I don't often give up on books but this one beat me into submission. A young American joins the republican rebels during the Spanish Civil War. Apparently he is there to blow up a bridge but by page 176 (at which point I gave up) still hasn't done it or anything approaching it. This is on a par with Moby Dick where they don't even get on the ship until about page 130. Sample dialogue circa page 10: "So you're here to blow up a bridge?"; "Yes".; "Not a train?"; "No, a bridge". "Not a train?". Sample dialogue circa page 140: "So you're here to blow up a bridge?"; "Yes".; "Not a train?"; "No, a bridge". "Not a train?". This should give you an idea of the pace of the plot. The only interesting section in the early part of the book is when a character describes the execution of fascist sympathisers in her village with a hint that later in the book she will describe the fascist's retalliation. Unfortunately that wasn't enough to convince me to go on reading. Try "Homage to Catalonia" instead; it's better written and less self-indulgent.