For Whom the Bell Tolls

Version: Unabridged
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Narrator: Campbell Scott
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Classics
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: May 2006
# of Units: 16 CDs
Length: 16 hours, 39 minutes
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Hemingway's classic novel of the Spanish Civil War

In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war; 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, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. Surpassing his achievement in "The Sun Also Rises and "A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway creates 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." "For Whom the Bell Tolls stands as one of the best war novels of all time.

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose. Publication of "The Sun Also Rises and "A Farewell to Arms immediately established Ernest 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 lead 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 fiction in his brilliant novel "For Whomthe Bell Tolls, and he subsequently covered World War II. His classic novella "The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. He died in 1961.

Reviews (10)

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Written by Freya Scott-Turner on January 30th, 2017

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Gripping story and brilliantly read!

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Written by Tonya Morris on September 11th, 2014

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I know this book is a classic and that is partly why I chose to read if but it took a while to get going. Robert Jordan was my kind of hero, the unlikely, I don't give a sh*t sort. This book brings up some facts about war I think we can still learn from. I found Hemmingway's

Written by Tierza Pope on September 13th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Loved this book. Excellent classical read!! I believe everyone needs to read this book

Another Masterpiece

Written by Albert from Annapolis, MD on April 30th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is one of the great novels of the 20th Century. The expert narration and voice characteristics of the narrator make it one of the materpieces of the Simply Audiobooks collection. I had not read it, so I was looking forward to it. I was not disappointed. If you are not familiar with the history surrounding the Spanish Civil War (1930s), I suggest you read something in preparation to give you the context.


Written by Anonymous on May 5th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Classic novel, amazing reader. I didn't want my commute to end!

... Need more

Written by Anonymous on October 1st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Didn't want this book to end. Excellent read/listen :)

Wonderfully disturbing

Written by Anonymous on August 23rd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A great novel by any standard, and a must read for lovers of literature. The story is set during the Spanish civil war in 1937 -- very important to the character development -- but it is really about a man coming to terms with his life and its value. The novel covers only a few days, but is actually a life-time for Robert Jordan. He discovers love, compassion, friendship, sacrifice, and ultimately peace. One of the most impressive aspects of this novel is Hemingway's skill at making you feel as if you are reading (listening to) the book in Spanish. The words thrown in and the grammar/syntax are expertly worked. I've never read anything even close to his skill at this. Masterful. When it is done, you will hear Robert Jordan's voice echoing in your head for days.

"It Tolls for Thee"

Written by Anonymous on December 20th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls is seemingly limited in its audience appeal: How many readers can relate to the Spanish Civil War? Actually, quite a few people will find themselves affected by this priceless piece of prose. Autonomy, love, betrayal, friendship, passion---these are human conditions that cross all geographical and historical boundaries. The narration is lovely and the story is riveting. If you like Hemingway at all, you'll love this novel. He exhibits the best of his extolled writing techniques and develops both characters and plot that will keep you thinking long after the last CD has ended.


Written by Anonymous on May 15th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I couldnt get into this book. I sent it back after listening to half of it. The reader was bland and mono-tone. No expresstion or even variations in the character voices. The writting itself was also bland. No excitement at all. Thank goodness I'm not in the situation where I have to actually finish this book. Don't bother!

A Must

Written by Wayne Ayers from Bronx, NY on September 16th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

One of the greatest works of the twentieth century. Reads like a best selling page-turner, deals with the great themes of existence, death, responsibility, love and friendship--what else is there? You will be awed...

Author Details

Author Details

Hemingway, Ernest

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), born in Oak Park, Illinois, started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. Serving at the front, he was wounded, was decorated by the Italian Government, and spent considerable time in hospitals. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers and was soon sent back to Europe to cover such events as the Greek Revolution.

During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which he described in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises (1926). Equally successful was A Farewell to Arms (1929), the study of an American ambulance officer's disillusionment in the war and his role as a deserter. Hemingway used his experiences as a reporter during the civil war in Spain as the background for his most ambitious novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Among his later works, the most outstanding is the short novel, The Old Man and the Sea (1952), the story of an old fisherman's journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat.

Hemingway - himself a great sportsman - liked to portray soldiers, hunters, bullfighters - tough, at times primitive people whose courage and honesty are set against the brutal ways of modern society, and who in this confrontation lose hope and faith. His straightforward prose, his spare dialogue, and his predilection for understatement are particularly effective in his short stories, some of which are collected in Men Without Women (1927) and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938). Hemingway died in Idaho in 1961.