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)
avid listener, during exercise and travel. Been doing for 30 plus years and probably will never stop. I am trying to read more recently, it requires more downtime.
Probably this book is dated. The style in which Hemingway presented the material was tedious to listen to. Not being a scholar of Hemingway I had a difficult time listening to him repeat dialogue over and over again. But I am glad that I listened to know about his style and whether or not I would enjoy it more of his books.
overall five stars
my first Hemingway as an adult
much better than expected.
It is true this is a "man's man's" book, but the emotions are deep and the writing very tight. It is nice to see Hemingway not "trying to hard" but yet still knocking it out of the park.
I now understand why Hemingway is considered such a great writer. And the narrator's performance was outstanding. The book inspires me to read more Hemingway and learn more about the Spanish Civil War.
I never gave Hemingway a chance to impress.
Will be listening to more of his work now.
The cutting insults exchanged and attributed to Spanish culture are sometimes shocking and other times halarious.
Performance was outstanding! English, Spanish, and French along with accents and gender -- all great.
If Hemingway lived through half of what he writes about his choice to end his life, while still troubling, is somehow less so.
Why we're all the expletives deleted?
Took away from Hemingway's intent and distracted from the audio presentation. Frat book, though
The narrator was good for the story and conveyed the main character's thoughts and feelings. The action is subdued but great attention is given to characters and advancing the theme of the book.
It's books like this that make me wonder what makes a book a classic. This book reads like it was translated from Spanish. Perhaps he intended it to be that way, but it was more distracting than anything. The story itself was okay, but there was nothing I can point to that was very uplifting or depicted the indomitable human spirit. I don't understand why he decided that it was necessary to call the main character by his full name every time he was referenced not in dialog. Overall it was just a "meh" book.
"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.
"It Tolls For Thee"
This is a masterpiece. So human, so true.
There is no more to say.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
The narration was first class, and totally suited the characters and setting for the novel
Robert of course
Couldn't wait to put it on in the car
I'm struggling to get through this book.
It's not terrible, but I can't really warm to it in the same way I did with The Old Man And The Sea. I think it is partly because the narrator of latter was absolutely incredible, and the narrator of this one is just fairly good.
"It's just a bad reading"
I like Hemingway, he's not my favourite author but if you can read with time and place in mend then his writing is great. I'm afraid I don't know any other examples of Campbell Scotts work but he forced me to go back to print on this one. It surely just couldn't be the accent but I can't put my finger on it other than I just didn't want to listen anymore. I've almost a hundred audiobooks and this is one of only 2 I've never finished and given how little effort is required to just listen that's not good.
"A classic that has it all"
I love the rhythm of Hemmingways sentences. As a non native English speaker i will never be able to get the rhythm as this audio edition can.
The magic mountain by Thomas Mann, both books stretch time by ingenious linguistic descriptions of people and events. Both describe the full spectrum of human imperfection in a way that creates a spark of sympathy for even the most extreme characters.
Not really, the slow but smooth way the story progresses welcomes the occasionally break.But it's always a relief to lose oneself again in the narration.
All human emotions like love, death, pain, joy, fear, hate and respect in this wonderful tale of a few days in a hostile Spain.
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