Presented by Hemingway's grandson Seán Hemingway, with a personal foreword by the author’s son Patrick Hemingway, this new enhanced Library Edition of Ernest Hemingway's masterpiece about an American in the Spanish Civil War features early drafts and supplementary material, including three previously uncollected short stories on war by one of the greatest writers on the subject in history.
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,” and one of the foremost classics of war literature in history.
Published in 1940, For Whom the Bell Tolls tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain. 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, For Whom the Bell Tolls tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. When it was first published, The New York Times called it “a tremendous piece of work,” and it still stands today as one of the best war novels of all time.
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Primer for every man
The book itself is already amazing. The audibook version is flawless as well. I read this when I was 21 and thought it was ok. I started reading it again, once a year, around age 27 and it gets better each time I read it. I imagine the self-sacrificing feelings expressed in this book, and how men handled war is somewhat of an extict way of being when compared to modern times. If you are able to complete the book in its entirey, it will show you what every man should and must understand. Its potency depends on what age you read it at though; I will admit that.
I listened to it three times in a row. It kinda ends where it begins, and you don't want it to end when it does. A superb reading of a great book. Some of the battles and brutal scenes I would skip if I was re-reading it, but you cannot easily skip them in a digital audiobook. Very, very highly recommended. After this, I listened to Hemingway's stories and the stuff that was published after his death, and re-read The Sun Also Rises. Unlike the people in Sun, the people in Bell have a serious purpose to their lives. For me, Bell and Farewell to Arms are the best. (I read Farewell when I was a teenager. I can't bring myself to take that particular journey again, although I know I should. I never, ever forgot the walk back to the hotel in the rain.)
Now I unde stand the genius of Hemingway
Very intense book. You come away caring deeply about the characters and for their determination to do what’s right. A good lesson for the 21st century. This audio version is very well done and worth the price.