It's been a few years since I've read Hemingway, so I was excited to pick up this novel. For the record, I loved The Old Man and the Sea and especially A Farewell to Arms - that's a great classic. But, compared to those, I was a little bit disappointed with this one. The language was really different, not just from his other novels, but from most books that I've read in general. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it took some getting used to. There were parts of the novel that moved really quickly, and others that seemed to drag. I felt like I had to wade through a lot to get to the meat of the novel.
I did really like the main character - I thought he was well-developed, and the ending was also very good. I was fascinated by the setting and the circumstances of the characters. One thing I love about Hemingway novels is the war setting. It was very interesting. Overall it was a good book, but it did not quite meet the expectations I had for this classic.
The story takes place during the spanish civil war with Robert Jordan, an American, who joined the International Brigade attatched to the antifascist guerilla fighters. For Whom the Bell Tolls has been touted as one of the best war novels of the 20th century.
Pesonally I found the vocabulary to be a bit old fashioned for my taste. Word such as "thine, thus, thy" are just a few examples. Other than the vocabulary, which made the book somewhat painful to read, I enjoyed the story.