Thursday, October 14, 2010

For Whom the Bell Tolls - Book Review

I fell hard for Ernest Hemingway in high school.

I read A Farewell to Arms my sophomore year and fell in love with Hemingway and great literature. I read it over ever few years just because I can't get enough of the love story and Hemingway's gift for writing. Oh, he had a gift. I've also read The Sun Also Rises multiple times--sometimes because it was assigned and sometimes for fun. I've long heard that For Whom the Bell Tolls is supposed to be Hemingway's masterpiece and it's been on my to-read list for some time. (I have to admit that I have little to no desire to read about an old man in the sea. Sorry.)

In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Robert Jordan is an American supporting the Republic in the Spanish Civil War. Jordan has been given the assignment to work with a small band of guerrillas to blow up a bridge at the moment of the Republic offensive. Over the three days he spends with the guerrillas the reader gets into his head and experiences the physical and psychological experience of being in war.

I sat in my car waiting for a family photo session this morning and finished this fabulous novel. It is powerful and emotional and just confirmed my belief that Hemingway is one of the greatest writers. I'm gushing, I know. He's not for everyone. I've pushed Utah Dad to read both A Farewell to Arms and The Sun Also Rises and he's not a fan. Utah Dad thinks Hemingway is just an angry drunk. He might be right but I'm going to encourage him to give Hemingway another chance and read For Whom the Bell Tolls. I think Utah Dad will be glad he did.

**No one gave me a free copy of this book or asked me to read and review it. I read it just because I wanted to.

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