For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Review

forwhomFor Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway is the story of Robert Jordan, a young man who is caught up making explosives for the rebels in the Spanish Civil War. He’s contemplative and slow-to-act, the opposite of the explosives he is in charge of detonating.

We meet up with Jordan once he is tasked to blow up a bridge, a bridge that is pivotal to the war effort. He goes into the mountains to meet with a band of rebels who are to help him destroy the bridge and attack the base on the other side of the bridge. Jordan meets and falls in love with a young Spanish woman Maria and the story reaches it’s climax when he is forced to make a tough decision and blow the bridge without the proper equipment.

Like many of Hemingway’s novels, For Whom the Bell Tolls was quite wordy. There was a lot of talk and not a lot of action. Honestly, I preferred Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms. The novel was interesting. I’m glad I powered through it, as it is considered a classic, but not my favorite of his work. Excellent writer, but I’ve seen better work out of him.

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