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For whom the bell tolls (Zephyr books) Unknown Binding – 1946

163 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 461 pages
  • Publisher: Continental Book Co (1946)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007K7MN6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)

More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway was born in 1899. His father was a doctor and he was the second of six children. Their home was at Oak Park, a Chicago suburb.

In 1917, Hemingway joined the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter. The following year, he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, where he was badly wounded but decorated for his services. He returned to America in 1919, and married in 1921. In 1922, he reported on the Greco-Turkish war before resigning from journalism to devote himself to fiction. He settled in Paris where he renewed his earlier friendships with such fellow-American expatriates as Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. Their encouragement and criticism were to play a valuable part in the formation of his style.

Hemingway's first two published works were Three Stories and Ten Poems and In Our Time but it was the satirical novel, The Torrents of Spring, that established his name more widely. His international reputation was firmly secured by his next three books; Fiesta, Men Without Women and A Farewell to Arms.

He was passionately involved with bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing and his writing reflected this. He visited Spain during the Civil War and described his experiences in the bestseller, For Whom the Bell Tolls.

His direct and deceptively simple style of writing spawned generations of imitators but no equals. Recognition of his position in contemporary literature came in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, following the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. He died in 1961.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 117 people found the following review helpful By Paul Bartlett (paul.bartlett@onmail.co.uk) on 25 Nov. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For Whom The Bell Tolls is a novel of incredible intensity and power. Although the prose is relatively simple (in typical Hemingway style), it belies a work of uncompromising power, which will stay in the mind long after the reader has reached it's electrifying conclusion. Here, Hemingway gives us a number of inter-woven ideas, each of which has been argued as being the central theme of the novel. On the one hand, we have a simple tale of the attempt by a group of partisans, over a four day period, to blow up a facist-held bridge. Wthin this, Hemingway also effectively develops a very moving love story between the central character, Robert Jordan, and Maria. The back-drop to all this is a thought provoking account of the brutality and tragedy of the Spanish Civil War. It is very much the combination of these three threads which make For Whom The Bell Tolls such a fine and captivating work. The characterisation is impressive throughout, and the reader cannot help but feel a gret sense of empathy and understanding for those caught up in this tale. As the novel surges to it's explosive finale, Hemingway succeeds in creating a number of very mixed emotions in the reader's mind. Indeed, these feelings are only intensified by the inevitable completion of the text. Hemingway may have had his critics, but this is a work that even his most ardent detractors cannot fail to be moved by. A relatively easy and certainly enjoyable introduction to the Hemingway style, this is a novel to be read, savoured, and returned to again and again. Be warned though, new readers might just find this to be the beginning of a lengthy and compulsive Heminway adventure. A true masterpiece.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hemingway's magnificent novel has something for everyone: an action tale, an anti-war protest, a love story, subtle ironies, a magnificent short story within the novel, political criticism of communism and fascism, a philosophy of life, and beautiful descriptions of life that leave you gasping. You will learn a lot about yourself by considering which elements you notice most strongly. Reading For Whom the Bell Tolls is like holding up a mirror to your soul.
On the surface this is a book about 3 days and nights of war. But with the action packed into that time and extensive use of flashbacks, it becomes a tapestry of all humankind. After you start to notice the individual threads in the tapestry, be sure to step back and see the whole. For the remarkably balanced and connected artistry of the themes and directions in the story is what makes this book great.
If you are disturbed by descriptions of violence, brutality, and inhumanity, you will not enjoy this book.
Robert Jordan is an American who has joined the republican side of the Spanish civil war. In normal life, he teaches Spanish. Now, he is transformed into a demolitions expert who can blow up trains and bridges. With an offensive coming, he moves behind the fascist lines to join a guerilla group to blow a key bridge during an offensive that begins in 3 days. The rest of the story covers the action of preparing for and attacking the bridge. Along the way, you will become acquainted with the characters in the guerilla band as well as Jordan. Jordan will find himself moved in many ways to become more alive and fully connected than he has ever been before. He will experience the full range of human emotion and life within these 3 days.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hemingway's magnificent novel has something for everyone: an action tale, an anti-war protest, a love story, subtle ironies, a magnificent short story within the novel, political criticism of communism and fascism, a philosophy of life, and beautiful descriptions of life that leave you gasping. You will learn a lot about yourself by considering which elements you notice most strongly. Reading For Whom the Bell Tolls is like holding up a mirror to your soul.
On the surface this is a book about 3 days and nights of war. But with the action packed into that time and extensive use of flashbacks, it becomes a tapestry of all humankind. After you start to notice the individual threads in the tapestry, be sure to step back and see the whole. For the remarkably balanced and connected artistry of the themes and directions in the story is what makes this book great.
If you are disturbed by descriptions of violence, brutality, and inhumanity, you will not enjoy this book.
Robert Jordan is an American who has joined the republican side of the Spanish civil war. In normal life, he teaches Spanish. Now, he is transformed into a demolitions expert who can blow up trains and bridges. With an offensive coming, he moves behind the fascist lines to join a guerilla group to blow a key bridge during an offensive that begins in 3 days. The rest of the story covers the action of preparing for and attacking the bridge. Along the way, you will become acquainted with the characters in the guerilla band as well as Jordan. Jordan will find himself moved in many ways to become more alive and fully connected than he has ever been before. He will experience the full range of human emotion and life within these 3 days.
Read more ›
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