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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 (1851 )
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4.3 (1091 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Arielle 03-04-13
    Arielle 03-04-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Words on Love and War"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend! This book is so easy to get lost in! Campbell Scott's voice is soothing as Robert Jordan. He is comical as the gypsy. There is not a whole lot of story (the book takes place over the course of 3 days), but what story there is, is rich.


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

    For Whom the Bell Tolls is a typical classic and tragic tale. Because of the timeline, maybe I would compare it to All My Sons by Arthur Miller. As for the rest of the story--it is familiar, but I can't quite put my finger on a definite comparison.


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

    I have not listened to any other Campbell Scott narrations, but I would like to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were many moments that moved me, but the very end of the book moved me the most. It was all the notes and tidbits on life and death and duty and what makes a good life.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to listen to this book again from the beginning the instant it ended. I LOVED it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard 02-20-13
    Richard 02-20-13
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    "Gripping and Iconic"
    Would you listen to For Whom the Bell Tolls again? Why?

    Yes: The storyline and character development is classic Hemingway, truly ageless. It easily transports one back to four tragic days in the mountains during the Spanish Civil War. Recounted through the great channel of one of America's best-ever authors, the tale becomes almost telepathic in its raw power. I found no point at which the story bogged down. Though many of us have read this long ago, to hear the book again in such fine narration was pure pleasure.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    The pinnacle of plot resolution at the very end.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Some of the interpersonal omteraction scenes between the main characters, especially the carefree "Gypsy".


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely


    Any additional comments?

    I'll start listening to everything in Audible's offerings concerning Hemingway's epic works. It was hard not to give this one carte blanche five stars all the way across, so I docked one star from the Story section only because the plot was a bit oddly resolved in a certain manner which I won't reveal here in order to keep the element of surprise fresh for others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff abingdon, MD, United States 02-13-13
    Jeff abingdon, MD, United States 02-13-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Fantastically Read"
    Would you listen to For Whom the Bell Tolls again? Why?

    I first read this novel when I was in my early 20's, and have long since wanted to find the time to reread it. Never having enough time for myself I decided to go with the audiobook, great decision! The narrator did an excellent job of reading this fantastic novel and I couldn't recommend it enough!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 02-12-13
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011

    Simple Joe

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    "A classic, but Grim as Hell"
    Would you consider the audio edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the book, so I don't have any idea.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character, whatever his name was, the American.


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

    The main bandit, I think his name was Pedro. He captures the attitude perfectly and the character really comes to life


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

    It did make me feel a sense of how futile and stupid war can be. Maybe it's because the good guys are Marxists and somehow the bad guys are worse. It's like you want both sides to lose, but the Marxists are portrayed as the good guys so you want them to win but you also know they do end up losing the war as a matter of historical fact.


    Any additional comments?

    A rather long book that spans a rather short period of time, something like 3 days and the only thing that really happens is the plans to blow up a bridge. I'm not disappointed though. I find that I can't read Hemmingway books back to back, I have to intersperse them with other more cheerful stuff. This is grim manly stuff, and I guess with a name like "For Whom the Bell Tolls" what was I expecting anyway. It makes you think a lot about yourself. This book is a true classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    netanya cambridge, MA, United States 12-20-12
    netanya cambridge, MA, United States 12-20-12
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    "Fantastic"
    What made the experience of listening to For Whom the Bell Tolls the most enjoyable?

    The narrator has the perfect voice for this story. I am not usually a fan of war stories, or a huge fan of romance, but this audio book was excellent and I would highly recommend it.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    The ending. I won't spoil it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bill Allyn, Washington, United States 12-12-12
    bill Allyn, Washington, United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent story and writing"

    Hemingway at his best
    Character development slow
    I felt I knew many of the people in a way that many books do not accomplish.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hendrik Pretoria, South Africa 12-05-12
    Hendrik Pretoria, South Africa 12-05-12 Member Since 2015
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    "It is art!"

    People sometimes wonder what the difference is between novels and literature. Read Hemingway and this becomes clear. While following an enjoyable story-line as in a novel, the detailed descriptions of thoughts, emotions, and physical as well as socio-political environments set it apart. Add to that forryas into philosophy, religious thinking in respect of warfare and killing, intricate inter-personal relationships between characters that are not one-sided and the gap is widened. Lastly, explore the indivudual human's desire for love and acceptance and fear of death and you have literature. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good modern novel, but listening to a classic is a unique experience. The performance was great, and I can still hear Pablo saying to Robert Jordan: "Inglais" long after I have finished the audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 11-28-12
    Travis MANASSAS, VA, United States 11-28-12
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    "Great Narrator"

    Hemingway is a fantastic writer and it's easy to see by the story why this book is a classic. The narrator does a good job of staying almost stoic, yet interesting to listen to. He doesn't get 'campy' with the characters' voices and remains easy to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan 11-02-12
    Alan 11-02-12
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    "Stunning."

    I somehow never had read this book though I'd heard of it since my youth, and always had some other idea about it. WHAT A STORY!!!! What writing! I'll definitely listen to it again, once it's settled.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Majd VANCOUVER, WA, United States 10-21-12
    Majd VANCOUVER, WA, United States 10-21-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent view of the Spanish civil war!"

    The story was simple but great love story in the middle of the Spanish civil war. It depicts the horrors of a civil guerrilla war. Listeners are encouraged to read a synopsis about the Spanish civil war on wikipedia or other source to learn about the different factions of that wars before listening to the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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