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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

4.1 (1498 )
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Performance
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  •  
    leighda 05-23-13
    leighda 05-23-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible is the best thing since sliced bread..

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    "Drunken Old Perv?"

    I think so,, if you need something to sleep by then this is for you.
    I hate to put down the classics but what a snore.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaydeep Kolkata, India 10-10-12
    Jaydeep Kolkata, India 10-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Waste of time"
    What disappointed you about For Whom the Bell Tolls?

    The narrator


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It's a drab script, not engaging


    Would you be willing to try another one of Campbell Scott’s performances?

    No


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    None I can think off


    Any additional comments?

    May I have a refund

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devin Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-11-08
    Devin Brooklyn, NY, USA 05-11-08
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
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    "great pick"

    the narrator has the perfect voice for it. great read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyd Bindrup 02-11-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thou wilt like this book"

    I really liked this book, it heald my attention and kept me awake driving. Very detailed and well written. The narrator was very good. You must listen to the book to get the title of my review.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 07-05-12
    Steven 07-05-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "It's Censored"

    What the "muck"? This "obscenity" of a rendition is censored. It's quite annoying, especially when this isn't mentioned anywhere. Otherwise a good story.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 07-15-08
    cort Kensington, CA, United States 07-15-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good but not great"

    This is my first Hemingway novel and I found it exciting and hard to put down. It also seems to be a fairly accurate historical depiction of an intersting time in history. However in other ways the story seems a bit dated and hard to relate to in todays world. The vernacular is old-fashioned and awkward, and it seems hard to imagine a successful teacher putting aside his career to go to a foreign country and fight for a quasi-communist government. The narration and audio quality are quite good.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 81-86 of 86 results PREVIOUS189NEXT
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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
  • 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
  • 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    darlington, United Kingdom
    12/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'd just watch the film"
    Would you try another book written by Ernest Hemingway or narrated by Campbell Scott?

    I have already tried other Hemingway books on audible, but I'm not being very successful. This I'd the first one I haven't finished.


    What was most disappointing about Ernest Hemingway’s story?

    It was so slow and boring. I got very fed up with the way he writes. I know he is supposed to have honed the language to make it sparse, but he seemed to use the same phrases over and over. I can't tell you about the story - I think they were still lying in the camp the last time I listened.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Campbell Scott’s performances?

    I haven't checked if he was the same narrator in the other Hemingway books, but I will actively avoid him.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I wish I could say it did. It must have some sort of story or they wouldn't have made a film of it. On the other hand the film of To Have And Have Not, with Humphrey Bogart was nothing like the book.


    Any additional comments?

    How can a book about civil war, and a explosives expert lack so much? Or should I have hung on for them to blow up the train or the bridge or whatever it was before I gave in?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Troy
    thrapston, United Kingdom
    5/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "GREAT BOOK"
    If you could sum up For Whom the Bell Tolls in three words, what would they be?

    GOOD-GREAT-FANTASTIC


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

    Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell. Same period, same conflict. Although this is Fictional, Orwells is factual.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    To be fair I stayed riveted all the way through.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    who clung together in the darkness.................BEFORE A THUNDERING DAWN !!


    Any additional comments?

    GREAT READ/LISTEN. TRULY ENJOYABLE.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gregory
    United Kingdom
    5/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lumbers along."
    Would you try another book written by Ernest Hemingway or narrated by Campbell Scott?

    No.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Dead pan ending...sort of dead pan all the way through for me.


    What aspect of Campbell Scott’s performance might you have changed?

    would like to try Hemingway narrated by an Englishmen.


    Did For Whom the Bell Tolls inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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