Tuesday, May 23, 2006

For Whom The Bell Tolls (by Ernest Hemingway)

I flew out of town at the last minute on Saturday and in the process I forgot to grab anything to read. Fortunately, O'Hare has a bookstore with a fairly extensive selection, and I grabbed something off my reading list and took a chance. I had an interesting conversation with Ian about the book, in which he explained the Spanish Civil War and also explained that people make fun of the sex scene in the book. I'm glad he explained it when he did, because I would have been really confused at the difference between the guerillas and the "Republicans" who are their communist allies. And probably would have had no clue how the anarcho-syndicalists fit into the whole picture.

Surprisingly to me, I really liked it. I didn't enjoy A Farewell To Arms so I thought this was going to be another war book I wouldn't like, but it was suspenseful, specific, and kept my interest. I also enjoyed the love story in spite of the usual penisy Hemingway stuff. I did roll my eyes at the whole Maria character ("oh let me service you and your penisy needs") but on the other hand, I got into the story to the point where I just went along for the ride. I'm going to go read the Spark Notes now, but to sum up, I liked it and am glad I read it.

"The fascists attacked and made our decision for us. We fight to live. But I would like to have it so that I could tie a handkerchief to that bush back there and come in the daylight and take the eggs and put them under a hen and be able to see the chicks of the partridge in my own courtyard. I would like such small and regular things." (Page 367)


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