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The Fifth Column and Four Stories Of the Spanish Civil War

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  990 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Featuring Hemingway's only full-length play, The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War brilliantly evokes the tumultuous Spain of the 1930s. These works, which grew from Hemingway's adventures as a newspaper correspondent in and around besieged Madrid, movingly portray the effects of war on soldiers, civilians, and the correspondents sent to cover it.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published June 24th 2008 by Scribner (first published 1938)
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Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The important thing about this collection is that it is Hemingway and it is about the Spanish Civil War. Without that understanding, this would be a play and 4 stories from a generic writer/survivor of that war.The reason I read this is that in the recent: Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures, 1935-1961 Nicholas Reynolds poses that in fear of the HUAC Hemingway suppressed production of his only play, “The Fifth Column”.

Now that I’ve read it, It seems that the HUAC
Carl R.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hemingway famously chronicled the Spanish Civil War (For Whom the Bell Tolls) being his most prominent work from the period.) Probably most Americans' knowledge of that conflict comes as much from him as from history texts, since the whole thing got pretty much drowned out by WWII. I've reviewed a few of Rebecca Pawel's novels of the period, which has added to my own knowledge, and I have friends with relatives who actually joined the Lincoln Brigade, a group of American volunteers who went over ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Butterfly and the tank, Ernest Hemingway
عنوان: پروانه و تانک؛ نویسنده: ارنست همینگوی؛ مترجم: رضا قیصریه، انتشارات فاریاب؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، فاریاب، 1364، در 156 ص، موضوع: داستان جنگهای داخلی اسپانیا از 1936 تا 1939 میلادی
چهار داستان کوتاه درباره ی جنگ داخلی اسپانیا است . خبرچینی، پروانه و تانک، شب قبل از نبرد، در زیر ستیغ

Tim Weed
Jun 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his writings during and after the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway was processing his experiences and looking for new inspiration. Most of the stories from this period take place in and around Chicote’s, which still exists on Gran Via, and which was, at the time, the place to go in Madrid.

“The Fifth Column” is a minor but amusing effort, a stage drama in which an American spy has a flirtation with a tall blonde journalist in the war-assaulted Hotel Florida. “The Butterfly and the Tank” recounts a
Ian Racey
I recently came across (in Hotel Florida by Amanda Vaill) Arturo Barea's assessment of Hemingway as "a spectator who wished to be seen as an actor", and I don't think there could be any better exemplar of this than The Fifth Column. Philip Rawlings is transparently Hemingway's attempt to make himself into the hero he wasn't--an American journalist covering the Siege of Madrid, only, you see, the journalism is JUST A COVER to hide that he's really a communist hero, hunting out fascist sympathiser ...more
Elena Calvo
Nov 26, 2014 rated it liked it
I have just finished this drama written by Hemingway and I have really liked it. It might be true that characters seem plain, specially women, and it might seem a quite simple play, but the truth is that it isn't. Hemingway captured the real essence of such a moment like a civil war, the daily routine of average people and journalists and the ones taking place in the espionage and counter-espionage plot. Everything seen mainly through the eyes and words of Philip, the one that helps us together ...more
Mark McKenny
The Fifth Column was actually pretty decent and a lot better than I thought it was going to be. However some areas were still a little weak.. Just basic, forgettable... The 4 short stories again were nothing special but at least enjoyable to read, compared to plenty of other Hemingway short stories. Overall a nice little collection and one I'd recommend reading.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
"The Fifth column" is a play and I wasn't enamored of it. Plays are not for reading anyway. The four short stories are quite good. Probably 4 stars for the stories, and 2 stars for the play.
Jeroen Bernaer
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Ernest Hemingway is vooral bekend als schrijver van vaak meesterlijke romans en kortverhalen. Dat hij zich ook één keer waagde aan toneel, is minder bekend. Amusant en degelijk is The Fifth Column wel, maar ophefmakend of memorabel? Nee, dat niet.

Twee aangrenzende hotelkamers in een hotel in het belegerde Madrid tijdens de Spaanse Burgeroorlog. Dat is de hoofdsetting voor The Fifth Column. Twee verschillende werelden blijken het, alleen met elkaar verbonden via een tussendeur. In de ene kamer Do
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had not previously read the play. Sad, funny, and typical Hemingway.
Aug 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, drama
What the play,The Fifth Column, has in common with the four stories is not artistry, though it is not bad, just not as good as the stories, is a focus on how war, particularly civil war, leads to abuses in the name of loyalty or for sectarian political gain. During the civil war Hemingway was beyond loath to mention such things—he took the party line that abuses were regrettable but unavoidable and that discussing them, as his more morally centered friend John Dos Passos did, was a threat to the ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hemingway
The Fifth Column and Four Stories is a Hemingway collection published in 1969 by Mary Hemingway after her husband’s suicide. It includes Hemingway’s only play, which had been published previously in 1938, and four short stories that he wrote while in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War.

They (both play and stories), given their themes, might be considered creative foreshadows to For Whom the Bell Tolls. But beyond that timing, they are Hemingway’s first-hand descriptions of what life might have b
Sep 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fifth Column and Four Stories of the Spanish Civil War should be re-named Tales from the Chicote Bar because a lot of the stories center around, take place in, or stop by for a drink at the Chicote. This is clearly because Hemingway, going for authenticity and having first hand experience with the Spanish Civil War, understood that the Chicote was an important location for this bloody conflict...about as important if not more so than Ebro!

It certainly is not because Ernie is a raging alcohol
ArEzO.... Es
Sep 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان اول، «خبرچيني»، داستان كافهي چيكوته است كه پاتوق خيلي از «آدمهاي باصفا» است «و از آنجا كه آدمهاي واقعاً باصفا معمولاً شجاعتر هم هستند، و شجاعترها زودتر كشته ميشوند، عدهي زيادي از مشتريهاي قديمي چيكوته حالا مردهاند.» تمام داستان حول «شخصيت» همين بار ميگردد؛ تمام مشتريان بار عاشق آنجا هستند و آنجا را بهترين بار دنيا يا دستكم يكي از بهترينها ميدانند.
اسپانيا درگير جنگ داخلي ميان طرفداران ژنرال فرانكو و طرفداران دولت ضدفاشيست است. بار چيكوته در مادريد است كه در دست نيروهاي دولت است. در اين ميا
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: guerra-civil, teatre
Obra de teatre ambientada en un hotel a Madrid durant el setge dels nacionals, al 1936. En realitat és un petit drama amorós plè d' alcohol, discussions, espionatge, complots i amb una banda sonora a base de trets, bombes i avions. Un Hemingway en estat pur, diàlegs crus, impactants, durs que expliquen mes dels personatges del que pugui fer-ho cap narrador. El protagonista és un home allistat a les BI, bevedor, carregat de dubtes morals i afectat de bruscos canvis d'humor. No costa gaire veure q ...more
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned
Hemingway's three act play The Fifth Column reminds me of my thoughts after reading Hemingway's poems: Papa needs to stick to prose! Hemingway's drama isn't as embarrassing as his poetry, but it's a far cry from his novels, and certainly not in the same league as the four short stories that follow the play in this collection, which are not top shelf Hemingway stories to begin with. Only Hemingway could toss off the character tag "Moorish Tart" (even after establishing the character's name as Ani ...more
Oct 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As others have already mentioned Hemingway's play The Fifth Column was somewhat disappointing but the short stories were interesting. I particularly enjoyed Night Before Battle and Under the Ridge. However I'm not much of a fan of the short story on the whole. And although I enjoyed these short stories and love Hemingway's elegant simple prose style, the combination of the two leaves these stories somewhat lacking. Hemingway is at his evocative and emotive best when there is ample space to devel ...more
Matthew Offner
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully written play; it seemed that many were disappointed with the lack of plot and character development, however I was entertained with the quality and wit that is Hemingway's writing, as well as his ability to capture an authentic glimpse of the daily civilian struggles during the Spanish Civil War, set in Madrid. If you have read EH before, the two main characters Philip and Bridges are no strangers. They embody the vanity and self-loathing that Hemingway characters almost always seem ...more
Dewayne Stark
In Hotel Florida the writing and publishing of this book is mentioned so I had to read this. Recently this play was performed in London and several reviewers state Hemingway only wrote one play and this is why. I thought it difficult to read. Towards the end of the play Dorothy and Philip at together and Philip is mentioning all the places he has been and seen. "Or what about Malindi where you can surfboard on the beach and the northeast monsoon..." Hemingway went to Kenya in 1933 and he mention ...more
Apr 17, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Hemingway, Ernest. THE FIFTH COLUMN: A PLAY. (1937). ***.
Hemingway’s only full-length play, set in Madrid, attempts to show the effects of war on diverse functionaries stationed in the city during hostilities. Lots of characters and lots of scene changes fail to keep the action moving forward. The various groups of soldiers, civilians, and correspondents in the play are mostly stock characters from central casting without any real depth. I found the play ultimately disappointing.
Dane Cobain
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Fifth Column is Ernest Hemingway’s only full-length play, written whilst his hotel was under constant bombardment from artillery shells during the Spanish Civil War. I read it in one day with a hangover and so not much of it actually sank in – my main memory of it is of the repetitiveness of the artillery fire, and the competence of his writing. That’s it, competent – maybe it’d be better if I saw a performance instead.
John Hanson
The play and the four stories all participate in life at Chicote's Bar in Madrid during the Spanish Revolution. His play is awful. What works in his short stories doesn't work in his plays. I enjoyed the short stories. The final story "Under The Ridge" was superb; the other three ranged between good and mediocre. I kind of wish I had read these before FWTBT, but they certainly are not necessary prerequisites.

A must read for Hemingway fans; skip it otherwise.
Douglass Gaking
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, classics
Hemingway's only full-length play, The Fifth Column is characteristic Hemingway. The dialogue is witty, the characters flawed but true. It is full of one-liners that are funny and quotable. It also gives a glimpse of the lives of those mixed up in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. It is nothing spectacular, but it is short and sweet, like this review, and worth adding to your summer reading list.
Hemingway 's only full length play was a disappointment. But the other 4 stories in this collection made the book worth reading. Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, all the stories are set in a pub called Chicotes which apparently still exists in Madrid. Hemingway dwells on his usual themes such as the futility of war, its absurdness and the flimsiness of ideology in the face of sudden death. Probably one of the most astute voices to have immortalized the Spanish civil war.
Jun 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My only complaint was not against this book but my education--I wish I had known more about the Spanish Civil war before reading. But I will probably read this one again--which is rare for me, I enjoyed it that much. The stories are very engaging and the play has great characterization. I would like to see it performed someday.
J. Dana
Dec 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The play, Hemingway's only full length drama, is a disappointment -- Hemingway at his most self-aggrandizing, most misogynistic, most moralizing. I've read that he was disappointed with it. So was I. The short stories buoy the collection, but even they feel a bit phoned-in at points.
جنگ داخلی اسپانیا دست مایه ی بسیاری از نویسندگان آزادی خواه شده. در این مجموعه داستان همینگوی به زیرکی هرچه تمام تر و بدون موضع گیری آشکار سوالات فراوانی را علیه هرگونه خشونت انسانی حتا با شعار آزادی خواهی مطرح نموده است...
از همه تاثیرگذار تر برای من خود داستان پروانه و تانک است که ...
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
I think I stole this from a bookstore lol
I was pretty much a kleptomaniac when I was in high school, and this book came in a pocket size so yeah haha
Too bad the book wasn't that good (guess there IS a price to pay)
Hemingway's sense of journalism still feels so strong even in a play like this.
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
anyone with the misfortune of talking to me at a party in the last three to seven years already knows how i think this is the apex of hemingway. for whatever reason, nobody has agreed, and I'm sure there are a few suitable Wilde quotes I'm forgetting about boorish behavior at parties.
Sally Atwell Williams
The short stories were readable, all concerning the journalist's time spent in Spain during the Civil War, which Hemingway himself did. However, the play and the title of the book was terrible, and I stopped reading it. I don't find Hemingway by any stretch, a playwright.
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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec ...more
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“I sleep on my face, and then it does not frighten anybody in the morning.” 3 likes
“He died, as the Spanish phrase has it, full of illusions. He had not had time in his life to lose any of them, nor even, at the end, to complete an act of contrition. He had not even had time to be disappointed in the Garbo picture which disappointed all Madrid for a week."

(The Capital of the World)”
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