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For Whom the Bell Tolls Audiobook

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 (2286 )
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4.3 (1487 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Katie Los Alamitos, California, United States 07-16-13
    Katie Los Alamitos, California, United States 07-16-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't be more pleased."
    Would you listen to For Whom the Bell Tolls again? Why?

    Yes. The story was captivating and would love to listen to it again to explore the characters a bit earlier in the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The relationships formed between the characters is layered and deep. The love story is nice, but the challenges that Roberto has faced and needs to face throughout the story drew me in and hooked me very soon within the story.


    What does Campbell Scott bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Campbell did an EXCELLENT job of making me feel very connected to this story. The variations of the characters voices is brilliant, making this one of the most enjoyable audio books I've ever listened to. Bravo Campbell Scott!


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

    Of course, I laughed and cried... multiple times.


    Any additional comments?

    I had a few problems with 'dropouts' during the audio (more than 20 - could be because of the download ? but never have had a problem with any other download) which was frustrating at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Middleville, MI, United States 06-13-13
    Wendy Middleville, MI, United States 06-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Not my cup of tea."

    I REALLY want to like Hemingway, but there were too many "thees," "thous," and "obscenities" in this to make it enjoyable for me. I muscled through it, but was very glad to see it end.
    Sorry Hemingway! I'm now "reading" The Sun Also Rises and LOVING the narration by William Hurt. Maybe all is not lost between me and Hemingway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Gridley, CA, United States 05-12-13
    Peter Gridley, CA, United States 05-12-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Hemingway remains timeless"
    If you could sum up For Whom the Bell Tolls in three words, what would they be?

    Plot and character development done with spice and heart; bringing reality in to the home via sound.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The portrayal of human emotions and how complex relationships can be for people who are in situations, which require thinking, not just action.


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

    All were good; no favorite


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

    I felt the ending was lacking in some way but "they" don't all end with the white-hats getting the girls and living happily everafter.


    Any additional comments?

    Glad I read it and my feelings about the idiocy of war are more solid than ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    ratings
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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
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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
  • 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.

    2 of 2 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
  • Jordan McClements
    Northern Ireland
    3/2/13
    Overall
    "Long..."

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr S
    Dorking, United Kingdom
    9/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Certainly a classic but it was really slow paced."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story but it is painfully slow in places with lots of overthinking and moralising. I understand that the action against the fascists needed to be explained as it was written prior to WWII. With hindsight this gave the book a lack of pace and you really wanted the book to get back to the matter in hand. The love scenes are excruciating - "I love you my little rabbit" says the hero of the book to his girlfriend on numerous occasions. The Spanish Civil War story was interesting and it certainly was exciting during the action sequences. There are a few references to flashbacks to bullfights and how "glorious" there were. A sentiment most people these days would disagree with.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ernest Hemingway? Why or why not?

    Yes I will at some point. I've listened to "The Old Man and the Sea" which has a lot more pace and was interesting and exciting.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Campbell Scott?

    I found Campbell Scott's voice a bit one toned and monotonous. His character voices were all very similar but he could certainly pronounce the Spanish words very well.


    Was For Whom the Bell Tolls worth the listening time?

    Yes but in half the time.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bianca
    London, United Kingdom
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a great classic!"
    Where does For Whom the Bell Tolls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It is a wonderful audiobook, the writing and the reading. A very good one to own.


    Any additional comments?

    It is such a subtle and intense book. You see how humans reach their worst and their best by faced with extreme situations like death, fear, hope when there doesn't seem to be anything left. I particularly liked the way Hemingway's writing resonates the original Spanish, localising the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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