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 finished this book about a month ago, and in writing this "from memory", I'm getting some interesting insight into this whole phenomenon of storytelling.
I think the most noticeable thing is now "tight" the story is, words are not wasted in creating a vibrant picture of both what's going on, and the undercurrents beneath it.
I'd call this a love story.
And a war story.
And a human story.
Good stuff. I suppose that's why writers often cite Hemingway as an example of a master of the craft of writing.
After some time I would. The narration is and the story gives you plenty of things to things about. Maybe a second listen will give additional insights to the story.
I don't read much fiction at all, so I can't really compare it to anything.
He does a good job bringing the characters to life. I'm not sure what kind of characters and inflection I would have given them in my head. He also reads the Spanish parts very convincingly. I would have just stumbled through them.
I could have listened to this all in one sitting....if that was feasible.
Not sure. I do not have the time to "read" many books so audio works best for me.
As the Sun Also Rises
I had listened to The Sun Also Rises and thought "Well, that was boring and pointless". For Whom The Bell Tolls made me want to read some more of Hemingway's works. It's poignant and you believe these are real people the events are happening to, not stock characters.
An engaging and realistic story that takes you to another place and another time in another person's mind.
Main character's inner dialogues
Good narrative voice that's not mine, and a steady pace.
Some of the characters' voices were not quite distinguishable from each other enough, however, especially as compared to some audible books where I didn't even need to hear the "so-and-so said" because I knew the voice.
No because it gets intense at times and can be heavy to contemplate at other times.
The book is a classic, and it does seem to ramble at times, but several of the sequences - Pillar's story about how Pablo sent the fascists through a gauntlet, Robert Jordan's experience with the leaders in Madrid, What death smells like, and Andress' race to Goetz - are so technically perfect and well-delivered, that it is hard to argue with the obvious - that Hemingway truly was one of the greatest storytellers of all time.
Scott did a great job. His narrator was even and stark, his Spaniards were accented, but not overly so. Much better than John Slattery's reading of "A Farewell to Arms" (who, despite being a great actor, cannot pull off a waoman's (e.g., Catherine Barkely's) voice.
that would be hard, because it was 16 hours. but i was motivated to listen to it in fewer days than i normally would take.
Yes, absolutely. Hemingway is a genius. I love the way he writes. He just pulls you in like nothing else. He has a way of conveying emotion and situations that is so enthralling.
Okay, I am a huge Metallica fan. The song that got me into Metallica was, For whom the Bells Tolls. So naturally I had to get this book. It only took me 20 years to finally read/listen to the book. Hemingway is now my favorite author. My favorite band got me into my favorite author. Or was it the other way around?
The story and suspense drew me in, but Campbell Scott's narration gave life to all the characters, especially the main character in such a vivid way. I normally only read "modern" fiction (read: Stephen King), but this story was very accessible and gripping. It wasn't filled with military jargon or history lessons. The story of the Spanish civil war was told in terms that made it feel real and visceral in a way that history books never do.
The scene where Pilar tells Jordan about the day Pablo seized the village was gripping and disturbing. The dark side of human nature is laid bare in her account of this event that was simultaneously triumphant and terrible.
The main character: Robert Jordan. Scott makes this character feel like an old friend of the reader.
I often found myself wondering what choices I would make in the same situation and how I would cope with my choices.
Campbell Scott has a voice that is thoughtful and trustworthy. It is a voice that is easy to let into your own head. It is a voice that draws you in...
A tragic tell of budding love caught up in a doomed mission during Spanish Civil war. The protagonist struggles with the reality that he truly has to love for a life time today because there most likely will be no tomorrow. Hemingway does a great job of building a truly great read of the futility of war.
I obscenity in the milk of this version because it is not unprintable unabridged. They use "obscenity" and "unprintable" in the place of any curse words that appear in the book, and it happens more than you might think. It's still a great version. and Scott Campbell is fantastic, but that does detract from it a bit.
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