Andy's Reviews > For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 11, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: nobel-winners
Read in January, 2000

The Spanish Civil War is a very interesting historical event, but this story is full of bad dialogue, glorifies the brave American, and largely ignores the plight of the Spaniards themselves - not to mention that the love interest is as one-dimensional as a blowup sex doll, which is pretty much all that her character serves as in this book. I recommend Orwell's Homage to Catalonia if you want to know what the Spanish Civil War was like - unlike Hemingway who was just a reporter in Spain, Orwell was really a soldier. And unlike Hemingway, Orwell doesn't glorify the fighting but shows it as the horror that it actually was.
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02/03 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Nice review. And I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Homage To Catalonia.

Andy Thanks:)

message 3: by Ur (new)

Ur Mom i dont want to know what the spanish civil war was like, i want to explore human nature. any suggestions.

Andy None that are set in Spain, but you might like Nausea by Sartre or the Stranger by Camus.

message 5: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Huh? I don't read Faulkner to get an idea of 1860s Southern living. I read if because

Matt It's pretty much the case in all of Hemingway's work that the women are ALL as one-dimensional as blowup sex dolls. He was a sexist pig, and anyone who argues otherwise is just kidding themselves. For god sakes, for the first half of the novel Pilar is referred to only as "Pablo's wife."

Andy I wrote that review a while ago, glad to see people are still looking at it. Thanks for your comments!

message 8: by Em (new) - rated it 1 star

Em Grove It's weird that the "love story" is glorified by many reviewers, because it IS as one-dimensional as you say! The book is ethnocentric in that Robert Jordan immediately starts bossing complete strangers around, and orders Maria around like a slave. He clearly sees none of them as equals to the Great White Man, even though he has no problem drinking their wine and eating their food. Sure, he has his mission, but, still... I'll look up Orwell's Homage to Catalonia. Thanks for the suggestion!!

Daniela Soares Hi, I'm a Brazilian Historian and I love Spanish Civil War. In fact, this book and this historical event are my object of study. And I agree with you about the book.

message 10: by Mary (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mary The love story was the least of the book, but I think his character descriptions of the guerrillas and the battle scenes certainly don't glorify war in the least. Pillar's description of the killing of the fascists and the drunken mob violence certainly didn't seem glorious to me.

Ayesha the character Maria really got on my nerves.

Walkour > glorifies the brave American
This is not mentioned enough in reviews

message 13: by Kate (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kate I actually liked the book a lot on the whole, but also completely agree with you about all this. -_- Thank you for the Orwell recommendation; will definitely check it out!

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