Kimball's Reviews > For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Aug 19, 11

Read in August, 2011

This was a tough one to rate, I was torn to go both higher and lower. I love Hemingway for his realistic writing style and his true unforced character development. This book was no exception in both regards. But the book did disappoint in a few ways and was probably my least favorite of all his writings (Old Man and the Sea being a favorite).

It started off well, with his raw words painting a very realistic picture. But the story really slowed as he diverged into flashback after flashback. For awhile it was very slow, and I became somewhat disinterested. For awhile it was so gruesome I almost stopped. (though after finding out more about the Spanish Civil War online, I realized he was just painting a very real picture, as that war was extremely brutal and personal) It requires a very mature audience.

In the end, I finished it, and I'm glad I did. It picked up quite a bit, and his writing was superb. The ending was also quite good. So I was torn...but three stars fits it, and I am glad I read it (and learned of the Donne poem for which the title is based).

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