For Whom The Bell Tolls Mass Market Paperback – 18 Aug 1994
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"One of the greatest novels which our troubled age will produce" (Observer)
"The best fictional report on the Spanish Civil War that we possess" (Anthony Burgess)
"The best book Hemingway has written" (New York Times)
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of A Farewell to Arms comes perhaps his finest novel, a passionate evocation of the pride and the tragedy of the Civil War that tore Spain apart.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
However I must express most strongly how bad the quality of this edition is. It is laden with misspellings, and the binding is truly atrocious - my copy fell apart under very little stress. I urge you to buy hardback or the Arrow edition.
While I can totally understand why so many people give it five star reviews and I don't want to put anyone off from reading this, for me the book was ruined when it frequently replaced historical fact with Stalinist propaganda. As someone who has a keen interest in the Spanish civil war I was annoyed that every time the beautiful writing started to draw me back into the story it would lapse back into propaganda.
This book is a story about an American volunteer fighting fascism in Spain with a small band of guerrillas who he must persuade to undertake a dangerous mission. The problem is that the background events against which this story are set are riddled with inaccuracy and bias.
Hemingway really travelled to Spain during the civil war, at a time when the small Soviet backed Communist Party was seizing control of the republican government and persecuting the other factions. Many of the lies they fabricated at the time to justify their behaviour have made their way into this novel as though they really happened. For example the anarchist and syndicalist militias who formed the majority of the republican forces in the civil war are consistently portrayed as incompetent drunks harming the war effort in this novel.
While I appreciate that the majority of readers will probably not be as interested in the Spanish Civil War background so will not have this problem, for me once I realised how distorted a portrayal of Spain this was it ruined a lot of the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Powerful, Evocative and descriptive account of the detail and confusion of a misunderstood civil war with moments of great sensitivity and tendernessPublished 13 hours ago by Christopher Moore
I recently re-read The Old Man and the Sea, and that proved to be the catalyst to re-read his masterpiece, which was the prime reason he won the Nobel Prize in 1954. Read morePublished 1 month ago by John P. Jones III
Book in good order. Couldn't bring myself to read much as such small print.
Good service from seller. Thanks
I read this years back and re-read it before I took a trip to Cuba - this book funded his very nice house outside Havana. Read morePublished 2 months ago by D. Foot
It's a classic and well-known book but I'm sure there are still legions of potential readers. Not an easy book to get into as the writing style is very individual and quite hard to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Book fiend