Book Club: For Whom The Bell Tolls

4 Jun

For Whom The Bell Tolls

by Ernest Hemingway

I read this absolutely ages ago, meaning to write it up on here. Unfortunately due to the fact I am chronically work-shy this never happened.  Though the gist of what I would have said about the book is the same now as it was then:

An American called Robert Jordan goes to Spain during the civil war to fight. There is lots of Ye Olde Spanish. There is a girl he calls Little Rabbit, which is nice.  There are guns. A gypsy. Some wine. Horses.  Bang bang, the end.

I may have over-simplified things slightly there…

Robert Jordan is a young American who has joined a group of guerrillas in the Spanish Sierra.  Hiding out in the woods he has to win them over to help him blow up a bridge – something he is well practiced in.  In the process he falls in love with Maria, a victim of Franco’s rebels.

I’m maybe being a touch harsh as I did enjoy the book, but it did feel a bit of a chore.  I persevered as I really wanted to write this (that worked out well!) and there were some moments where I could have missed my tube stop to carry on reading. I would say that it’s not a novel I would read again but having just flicked through it perhaps I will give it another shot.

The New York Times described For For Whom The Bell Tolls as “the best book Hemingway has written.”  It has made me want to read more of his work, if only to make up my own mind.


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