Wednesday, October 9, 2013

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

Read for a RL Book Club. My first feeling after reading this tome of a book, was that I was SCAMMED! Upon further examination, careful consideration and deeper deliberation, I came to the conclusion that my prima facie, snap judgement was indeed spot on! Scammed I definitely was, no two ways about it! Lured by reputation, snared by that horrible book-lust, I was made to read a 400+ page book, a book with little semblance of a plot, a static storyline and god-awful characters who first irritated, then agitated and later annoyed me to no end. And the character development, what to say about the character development, or the lack thereof, that even after wading through this book and making it to the end, we still have only and elementary and superficial understanding about the characters. Was the purpose to show the volatility of Spaniards? Perhaps...but it still doesn't excuse the blatant disregard to even making an attempt at understanding the thought process of any of the characters. I am at a loss to comprehend, how could this doorstopper of a thing be dubbed as a piece of Literature, a Type II error perhaps?

The Old Man and the Sea, was probably in the not-good-not-bad category, and even that had a story, which moved, even if painstakingly! Such frivolities and excesses can, however, be overlooked in short stories. My feedback – Stay away from Hemingway! Read Alistair Maclean if you want to read War stories.

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