For Whom The Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway that was published in 1940.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

This is the story of an American (Robert Jordan) fighting against the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War.  Jordan has been ordered to blow up a bridge behind enemy line, just prior to an attack. He recruits  a republican guerrilla unit to aid him in completing his mission.  With the guerrillas is a girl named Maria and romance soon follows.

I’ve read several books on the Spanish Civil War, including one made up of letters sent home by Americans fighting in this civil war for the Republic. They were idealist young people fighting for the common people of Spain and they hoped, by example the world. The occupy wall street movement got me thinking about these young people of a different time and moved me to read this book.

I Found For Whom the Bell Tolls to be more a love story with hundreds of pages before you get to any action. The book does give you a window into Jordan’s thinking about his father and grandfather,  never his principles or opinions. Jordan is willing to lay down his life without question, but why and for what?

I wanted to be drawn into Jordan’s emotions, but it never happened and I was left with a couple chapters of action at the end of the book.