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.
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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)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Martin on 17-10-10

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.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Sean on 03-02-07

It Tolls For Thee

This is a masterpiece. So human, so true.

There is no more to say.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 12-01-09

The Mountains of Spain

I have long been a Hemingway fan but have not been through all his writings. If you have any doubt that Hemingway was a literary giant you need only listen to this title. Between listens I would find myself thinking about the characters. The thread of their lives, and their very souls, were exposed brilliantly. I finished the listen days ago and still find myself thinking about it. I feel like I was there, with them, in the mountains, dedicated to the cause. In a sense, I'm still there, heart pressed to the pine needles on the forest floor along side Robert Jordan. In this book, at least, Hemingway was that good. Give it a try; I think you'll like this one.

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57 of 57 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By arye orona on 27-07-14

Incorrect charges of censorship.

Any additional comments?

Having read some of the previous reviews about censorship, and the editing out of curse words in this audio version, I felt that I should add a quick note on Hemingway's use of language in this novel. To give a sort of Spanish feel to the language, he writes a good portion of his dialogue a though it were directly translated from Spanish. So, "What passes with you?" can bear some getting used to. Also, he uses "thou" and "thy" at times in place of "you" to represent the moving between formal (usted) and informal (tu) Spanish. But, the big kicker (the one that seems to be making listeners upset) is the way he handles cursing. I believe that lines like, "I obscenity in the milk of thy tiredness," and "Where the un-nameable is this vileness I am to guard" are causing people to think that the audiobook has been censored in some way. It hasn't. Although, I'm not entirely clear on why Hemingway decided edit his English curse words in this way (strangely, the ones in Spanish are left intact), they are part of his original text; I checked my paper-bound version to be sure.
So, I hope you don't let reviews warning of censorship (or my technical review here) scare you away from a truly wonderful, thought provoking novel. You should read one of the reviews discussing the horror of war, love in the face of death, excitement of battle, camaraderie of soldiers, and think about buying (or not) the audiobook in those terms.

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47 of 47 people found this review helpful

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