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Publisher's Summary

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto, of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized, is one of the greatest moments in literary history.

A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.

©1929 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed 1957 Ernest Hemingway (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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What listeners say about A Farewell to Arms

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,232
  • 4 Stars
    1,375
  • 3 Stars
    514
  • 2 Stars
    155
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    72
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Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    61

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is not unabridged

Really a great story from really a great narrator. If it was truly unabridged, I would unhesitatingly go for five stars. However, all of the profanity is omitted. There is a silent gap where Hemingway intended a profane word. Hemingway chose his words carefully and he used profanity to make a point about World War I. Of another of his works, Hemingway said "I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred."

The censorship is conspicuous and, in the case of the retreat chapter, it compromises the narrative. It is a lie to call this audiobook "unabridged." Audible needs to either respect Hemingway's work, or re-categorize this audiobook as abridged.

424 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just FYI

Amazingly, this is the edited version (curse words removed). As I understand it, that's how it was published originally, yet it's still a bizarre choice for today's audio version.

144 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This Narrator Nails It

Of course this is a wonderful, affecting novel, and I am enjoying listening to it. But this narrator! What a wonderful performance! He has the perfect delivery for Frederic Henry, capturing the character with his voice, timing, and inflection. Slattery switches between accents and genders without missing a beat. I can lose myself in the narrative and dialogue, thinking that the characters are real and speaking to me.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite of Hemingway

While a very good book, not my favorite of Hemingway novels. Written in classic Hemingway prose, with very mundanely realistic dialogues, it was the story itself that I did not love. This is purely a personal opinion, but I found the narrative dragged at times.
Excellent reader, easy to listen to.
I would suggest to anyone considering listening to Hemingway on Audible, that you might be better served with THE SUN ALSO RISES or FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book

I am relatively new to Hemingway. I had read all the criticisms of Hemingway particularly by journalists over the years, and since they said he wrote using simple words I did not bother with him.

They said Hemingway was too concerned with being macho, well this story tells one sweetest stories I have read, and the macho thing is a silly remark to have been made.

The reader was very good and I was taken with his ability to do various Italian accents so clearly, along with his other characterizations.

What a wonderful and tender story, and the characters I understood as if they were real.

Hemingway's character portrayals are remarkable because they seem like you really knew these people.

Ben

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant narration

First, the censorship isn't an issue. From what I've read the book itself was censored and is still published that way, so it follows that the audio would be also. Skipping over the few swear words didn't ruin the flow to me.

The narration is perfect. Brilliant. He brings life to Italian characters and others, and the slight dramatization is never tedious. It's great.

Hemingway wrote a great book. It's not as much a war story as it is a story that takes place during a time of war. It's follows the life of a soldier but it doesn't linger on battles. It might linger on the love story, becoming maybe a touch too romantic at times, but it always gets reeled back in, and the story is always interesting.
And of course, it's full of wine and wit.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

I was not a Hemingway fan, but wanted to listen to one of his books. I chose this one because it was medium in length (compared to others). It is one of the audio books that you find yourself listening to any time you can. It's a terrific story, extremely well narrated and the story is not so obvious that you know what's about to happen next. This was so well done I decided to get For whom the bell tolls to continue exploring Hemingway. You will enjoy this book.

33 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great novel, great narration, terrible production

The famed novel that marked the beginning of Ernest Hemingway's great career. An American officer in the service of Italy during WW1 meets and English nurse..... John Slattery makes an outstanding performance. His accent and speech of the English translation of Italian is convincing. He even does a good woman's voice.
But this is not an unabridged production. Misleading advertising during the description. So many words are censored out leaving the listener wondering what was said. I would prefer to have had Mr. Hemingway's actual writing, but if some words were too offensive for the producer I would rather the words be replaced with a similar word of the same meaning.
I recommend you find a true unabridged version of this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

everything you will want AND MORE!

simply the Hemingway Experience at its best. the performance is outstanding. I listened to the book twice. Thank You for putting this book together with sound! WHAT A TRIP!!!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Audiobook experience at the highest level

This always remarkable book comes alive with this reading. I love audio books for their convenience and I get through many more books in audio format than I do with physical books. Comparing what I get from sitting in a chair reading to listening to a book generally is a toss up for me often with reading the book getting a slight edge. But once in a while the audio format far exceeds the page turning experience. This book is a perfect example of how well audio books can be done.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 12-16-07

Farewell to a good listen

A great book damaged by poor reading. The monotonous narration leaves this lifeless. Conversations are particularly dead. A disappointment.
The experience has taught me to listen to the preview of each download now.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Judy Corstjens
  • 09-06-12

Narrator performs book

For many chapters I couldn't get over the impression that this was a take-off of Hemmingway's style. The 'Janet and John' style, as it sounds to UK listeners (of a certain age). But, Hemmingway builds his characters from conversation - the way they talk - and this narrator almost converts the book to a play at some points. I loved the conversation (soliloquy, since the narrator is talking to himself) where he asks himself 'what if his lover/girlfriend dies (in childbirth)'. I can't imagine how it would look on a page - but played by this actor... really something.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • john
  • 03-31-14

In Another Accent

Would you consider the audio edition of A Farewell to Arms to be better than the print version?

John Slattery does a fine job narrating Hemingway's classic novel. He gets the balance between the hard-bitten laconic tone of the narrative, from the terse war reflections to the suppressed pain at the end. He negotiates the accents (American, Italian, English, Scottish, Swiss) convincingly. I read the text alongside the audio and I thought Slattery's reading brought out tones and inflections I might have missed on the page.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator, Frederic Henry, dominates the novel. It's his take on the events he recounts.

Which character – as performed by John Slattery – was your favourite?

In addition to Henry's narrative voice, I liked the way Slattery realised the Italian characters. He did not resort to the stereotype caricatures that an inferior reader might have attempted in order to play to the gallery.

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

It is too dense a work for a single sitting. The reading makes the listener want to sit and reflect on scenes and chapters.

Any additional comments?

One of Hemingway's enduring qualities is that he writes on the page the way his narrators would speak. There are several good readings available. William Hurt's reading of The Sun Also Rises is top quality. Stacy Keach's readings of the short stories are excellent. It's a pity that Alexander Scourby's readings of the stories appear to be out of the catalogue, but you can still enjoy his reading of The Great Gatsby, which is masterly. John Slattery's reading of A Farewell To Arms is in the same league.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jytte
  • 08-13-11

No one besides Hemingway

It's so wonderful to listen to this novel. You hear every word, every tone - when you read you can miss a lot. John Slattery gives life to the - on the surface - subdued lovestory. On my Top Ten!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate Legum
  • 04-29-21

Wonderful of course.

Great story, Excellent narrator. Simple pure language but complex themes. Usual hilarious, ridiculous but endearing leading characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony W.
  • 03-24-21

A brilliant Hemingway novel.

Outstanding read and definitely a boom for my collection. Very glad I got this book as it truly is a fantastic classic!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jake mccallum
  • 02-24-21

A relatable story of love, loss and life.

A humbling story, with realism that makes it all the more hard hitting. Fantastically performance by John Slattery. The voices are distinct and each warm and welcoming.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-20

A Farewell to Arms

The story lacked depth and was predictable in places. Very average. Disappointing from a celebrated writer.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Gilbert Riley
  • 09-04-20

Beautiful!

The story is great but the narration by John Slattery deserves a special mention - he is fantastic and his Italian accents are perfect.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike T
  • 07-03-20

So good....

Had just listened to For Whom The Bell Tolls and because that was such a good book, I thought I would try this. was not disappointed at all - a cracking listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack Agius
  • 07-21-20

Phenomenal

A centrepiece of Hemingway’s writings, a truly transformative tale of love and loss. Heartbreak and pain is coupled with what can only be described as finding a fantasy love. One of the best books every written in my opinion.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-20

Enjoyable Hemingway Novel. Fabulous Dialogue.

Its a good read, like most Hemingway novels and as usual his style is very spare. Touches your heart and you feel for the characters. Fabulous dialogue, especially between the main character(American) and Italian doctors and paramedics. The narrator is a master of accents.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-20

Classic

A very captivating story, shows the harsh reality of life and love. I enjoyed every moment.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-19

beautiful

superb narration and a lovely story that brought a year to my eye. Must read more Hemingway

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy Jenner
  • 07-08-19

A potent reflection of life as it happens.

An outstanding presentation by John Slattery with a final chapter that lifts the entire book above the sometimes doubtful level of improbability.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony Wyatt
  • 08-07-18

Indeed a classic

A superb story greatly enhanced by the perfect narrative that made you feel like you were there. It is clear why Hemingway's books are regarded as classics.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • stephen campbell
  • 02-21-18

good book would recommend highly

good book would recommend highly
I enjoyed this book very much it was good and

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paddington
  • 07-05-14

old world classic

Having started reading this book when we were staying on Isola Pescatori (Island of the Fishermen) on Lago Maggiore I was keen to listen to it. I loved hearing about the same places in the book that we had visited in this historical setting. I did however tire of Katherine's frequent attempts at not annoying her partner and they did seem too lovey dovey continually discussing that they loved each other. I guess this is the style of a great classic of that time. It is a real classic and well worth a read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mariner
  • 08-05-15

Not bad

Not bad. Not familiar with Hemingway's other work. Quite melodramatic in parts which is strange given the short sentences.