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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

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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lacking

I had high hopes for this book and was disappointed. Took to long to blow the bridge. And the ending took to long. Nothing like a 15 minute death scene.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best performance on audible yet

Truly an outstanding performance. I enjoyed this book far more than Farewell to Arms. Frankly I don't understand why we didn't read this instead in high school.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic American author at his best

Solid Hemingway book. Sorry that publishers allowed author's words to be censored. Kind of silly in today's world of Netflix and the Internet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jack
  • Macon, GA, United States
  • 07-30-12

This is a classic adverture/romance done well.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It is excellent fiction that carries a moral message.about how terrible war is.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Pilar- She had to be strong and wise for everyone.

Which scene was your favorite?

The end-when Roberto is telling Maria why she has to go on.

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

It made me teary in one or two places.

Any additional comments?

It is a candidate for " The Great American Novel " of the 20th century.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great narration and story

This is my first Hemingway book (read or listened to) and I can definitely say I will be back. It took me away to another world with real people and real humanity. I was so sorry to come to the end.

Campbell Scott's narration was impressive in its variety for the different characters and the consistency. I want to hear more of his books.

The story grabbed me from the beginning and held me the whole way through. I could not wait to listen again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very well done.

A classic indeed. Lovely to listen to, and an epic story that leaves you feeling like you have lived the book. I loved it. Will listen to it again soon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Classic by a Master

a timeless story enjoyable for every generation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • J
  • 04-07-09

great story, fantastic narrator

I wish Campbell Scott would read more Hemmingway, he is the perfect fit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • Walled Lake, MI, USA
  • 01-08-07

Great

I have found Hemmingway to be rather dark and depressing. While not giving away the ending, this one is not far afield. But the richness of the story makes up for it. I was also impressed with the richness of the Spanish language here, and the reader enhanced the affect. Hemmingway did a great job of getting into the individual's heads. Excellent experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Choose another Hemingway instead

Hemingway uses special "literary techniques" in "For whom the Bell Tolls" that rather than enhancing the reading experience detract from it. Please see the list below. The ending is totally soppy. You learn nothing about the Spanish Civil War, and a better explanation for why Robert Jordan decided to fight with the Republicans should have been given. The scenes depicting physical attraction were bland and insipid. Some dislike the macho behavior of Hemingway's characters, but this doesn't bother me. I see it as typical of the times, and Pilar is the best character of this novel. She is a strong, intelligent, no-nonsense woman! What remains undeniably true though is that Hemingway can draw a scene so you see, hear, smell and feel it in your pores. It is interesting to see what goes through a soldier's mind, but there is so much wrong with this book I cannot justify a better rating.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Scott Campbell's narration, except that a few bomb blasts fell flat. Even a good narrator cannot save a bad book.

May I suggest A Farewell to Arms instead?!


************************

Through chapter 7:
This is what is bugging me:
1. The dialogs are NOT in the least believable. None of them.
2. Swear words are replaced with "unprintable word" or "obscenity". This is ridiculous and disrupts the prose! "F*/k you" will be written, "obscenity you", for example. Crazy! Hemingway wrote the book this way; it has not been censored later.
3. In the 30s people did not speak with the terms "thy", "thee", "thou art". This is driving me nuts. WHY has Hemingway done this?
(Answer: In Spanish there are different forms of pronouns that show the relationship between the people talking. Since the characters were speaking in Spanish, Hemingway wished to provide this information even in English.)
4. Robert Jordan is holier than "thou" (:0)), and it drives me crazy. SUCH a perfect soldier with SUCH motivation, and he is SO devoted to his job.
5. To top it all off the love between Maria and Robert Jordan jumps out of nowhere. The same day they meet they are in bed, no, actually a sleeping bag, and then she says in one of those above mentioned dialogs that she doesn't know how to kiss. Jeez! (OK, if one is a little patient an explanation is given.)
6. And what is this with calling Robert Jordan Robert Jordan?. Everyone else goes by one name, usually a nickname!
























5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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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.

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  • Trilingual reader
  • 07-20-15

great expressive reading, good spanish

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

great story any day, no trouble to follow the plot, very suspenseful

What did you like best about this story?

The suspense

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

Richard Jordan

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

his death

Any additional comments?

I am a linguist, as oppose to some other audiobooks, the Spanish was really good. I often cringe, here: not once.

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  • Troy
  • 05-28-14

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.

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  • Len
  • 02-14-14

Descriptive Masterpiece

What made the experience of listening to For Whom the Bell Tolls the most enjoyable?

Almost being there

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Old Man

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

First I have listened to

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

Illustrates well that Civil War is Never Civil

Any additional comments?

Read the Book, then see the film.

  • Overall
  • christian
  • 10-02-12

Strangely mesmerising

This is one of the classics everyone has heard of, but I had not read it. The audiobook is excellent, the narrator does a great job, and the story, though it evolves slowly by today's standards, is gripping, specially if you are interested in the Spanish Civil War. Apart from the hero and his band, bit player characters on the sidelines, based on real-life protagonists of the War, can be seen: Andre Marty, Karkhov alias Kolstov, etc... As the book progresses towards its conclusion, things become more tense, fraught with danger, and one comes to realize that Hemingway "invented" some of the writing techniques commonly used today in thrillers. I recommend this book.

  • Overall
  • Ian
  • 04-12-12

Who is Thee?

The narration is a little dull, as is the story. There is something strangely captivating about it, despite all that and the characters have an almost unlimited depth to them, but it's not the most colourful book I've listened to...

1 of 3 people found this review helpful