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For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
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For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)

by Ernest Hemingway

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 402 mentions

English (106)  Spanish (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (118)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Fantastic! The slow pace of the book, together with the stories of the civil war add up to a spectacular book. Pilar's story of the taking of the town is a great, great chapter.

Only negative thing I have to say is that it was sometimes a bit too slow in pace.
  bartt95 | Apr 10, 2016 |
I keep thinking about this book, it is tugging at my soul. Besides the story, the linguist in me is fascinated by Hemmingway's use of "thou" to show the Spanish formality, and "obscenity thyself" or other such tricks to show the cursing (except in the direct Spanish, which will just pop right out at you). Also, of course, the simple use of the poem. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
I tolls for thee. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
This novel is told primarily through the thoughts and experiences of Robert Jordan, a character inspired by Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War. Robert Jordan is an American who travels to Spain to oppose the fascist forces of Francisco Franco.

A superior has ordered him to travel behind enemy lines and destroy a bridge, using the aid of a group of guerrillas who have been living in the mountains nearby. Robert Jordan encounters one of those in their camp, María, a young Spanish native whose life has been shattered by the outbreak of the war. His strong sense of duty clashes with both Republican partisan leader Pablo's fear and unwillingness to commit to a covert operation which would have repercussions, and his own joie de vivre that is kindled by his newfound love for María.

The novel graphically describes the brutality of civil war.

[edit] Characters in For Whom the Bell Tolls
Robert Jordan – American university instructor of Spanish language and a specialist in demolitions and explosives.
Anselmo: Elderly guide to Robert Jordan.
Golz: Commander who plans the attack to follow the bridge's demolition.
Pablo: Leader of a group of anti-fascist guerrillas.
Rafael – Incompetent, lazy guerrilla, and a gypsy.
María – Robert Jordan's young lover.
Pilar – Wife of Pablo. An aged but strong woman, she is the de facto leader of the guerrilla band.
Agustín – Foul-mouthed, middle-aged guerrilla.
El Sordo – Leader of a fellow band of guerrillas.
Fernando – Middle-aged guerrilla.
Andrés – Member of Pablo's band, brother of Eladio.
Eladio – Member of Pablo's band, brother of Andrés.
Primitivo – Young guerrilla in Pablo's band.
Joaquin – Enthusiastic teenaged communist, member of Sordo's band.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
Took me a little while to get ready to write this review, I didn't want to rush it. Per my routine, I won't restate the synopsis, I leave that to much better reviewers. First, it is probably the best audio production I have listened to, and even though I don't properly mark the editions on my bookshelves, easily 50% of my reading is done in my car on cd. I am definitely a Hemingway fan, but for some reason I am not interested in reading The Old Man and the Sea, though my husband did. The following are observations, not criticisms.

Not once will you question how the book will end. Anything that starts with a quotation of John Donne's poem by the same name is putting it out there from the start. It is tragic and romantic in the biggest sense. Sidebar: I wish now I had the print edition because looking up the poem, it seems somehow not the same. Different versions or just a crappy memory?

The pace is very slow. A significant amount of time is spent in the innner thoughts of Robert Jordan. I often felt as though the book was set further back in time than I knew it to be because of how the guerilla fighters lived in caves, and the patterns of their speech. The way they spoke and behaved was I can only culturally significant, and the prominence might bother some. I enjoyed the liberal use of Spanish language.

To me, war was presented on two levels, the impersonal mechanics of war, planning an attack, the necessary destruction of a bridge, etc., and then the so very personal, in the account of the slaughter shared by Pilar.

It was interesting to hear the accumulation of mistakes, or betrayals in some cases build up to ultimately ultimately drive the final outcome. All of the characters are flawed, and nothing is hidden. I admire actually the restraint that Hemingway showed in not making the end overly maudlin, it seemed more real that way. It would have been much more like a made-for-TV movie to draw it out an further.

That's it I think - would love to discuss further if anyone is interested :~).


( )
  MaureenCean | Feb 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
Hemingway the artist is with us again; and it is like having an old friend back. That he should thus go back to his art, after a period of artistic demoralization, and give it a larger scope, that, in an era of general perplexity and panic, he should dramatize the events of the immediate past in terms, not of partisan journalism, but of the common human instincts that make men both fraternal and combative, is a reassuring evidence of the soundness of our intellectual life.
added by danielx | editNew Republic, Edmund Wilson (Jan 23, 2015)
 
". . . a tremendous piece of work. . . . Mr. Hemingway has always been the writer, but he has never been the master that he is in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' . . . his finest novel."
added by GYKM | editNew York Times, Ralph Thompson (Oct 21, 1940)
 
The greatness of this book is the greatness of these people's triumph over their foreknowledge of death-to-come... For Whom the Bell Tolls, unlike other novels of the Spanish Civil War, is told not in terms of the heroics and dubious politics of the International Brigades, but as a simple human struggle of the Spanish people. The bell in this book tolls for all mankind.
added by jjlong | editTime (Oct 21, 1940)
 

» Add other authors (55 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Hemingwayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baudisch, PaulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dietsch, J.N.C. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, SinclairIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
NeelyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scott, CampbellNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Four Novels: A Farewell to Arms / For Whom The Bell Tolls / The Old Man and the Sea / The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

ROMANZI by Ernest Hemingway

The Novels Of Ernest Hemingway . by Ernest Hemingway

Five Novels: The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / To Have and Have Not / The Old Man and the Sea / For Whom the Bell Tolls (FOLIO SOCIETY) by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls / The Snows of Kilimanjaro / Fiesta / The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber / Across the River and into the Trees / The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Book-of-the-Month-Club Set of 5: A Farewell to Arms, A Moveable Feast, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Sun Also Rises, & The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (The Finca Vigia Edition) (Book-of-the-Month Club) by Ernest Hemingway

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Epigraph
No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a clod be washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesser, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never tend to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee. -John Dunne
Dedication
This book is for Martha Gellhorn
First words
He lay flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees.
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Your nationality and your politics did not show when you were dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684803356, Paperback)

For Whom the Bell Tolls begins and ends in a pine-scented forest, somewhere in Spain. The year is 1937 and the Spanish Civil War is in full swing. Robert Jordan, a demolitions expert attached to the International Brigades, lies "flat on the brown, pine-needled floor of the forest, his chin on his folded arms, and high overhead the wind blew in the tops of the pine trees." The sylvan setting, however, is at sharp odds with the reason Jordan is there: he has come to blow up a bridge on behalf of the antifascist guerrilla forces. He hopes he'll be able to rely on their local leader, Pablo, to help carry out the mission, but upon meeting him, Jordan has his doubts: "I don't like that sadness, he thought. That sadness is bad. That's the sadness they get before they quit or before they betray. That is the sadness that comes before the sell-out." For Pablo, it seems, has had enough of the war. He has amassed for himself a small herd of horses and wants only to stay quietly in the hills and attract as little attention as possible. Jordan's arrival--and his mission--have seriously alarmed him.
"I am tired of being hunted. Here we are all right. Now if you blow a bridge here, we will be hunted. If they know we are here and hunt for us with planes, they will find us. If they send Moors to hunt us out, they will find us and we must go. I am tired of all this. You hear?" He turned to Robert Jordan. "What right have you, a foreigner, to come to me and tell me what I must do?"
In one short chapter Hemingway lays out the blueprint for what is to come: Jordan's sense of duty versus Pablo's dangerous self-interest and weariness with the war. Complicating matters even more are two members of the guerrilla leader's small band: his "woman" Pilar, and Maria, a young woman whom Pablo rescued from a Republican prison train. Unlike her man, Pilar is still fiercely devoted to the cause and as Pablo's loyalty wanes, she becomes the moral center of the group. Soon Jordan finds himself caught between the two, even as his own resolve is tested by his growing feelings for Maria.

For Whom the Bell Tolls combines two of the author's recurring obsessions: war and personal honor. The pivotal battle scene involving El Sordo's last stand is a showcase for Hemingway's narrative powers, but the quieter, ongoing conflict within Robert Jordan as he struggles to fulfill his mission perhaps at the cost of his own life is a testament to his creator's psychological acuity. By turns brutal and compassionate, it is arguably Hemingway's most mature work and one of the best war novels of the 20th century. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:49 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

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