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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

4.2 (1537 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Timothy Cary, NC, USA 06-05-06
    Timothy Cary, NC, USA 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
  •  
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
    Christopher Hamtramck, MI, USA 09-01-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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.


    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.

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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
  •  
    Jane 07-16-09
    Jane 07-16-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great narration and story"

    This is my first Hemingway book (read or listened to) and I can definitely say I will be back. It took me away to another world with real people and real humanity. I was so sorry to come to the end.

    Campbell Scott's narration was impressive in its variety for the different characters and the consistency. I want to hear more of his books.

    The story grabbed me from the beginning and held me the whole way through. I could not wait to listen again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 07-02-09
    Michael 07-02-09

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very well done."

    A classic indeed. Lovely to listen to, and an epic story that leaves you feeling like you have lived the book. I loved it. Will listen to it again soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronan new york, NY, USA 04-14-09
    Ronan new york, NY, USA 04-14-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Classic by a Master"

    a timeless story enjoyable for every generation

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J 04-07-09
    J 04-07-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story, fantastic narrator"

    I wish Campbell Scott would read more Hemmingway, he is the perfect fit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Walled Lake, MI, USA 01-08-07
    Tim Walled Lake, MI, USA 01-08-07 Member Since 2012
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    "Great"

    I have found Hemmingway to be rather dark and depressing. While not giving away the ending, this one is not far afield. But the richness of the story makes up for it. I was also impressed with the richness of the Spanish language here, and the reader enhanced the affect. Hemmingway did a great job of getting into the individual's heads. Excellent experience.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Connelly Philadelphia, PA 10-01-06
    H. Connelly Philadelphia, PA 10-01-06 Member Since 2004

    Mojo Risen

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, not Great"

    I was very surpirsed that this book seems to be considered the ultimate achievement for Hemingway by the "experts." His digressions into a character's background did not further develop each character for me, it was just another delay in getting to the conclusion. The main story here is very simple and straightforward with no surprises. It appeared to me that he took a high quality short story and stretched it into a novel and in the process converted a possibly shorter, great book into a longer, good one. I think I'm done with Hemingway, Farewell to Arms was much better than this one because the underlying story was deeper.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
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