For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), Ernest Hemingway

ErnestHemmingway_ForWhomTheBellTollsCourage and cowardice in 1938 during the Spanish Civil War, just prior to the Battle of Segovia.

An almost real-time tale of three days in the life of Montanan Robert Jordan fighting fascists alongside republican guerillas as he makes plans to blow up a key bridge.

Robert is a walking advertisement for the virile American male stereotype. He is calm and collected, smart and heroic, good in the sack, and trying to prove he is not afflicted by his father’s cowardice.

Ernest paints a picture filled with minute detail, from the rope soled shoes to the steaming breath of horses. And even though everyone is speaking Spanish, Ernest gives a sense of another language, different and formal, while writing the novel in English – sanitized, of course, with all the cussing obscenities bleeped out.

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