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.
"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)
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....
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love books and love talking about books. Hope my reviews are helpful!
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.
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.
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!
Yes. It is excellent fiction that carries a moral message.about how terrible war is.
Pilar- She had to be strong and wise for everyone.
The end-when Roberto is telling Maria why she has to go on.
It made me teary in one or two places.
It is a candidate for " The Great American Novel " of the 20th century.
Incredibly curious and love to listen.
Someone who has not had exposure to international accents and cultures.
I couldn't finish it to say.
1. Saul Reichlin2. Christopher Lane3. me
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.
Dead pan ending...sort of dead pan all the way through for me.
would like to try Hemingway narrated by an Englishmen.
Almost being there
The Old Man
First I have listened to
Illustrates well that Civil War is Never Civil
Read the Book, then see the film.
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.
"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...
"I'd just watch the film"
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.
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.
I haven't checked if he was the same narrator in the other Hemingway books, but I will actively avoid him.
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.
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?
"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.
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