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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Janice
  • NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ, United States
  • 01-31-12

Not Worth Listening To

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I did not enjoy listening to this book. The story line kept me interested but the narrator made me want to shut it off more than once. Not a very pleasant experience, especially considering this is Hemingway!

What did you like best about this story?

Can't really tell.

What didn’t you like about Campbell Scott’s performance?

Monotone voice. Didn't bring the characters to life.

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

Yes. Think twice about purchasing books narrated by Mr. Scott. Sorry.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Matt
  • OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States
  • 06-28-11

I'm done with Hemmingway

I've tried two of his audiobooks now and could not get through either one. I'm not exactly sure why his writing style disagrees with me so badly, but it does. Maybe it is the fact that he feels the need to have show his character's first and last name each time the address each other....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • chris
  • las vegas, NV, United States
  • 09-26-10

Amazing

I've listened to this audiobook literally 50 times since I first bought it. The story, itself, is already amazing but they did a superb job on the audio. This book will show you what its like to be a real man instead of someone with a faux hawk who walks around a mall text-messaging and trying to hook up with cougar moms all day. Every boy should be forced to read this at age 21 and when he's done, should be punched in the face.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Masculine lit

Hemingway has a way with turning a typically feminine way of introspective storytelling into a novel brimming with testosterone. Unlike modern adventure writers like Jack Higgins and Tom Clancy, Hemingway creates a real world both physically and emotionally. Similar events occur-- guns, murder, sex, bombs, heroism, treachery-- but here I feel like I lived it, whereas with others I feel like I watched a movie. And, as I have found is so critical with audio, the interpretive reading is very good.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Destined to be a Classic!

Having not done any Hemmingway since I had to in
High School (40 years ago), this was a incredible experience. The 16 hours flew by. Great presentation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I don't care for sad stories or romances

This book will leave you depressed and needing Prozac...just like every book by Hemingway. I don't know why I bother to read his stuff... but if you like sad romances this book is for you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Abridged

The replacement of Hemingway’s profanities in the text was very distracting from the story. Substituting words such as unprintable or obscenity for whatever Hemingway wrote is very distracting. Spoiled many “scenes”. I would not recommend this obscenity version...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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sanitized great performance

Powerful and disturbing story diminished by censoring expletives. sad story was difficult to listen to. outstanding descriptiveness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narrator lacks quality

The story is okay - not my favorite, but also not the worst. The narrator, though, was so bland. I found myself zoning out and missed a lot of the story because his delivery was dry and boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beware, Censored Version

I was not aware this version was censored when I bought this audio book.

That's really obscenity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Elias Belmonte
  • 02-20-17

Great book! And very well played

Excelent book. Really gets you in the story, on the war, on the life of the guerrilla, on the last few days before the attack,on the characters' minds.
No wonder why is one of the best books in history

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  • Gordon Goodall
  • 09-28-16

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.

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  • Jos
  • 09-06-16

A classic that has it all

Would you consider the audio edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls to be better than the print version?

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.

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

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.

Have you listened to any of Campbell Scott’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Not yet

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

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.

Any additional comments?

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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  • "mhca"
  • 08-01-16

excellent

It is as good second time round, as first. Well read and a great story very close to the heart of those involved or whose people were involved.

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  • chris
  • 07-08-16

good reading but he needs mis pronounces shone

the guy says shone weirdly. apart from that it's a great story and a decent performance. Ivanhoe is up next. wish me luck

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-17-16

Very enjoyable

A thoroughly philosophical book with a great story narrated well. Hemingway is masterful in conveying detailed accounts of life outdoors in wartime.

Highly recommended.

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  • MR Garry J Riddoch
  • 05-24-16

Brilliant

Fantastic story, beautifully written. Narrator is excellent too and the swearing a joy to behold!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-10-16

Read this

A book of truth, of meaning, of life and death. If you read nothing else, read this.

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  • Helen
  • 02-23-16

A book that must be read

A fabulous book with wonderful characters, all of whom I know so well despite being with them for only three days of there lives. Brilliantly written, brilliantly read- as good as it gets.

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  • Bianca
  • 07-26-15

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.