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Book Club Podcast: Alexander Faludy on For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

02 March 2023

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper in the 1943 film adaptation of For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper in the 1943 film adaptation of For Whom the Bell Tolls

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For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway is the choice for this month’s Church Times Book Club. On this episode of the Book Club Podcast, the Revd Alexander Faludy, who has written about the book in this week’s Church Times, is in conversation with Sarah Meyrick.

Published in 1940, Ernest Hemingway’s war novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is set in 1937, near Segovia, during the Spanish Civil War. The lead character, Robert Jordan, is a young American teacher who volunteers to help a group of guerrilla fighters blow up a bridge to stop the advance of Francisco Franco’s fascist forces. The drama evolves over three days at the cave hideout of the guerrilla fighters in the pine forests of the Spanish Sierra. During that time, Robert Jordan falls in love with a Spanish girl, Maria. As tension mounts and death seems certain, the book’s title, derived from one of the metaphysical poet John Donne’s meditations takes resonance: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls It tolls for thee.”

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was an author and journalist, and is celebrated as one of the leading American 20th-century novelists.

For Whom the Bell Tolls is published by Cornerstone at £8.99 (Church Times Bookshop £8.09); 978-0-09-990860-9.

The Church Times Book Club is run in association with the Festival of Faith and Literature.

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Click the play button above to listen to this podcast. You can also listen to the Church Times Podcast on the Church Times app for iPhone and iPad, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and most other podcast platforms. 


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