Book Review: For Whom The Bell Tolls

 


I recently picked up another Hemingway novel which I carried with me during the move to Boston. I appreciate his work because he follows a simple yet essential principle in writing good fiction; write from one's own experiences. In this novel, Robert Jordan is an agent in Spain sent to blow up a bridge at the start of a major offensive in the Spanish Civil War. Through a wild variety of experiences, meetings, and events we see how Robert's perception of the people and history of the land has changed.  

Hemingway himself spent a good amount in Spain during the war and began writing about it shortly after returning. As a reporter, he saw the worst of the ways in war. This tales appear to be projected into the characters of this novel and provide a sort-of second hand image of Hemingway's own experiences. 

One particularly interesting facet of the writing style in this novel is the way Spanish and English are used interchangeably at times during dialogue between Robert and his fellow guerilla fighters. Hemingway knows that certain phrases and emotions unique to the Spanish way of speaking are hard to convey exactly as they are in English. 


10/10, would recommend highly

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