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473 of 511 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still haunted by Hemingway
"For Whom the Bell Tolls" was the first Hemingway I ever read. I was a high school kid in the early 1970s, working on my campus newspaper, newly graduated from Jack London but not yet ready for Jack Kerouac.
To my young eyes, it was a good action story: Robert Jordan, the passionate American teacher joins a band of armed gypsies in the Spanish Civil...
Published on June 2, 2000 by Ron Franscell, Author of 'The ...

versus
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What War Is Really Like
With vivid, descriptive prose, Hemingway takes us into the mind of a soldier. Focused on duty and his mission, our main character encounters love among the carnage, but even that does not sway him from his duty. Though at times a bit long-winded, Hemingway brings the internal battle of war to the surface. The self-talk that goes on shows the conflict behind the rough...
Published on January 14, 2011 by GTO


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5.0 out of 5 stars Very vivid, September 15, 2003
By 
Raul (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
I can't say enough how much I like Hemingway and his writing. The complexities of relationships and the struggle to understand people's loyalities are shown in this book. Also a refreshing and informitive look at the Spanish Civil War. Which in my belief is not widely known here in the States.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IMHO Hemingway's masterpiece..., October 14, 2005
For Whom The Bell Tolls is a tour de force in more ways then one and ends being Hemingway's best work because of how accesible it is to a general audience.

The first time I read this book I was 17 and I couldn't put it down which is a stark contrast to some of Hemingway's other works. Works like The Sun Also Rises, and Farewell To Arms I think require a bit more maturity to appreciate but FWTBT is a good pick for a more advanced high school student. The novel is more plot driven than Hemingway's other works and thus a bit more exciting and readable for the general public. Hemingway's story of an American demolition expert caught up in a mission amidst the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War is both compelling, suspensefull, thoughtfull, brutal and heartwarming all at once.

Like many "classic" this book excels in most elements that are required for an amazing piece of literature. The charactization is superb. Robert Jordan and the supporting cast are fully fleshed out three dimensional characters. Of course the book is written in the classic Hemingway style. His own style of prose will put you into story as you live this three day adventure with the main characters. Finally there are many layers and themes to this book as it has something to say about war, man, personal honor and the usual Hemingway themes.

This was Hemingway's second to last novel and the last of his more well known works. Having read most of his books, I think Hemingway really hit his peak here and fine tuned his craft. A truly amazing piece of work, FWTBT should really be read by everyone. If you only read one Hemingway book in your life this should be it. You don't need to be "well read" to appreciate this.

Bottom Line: There is a reason why certain books are deemed "classics". FWTBT is the perfect example.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read but painfully detailed at times, November 29, 2014
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I loved "The old man and the sea" but this book, while good, got bogged down in the details. The plot was agonizing slow and I found my mind wandering much of the book from boredom. However, when Mr. Hemingway engaged in the plot out was amazing. Painful at times, but worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The hero of the book, Robert Jordan, gives ..., August 1, 2014
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The hero of the book, Robert Jordan, gives every man insight into what matters when we come face to face with imminent death. Hemingway brings the reader into a land and time that deserves to be explored because of the universality of the struggles of freedom fighters portrayed in the book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Master Work, October 4, 2014
This was the first Hemingway novel that I've read. I've enjoyed some of his short stories. This novel is very good. The characters are vivid, the dialog is second to none, and the atmosphere it creates in the readers mind is very realistic. Reading books like this makes me want to write.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful on war, revolution, but not love, July 20, 1999
By A Customer
Hemingway brings the chaos and passions of twentieth century political war vividly to life in this epic. If only he'd stopped there without cooking up an absurd love story to go with it. Had EH edited out the Robert/Maria hooey he'd have created a novel of war to be compared with any.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Revisited, October 27, 2014
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I had read this book many years ago & did not remember it at all. In my re-reading of Hemingway, I think this has been my favorite so far. I learned things about a time and place I was not familiar with and was fascinated by the characters. It was very down to earth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read., October 6, 2014
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I just re-read this after twenty years. Since then, I've been to my own war as a Marine Infantryman. Papa's characterization of interacting with indigenous forces is spot on, as is his storytelling. Compelling use of language to convey emotion. Fantastic read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My first Hemmingway book, September 9, 2014
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The old writing style using thou and thus etc. Took some getting to. Also Spanish interjection hard to follow at times. Story great. Contemplation of suicide by main character interesting given ultimate demise of author. A hard read but worth the effort.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Literary master, August 15, 2000
By A Customer
Hemmingway is a literary master and displays it in this book. The haunting tale of war and love will speak to any reader. No writer can immerse the reader in a story the way Hemingway can.
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For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics)
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Scribner Classics) by Ernest Hemingway (Hardcover - June 10, 1996)
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