War, while being destructive, unsettling, and violent, can in fact have its
beautiful moments. At least it can when described by a literary genius such as
Robert Jordan, a young explosives expert working for
the Spanish rebel cause,
is sent into the mountains of Spain to destroy a bridge
that’s occupied by
fascist forces. In order to succeed, he must first befriend a
of gypsies whose leader, Fernando, a once-great rebel commander, has all
given up hope for success.
With the help of the strong and hefty
Pilar (Fernando’s wife and the real
leader of the gypsies) and Anselmo (an old gypsy
guide), Jordan is successful
in persuading the gypsies to help him accomplish his
mission. But the
situation becomes far more complicated when Jordan finds himself
love with a beautiful gypsy girl named Maria.
the Bell Tolls is perhaps Hemingway’s style-defining novel—and certainly one of his
most picturesque. The detail with which he provides the reader when describing the hills
of Spain reads more like a painting than a book, and though he never strays from his
short, straightforward prose,
Hemmingway does put more emotion into a five-word
sentence than most writers
could in twenty.
This is also one book
that, even during necessary pauses in action (those
dreadful slow periods), maintains
a romantic engagement with the reader,
transforming mundane moments into solid
writing by consistently uncovering
the human element in each new
This book is a must for any serious reading enthusiast.