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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

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  •  
    Jessie DALLAS, TX, United States 02-11-14
    Jessie DALLAS, TX, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dont listen to the silly reviews"
    What did you love best about For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    This book is NOT censored. It is an odd device Hemingway employs by substituting "obscenity" or "unprintable" for Spanish cuss words. Well narrated, great writing.


    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
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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
  •  
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-28-11
    Matt OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 06-28-11 Member Since 2010
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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
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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
  •  
    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
  •  
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 02-23-15
    Ian C Robertson South Australia, Australia 02-23-15 Member Since 2010

    Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.

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    "Still Wonderful"

    It must be more than thirty years since I first read this title, but it has lost none of its impact, its relevance or importance. I recall that after I first read it I went on a Hemingway bender, reading one title after the other until I made myself sick of his work! I feel like doing the same thing again (reading more Hemingway), but a bit older I think I will exercise some temperance and enjoy what I have just drunk in. I don't think the futility of war that comes through the words can ever be truly lost no matter whether your view is that this is an uplifting book (which I subscribe to) or it is a depressing one.
    As for Cameron Scott's performance, I thought it good. He captured the futility and the tension. The characterisation was ok, too. I would have liked the up-beat passages to lift a bit more (like his cinematic performance as "Tunner" in "The Sheltering Sky", perhaps), but overall he was more than just serviceable. Afterall, it is so hard to read a classic such that the voice that you hear from the narrator is the voice that was already in your head. Certainly, this reading did not offend my preconceived view of any of the characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    harry 02-19-15
    harry 02-19-15 Member Since 2014
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    "I obscenity in the milk of your fathers. DON'T BUY"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    NO ONE.


    Any additional comments?

    wow! DO NOT BUY THIS AUDIO BOOK!!!
    Unless of course, you want to read the North Korean version of it; which is what this appears to be. I'm not sure who is responsible for the castration of this "unabridged" version of the story, but I'll just say this; the censorship of this novel is an absolute atrocity of epic proportions, equivalent to a book burning. Hemingway, a literary legend, has been emasculated by whoever is responsible for this content. He chose every punctuation mark, every syllable, word, and phrase, to paint a picture, and weave a tapestry of melodic flow, drama, and passion. Why oh why, would anyone harm a single letter of this story?

    Several times I stopped listening out of frustration and anger. But I continued with this version for the sake of morbid curiosity, and to fuel my rage for this review. Honestly, I am appalled, and will find out who is responsible, and file an official protest. I don't know how far I'll get, but it will be done.

    I absolutely adore this story and compliments to narrator Campbell Scott; he played the parts with accent quite perfectly...I enjoyed he reading IMMENSELY.

    However, please don't purchase this book. It's a travesty, really.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 07-30-12
    Jack Macon, GA, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2013
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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

    Incredibly curious and love to listen.

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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
  • Showing: 21-30 of 114 results PREVIOUS123412NEXT
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  • Martin
    Poulton-le-Fylde, United Kingdom
    10/17/10
    Overall
    "For whom the bell tolls"

    I decided to try this one as I wanted to experience some of the classics that have passed me by. All I can is 'its a masterpiece' what have I been missing! I'm going through all his work now-can't get enough he's a genius. So believable, so much detail without ever being boring, so tender yet describes man's inhumanity to man so graphically yet without a hint of gratuitousness. Buy it you'l love it. The narrator is absolutely suburb and reads the work as if he has read it a thousand times and knows it intimately and thoroughly loves it, which gives the whole experience a ***** rating.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Sean
    Co. WexfordIreland
    2/3/07
    Overall
    "It Tolls For Thee"

    This is a masterpiece. So human, so true.

    There is no more to say.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Barry
    Dublin, Ireland
    2/14/12
    Overall
    "Brilliant account of Spanish Civil War"

    Just finished listening to the unabridged version of 'For whom the bell tolls'. Enjoyed the book thoroughly. Great study of the American dynamiter based in camp with the Spanish rebels. A number of the characters catch the imagination - in particular Pablo. He's not an attractive character - not trustworthy, not a team player, a drunk - and yet he plays a key role in the unfolding events. He clearly resents the presence of the young American - and yet he has a begrudging respect for some of his skills and thought processes. For much of the book it resembles a play rather than a novel - as we follow the unfolding interactions between the players based in the cave in the mountains. However eventually we move to some marvellous action scenes - as the cavalry arrive, as rebels are cut down and, finally, the taking of the bridge.

    The book is a wonderful war story - and tackles head on the conflicts, the challenges to individuals and groups, the brutality and the heroism. And Hemingway brilliantly intertwines the romance between the Spanish girl and the American hero. And thrown in through the book a great account of bullfighting, failed matadors and anti heroes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • joanne
    tarporley, United Kingdom
    9/8/11
    Overall
    "A CLASSIC BUT NOT FOR EVERYONE."

    Having never read any Hemingway before I decided it was time to be educated. For me this is by far the best way to tackle For Whom The Bell tolls because I really don't think that I would have had the staying power or necessary imagination to power through the book, however, Campbell Scott's narration brings it to life wonderfully. For other Hemingway novices though I have to add that this by no means an 'easy listen' and if you want fast moving action I wouldn't chose this (are all of Hemingway's books like this?). The layers of human relationships, action and history are built up so painfully slowly that I needed perseverance to keep going and the language is old fashioned and peculiar sounding, obviously reflecting the times and Spanish translation. Before long though I was hooked, not so my teenage son who was listening; after a 5 minute argument was narrated in minute detail he lost interest and he couldn't believe that they were still just talking about blowing the bridge up even though I'd been listening for hours.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Hampton, Middx, United Kingdom
    2/26/08
    Overall
    "Simply a classic"

    A truly powerful novel, enhanced by the author's use of an almost biblical style in translating Spanish dialogue to English. Beautifully written, and I defy the reader not to cry at the end.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • P. W. Burridge
    uk
    12/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally engrossing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls to be better than the print version?

    The narration was first class, and totally suited the characters and setting for the novel


    Which character – as performed by Campbell Scott – was your favourite?

    Robert of course


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

    Couldn't wait to put it on in the car


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    Ireland
    9/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Read this One."

    My wife happened to buy this book the same day that I downloaded it. So I have made my way through by reading it and listening to it, (though never at the same time!). To be honest the narration of this book is extremely flat. In conversation between the lead character and his love interest for instance, the narration becomes irritating in the extreme, leading the listener to wish they would just shut up and go to sleep. This does not happen when reading the book, which is a much more enjoyable experience altogether.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Troy
    thrapston, United Kingdom
    5/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "GREAT BOOK"
    If you could sum up For Whom the Bell Tolls in three words, what would they be?

    GOOD-GREAT-FANTASTIC


    What other book might you compare For Whom the Bell Tolls to, and why?

    Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Same period, same conflict. Although this is Fictional, Orwells is factual.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    To be fair I stayed riveted all the way through.


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

    who clung together in the darkness.................BEFORE A THUNDERING DAWN !!


    Any additional comments?

    GREAT READ/LISTEN. TRULY ENJOYABLE.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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