'For Whom the Bell Tolls' isn't your typical war-inspired novel. For starters, it is written by Ernest Hemmingway, thus it is written in an undertone without a hint of exaggeration. Probably Hemmingway's purpose wasn't to so much to chronicle the war as it was to bring out what war does to people. Hemmingway's characters, though underplayed, are rich in their own right. After reading a little more than 300 pages, I'm starting to wonder if Hemmingway liked to play metaphysical pranks on his readers by making his work so unbearably simple and excruciatingly slow.
The only thing that keeps me from dismissing the book as a a masterful literary dead end is Hemmingway's empathy towards his characters and his staunch belief in the cause of the anti-Franco republicans. It seems as though he might spring out from the dead any moment to say, 'I love these people, I know their suffering like I know my own'. What more can one expect from a man who supposedly gave an existential interpretation of bullfighting in 'Death in the Afternoon'(who knows I might read it someday).
Current reading status :-
Proposed date of completion: By the end of September.