For Whom The Bell Tolls (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 27 May 1999
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"One of the greatest novels which our troubled age will produce" (Observer)
"A sparse, masculine, world-weary meditation on death, ideology and the savagery of war in general, and the Spanish civil war in particular" (Sunday Telegraph)
"For Whom the Bell Tolls allowed us to actually see the experience of an irregular struggle, from the political and military point of view...That book became a familiar part of my life. And we always went back to it, consulted it, to find inspiration" (Fidel Castro Observer)
"I read as a kid, of course, but it didn't get me like that till I read For Whom the Bell Tolls. I was very taken with that book. I still reread sections, though I'm now reading it not for the thrill of the story but for the technique and craft of it." (Gene Wilder Daily Mail)
"The best book Hemingway has written" (New York Times)
'The best fictional report of the Spanish Civil War that we possess' Anthony BurgessSee 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
I can see why this book has such a reputation because the story is compelling but I found it very frustrating. Read morePublished 4 days ago by AlexM
I bought it because I felt I needed to re-educate myself to some degree, and this is a classic by a writer lauded by the critics. Read morePublished 18 days ago by oblomov
Prompted to buy and read out of curiosity. Bit dated and unexpectedly romantic. Felt the need to finish after starting, which says something in its favour - but not a riveting... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Robert Beattie
Powerful, Evocative and descriptive account of the detail and confusion of a misunderstood civil war with moments of great sensitivity and tendernessPublished 1 month 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 2 months 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