For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

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This is also one book that, even during necessary pauses in action (those dreadful slow periods), maintains a romantic engagement with the reader, transforming mundane moments into solid writing by consistently uncovering the human element in each new situation.
-Nights and Weekends

Synopsis

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," For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. 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 to 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, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.
 

About Ernest Hemingway

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Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that led to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he also covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.
 
Published July 25, 2002 by Scribner. 480 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, War, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure. Fiction
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Critic reviews for For Whom the Bell Tolls
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Good
on Oct 07 2011

It's not a book for the thin-skinned; it has more than its fill of obscenities and the style is clipped and almost too elliptical for clarity at times. But it is a book that repays one for bleak moments of unpleasantness.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Mat Brewster on May 07 2005

It is impossible, within the confines of a review, to fully expound upon the greatness of this novel. It is a piece of literature, of art, that should be read, reread, studied, and made mandatory reading for every human being.

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Nights and Weekends

Good
Reviewed by Jeff Sloan on Dec 10 2015

This is also one book that, even during necessary pauses in action (those dreadful slow periods), maintains a romantic engagement with the reader, transforming mundane moments into solid writing by consistently uncovering the human element in each new situation.

Read Full Review of For Whom the Bell Tolls

Rebecca Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Mar 31 2011

Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls covers the emotions and movements of about 15 guerilla soldiers for 70 hours during the Spanish Civil War (May 1937)...I highly recommend For Whom the Bell Tolls. As a novel, it fulfilled my expectation of emotionally and mentally moving me. I am a different person having read it.

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