Sunday, August 27, 2006

For Whom The Bell Tolls | Ernest Hemingway

After reading "For Whom The Bell Tolls" I needed to catch my breath and dwell in what happened. I'm not going to give it away, or anything... and let me give you the gist of what the book is about.

Robert Jordan, a military man, is given a war objective to blow a particular bridge in Spain. This book deals with the troubles and tribulations of this man, leading a guerrilla group to accomplish this task. Insightful and heart wrenching.

I think I liked this book more than Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", but the books are completely different in style. If you hated Hemingway's tendency to write paragraph long sentences in "The Old Man and the Sea", you'll be pleasantly surprised at this different literary style.

This war book is a must read (along with Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago"). It's not like war is portrayed in the media... and it's less about constant battling and more about thought processes, coping with war / killing and about how love changes a man.

After reading this novel, I'll have to eventually check out more Hemingway. "A Farewell to Arms" immediately comes to mind, but it will be a long while before I get to it. "The Three Musketeers" is next.

"So if your life trades its seventy years for seventy hours I have that value now and I am lucky enough to know it. And if there is not any such thing as a long time, nor the rest of your lives, nor from now on, but there is only now, why then now is the thing to praise and I am very happy with it."


"If this was how it was then this was how it was. But there was no law that made him say he liked it. I did not know that I could ever feel what I have felt, he thought. Nor that this could happen to me. I would like to have it for my whole life. You will, the other part of him said. You will. You have it now and that is all your whole life is; now. There is nothing else than now. There is neither yesterday, certainly, nor is there any tomorrow. How old must you be before you know that? There is only now, and if now is only two days, then two days is you life and everything in it will be in proportion. This is how you live a life in two days. And if you stop complaining and asking for what you never will get, you will have a good life."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Similar in scope would be
"All Quiet on the Western Front" by Erich Maria Remarque. It deals with inner turmoil that changes a person after the situations they've been in.

Goats of Olde may have a copy...