For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Book - 2003
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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.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2003
Edition: 1st Scribner Trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9781439571484
Characteristics: 471, [2] p. ; 21 cm


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Dec 17, 2018

To this day this book is the best I have ever read. Hemingway masterfully takes you into the life of Robert Jordan, a revolutionary fighter in Spain shortly before WWII who deals with everything you'd expect - terror from enemy aircraft, sorrow, excitement, love and loss, etc. War buffs will especially love this book, but even the old time romantics will find this book incredibly hard to put down!

Apr 21, 2018

Really excited to read this book! I have recently read A Farewell to Arms and enjoyed his classic writing style in a historical novel. Hopefully this one won't take me as long as Grapes of Wrath, however these classics are worth the time :)

Jun 05, 2017

there are so many strong scenes here. to me the book plays like an intensely involving film, one from which many can learn. hemingway writes of the code of honor, here, as well as of first love, of fealty to one's mother, about the necessity to fight fascism.

Jul 20, 2016

This is a story that captures both the actuality of spirit as well as  the dubious minds of war. It portrays both bravery and timidity, in the beautifully descriptive words that only Hemingway was acknowledged for. His main character Robert Jordan was a college teacher before he makes the decision to leave his job to take part in america's part in the Spanish revolution. He truly believes within his heart that he can make a difference in the war. The story although encompasses a short time frame of just less than three days, during which he changes completely as a man and is faced with the challenge of blowing up a bridge. Within those three days he falls in love with a young Spanish woman within the encampment, when Robert is awaiting to blow up the bridge he becomes involved in conflict with guerrilla fighters.This is a well paced story and never boring, with action suspense and romance, all coming together and fitting perfectly. Along with a beautiful setting that you'll be able to  feel the cold and smell the forest with the way that solely Ernest Hemingway can describe it. A splendid and beautifully told story that I would suggest to anyone of any age or gender. In my opinion this is my favorite work from Hemingway and would have no problem placing it at the top of the list among his other works. - @magicsoup of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Aug 06, 2015

This book reads like a Sylvester Stallone film set during the Spanish Civil War. The characters are one dimensional and the story line predictable. This is my first acquaintance with Hemmingway and was quite disappointed. George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia and Georges Bataille's Blue of Noon are much more endearing individual accounts of the war.

May 04, 2015

Kind of a plodding narrative makes this novel more difficult to read then it should. Sound themes and decent characterizations are lost within that narrative.

Dec 27, 2014

Removing "Hemingway" from the by-line and reviewing as a work by an unknown writer, frees ones to criticize it as failing in many ways. 1. His main character, Robert Jordan, is always referred by both names...for reason unknown. 2. Using Old English 2nd person (thou, thee, thy, canst, ...) to substitute for the familiar in Spanish makes it sound stilted and clunky to read. 3. Swearing in Spanish is translated to "obscenity," rather than leaving it in Spanish for the prudish reader. 4. Endless, trivial repetitions especially in the first 300 pages. There is a good story here, but could have been written better.

Dec 01, 2014

great story about the Spanish civil war. great hemingway style-crisply written. amazing how he gives you a great view of what these people were about and what drove them and what they feared. all done in a fast moving pace.

natasha_kcls Sep 16, 2013

The first half of this book takes either incredible stamina or a deep appreciation of the smaller things in life and of the local culture and circumstances of the story, not because the story is not an interesting one but simply because of the microscopic scale of the plot. I would say that I had a mix of these two, so I was able to enjoy the beginning of the book as well as the end, which I loved. It's definitely interesting to test yourself by reading something at such a profoundly different pace then you're used to, and to see the beautiful level of detail and reality that can be attained by it. Highly recommended.

Mar 17, 2013

What struck me most in this novel was the language. Hemingway of course is known for his journalistic style, but there it was his willingness to mirror the Spanish language, making the distinction between the thou and the you to demonstrate familiarity and ultimately emotion.
The politics were well explained without being burdening; the cultural aspects and the horrors of the war are very moving and bring the readers into the story, especially at the end, where we are left alone with Jordan. Finally, I liked the flashback to the American Civil War - it made me better understand why Jordan was there in the first place, so all ties in well from a historical and psychological perspective. Definitely a tour de force.

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Dec 27, 2014

SeattleSaul thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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