have some sort of story or they wouldn't have made a film of it. On the other hand the film of To Have And Have Not, with Humphrey Bogart was nothing like the book.


    Any additional comments?

    How can a book about civil war, and a explosives expert lack so much? Or should I have hung on for them to blow up the train or the bridge or whatever it was before I gave in?

    0 of 1 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 1 people found this review helpful

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