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A Farewell to Arms  By  cover art

A Farewell to Arms

By: Ernest Hemingway
Narrated by: John Slattery
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Publisher's Summary

The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse.

Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto, of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized, is one of the greatest moments in literary history.

A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.

©1929 Charles Scribner's Sons. Copyright renewed 1957 Ernest Hemingway (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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What listeners say about A Farewell to Arms

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,062
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    1,575
  • 3 Stars
    623
  • 2 Stars
    181
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    3,423
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  • 3 Stars
    586
  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    78

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is not unabridged

Really a great story from really a great narrator. If it was truly unabridged, I would unhesitatingly go for five stars. However, all of the profanity is omitted. There is a silent gap where Hemingway intended a profane word. Hemingway chose his words carefully and he used profanity to make a point about World War I. Of another of his works, Hemingway said "I've tried to reduce profanity but I reduced so much profanity when writing the book that I'm afraid not much could come out. Perhaps we will have to consider it simply as a profane book and hope that the next book will be less profane or perhaps more sacred."

The censorship is conspicuous and, in the case of the retreat chapter, it compromises the narrative. It is a lie to call this audiobook "unabridged." Audible needs to either respect Hemingway's work, or re-categorize this audiobook as abridged.

452 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just FYI

Amazingly, this is the edited version (curse words removed). As I understand it, that's how it was published originally, yet it's still a bizarre choice for today's audio version.

155 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite of Hemingway

While a very good book, not my favorite of Hemingway novels. Written in classic Hemingway prose, with very mundanely realistic dialogues, it was the story itself that I did not love. This is purely a personal opinion, but I found the narrative dragged at times.
Excellent reader, easy to listen to.
I would suggest to anyone considering listening to Hemingway on Audible, that you might be better served with THE SUN ALSO RISES or FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book

I am relatively new to Hemingway. I had read all the criticisms of Hemingway particularly by journalists over the years, and since they said he wrote using simple words I did not bother with him.

They said Hemingway was too concerned with being macho, well this story tells one sweetest stories I have read, and the macho thing is a silly remark to have been made.

The reader was very good and I was taken with his ability to do various Italian accents so clearly, along with his other characterizations.

What a wonderful and tender story, and the characters I understood as if they were real.

Hemingway's character portrayals are remarkable because they seem like you really knew these people.

Ben

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This Narrator Nails It

Of course this is a wonderful, affecting novel, and I am enjoying listening to it. But this narrator! What a wonderful performance! He has the perfect delivery for Frederic Henry, capturing the character with his voice, timing, and inflection. Slattery switches between accents and genders without missing a beat. I can lose myself in the narrative and dialogue, thinking that the characters are real and speaking to me.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

I was not a Hemingway fan, but wanted to listen to one of his books. I chose this one because it was medium in length (compared to others). It is one of the audio books that you find yourself listening to any time you can. It's a terrific story, extremely well narrated and the story is not so obvious that you know what's about to happen next. This was so well done I decided to get For whom the bell tolls to continue exploring Hemingway. You will enjoy this book.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Audiobook experience at the highest level

This always remarkable book comes alive with this reading. I love audio books for their convenience and I get through many more books in audio format than I do with physical books. Comparing what I get from sitting in a chair reading to listening to a book generally is a toss up for me often with reading the book getting a slight edge. But once in a while the audio format far exceeds the page turning experience. This book is a perfect example of how well audio books can be done.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful

This is my favorite book ever, and I was excited to see that they finally made an audiobook of it. Aside from the story, which we know is already a classic, the reading job is top knotch on this. The reader does good Italian, Irish, English, and Austrian accents. I thoroughly enjoyed this.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Engagingly Narrated

This book is a classic and has been reviewed by many more qualified than me. I will address the narration. I was impressed with the narrator's ability to manage the many voices while using great expression to give the story greater life. An excellent listen:)

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

everything you will want AND MORE!

simply the Hemingway Experience at its best. the performance is outstanding. I listened to the book twice. Thank You for putting this book together with sound! WHAT A TRIP!!!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James
  • 12-16-07

Farewell to a good listen

A great book damaged by poor reading. The monotonous narration leaves this lifeless. Conversations are particularly dead. A disappointment.
The experience has taught me to listen to the preview of each download now.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Judy Corstjens
  • 09-06-12

Narrator performs book

For many chapters I couldn't get over the impression that this was a take-off of Hemmingway's style. The 'Janet and John' style, as it sounds to UK listeners (of a certain age). But, Hemmingway builds his characters from conversation - the way they talk - and this narrator almost converts the book to a play at some points. I loved the conversation (soliloquy, since the narrator is talking to himself) where he asks himself 'what if his lover/girlfriend dies (in childbirth)'. I can't imagine how it would look on a page - but played by this actor... really something.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • john
  • 03-31-14

In Another Accent

Would you consider the audio edition of A Farewell to Arms to be better than the print version?

John Slattery does a fine job narrating Hemingway's classic novel. He gets the balance between the hard-bitten laconic tone of the narrative, from the terse war reflections to the suppressed pain at the end. He negotiates the accents (American, Italian, English, Scottish, Swiss) convincingly. I read the text alongside the audio and I thought Slattery's reading brought out tones and inflections I might have missed on the page.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator, Frederic Henry, dominates the novel. It's his take on the events he recounts.

Which character – as performed by John Slattery – was your favourite?

In addition to Henry's narrative voice, I liked the way Slattery realised the Italian characters. He did not resort to the stereotype caricatures that an inferior reader might have attempted in order to play to the gallery.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is too dense a work for a single sitting. The reading makes the listener want to sit and reflect on scenes and chapters.

Any additional comments?

One of Hemingway's enduring qualities is that he writes on the page the way his narrators would speak. There are several good readings available. William Hurt's reading of The Sun Also Rises is top quality. Stacy Keach's readings of the short stories are excellent. It's a pity that Alexander Scourby's readings of the stories appear to be out of the catalogue, but you can still enjoy his reading of The Great Gatsby, which is masterly. John Slattery's reading of A Farewell To Arms is in the same league.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan
  • 09-29-21

A Farewell to Arms

As always very well written by Ernest Hemingway. The novel covers both the Great War and the love affair between an American Lieutenant and a nurse. Bitter sweet and well crafted, a great read as is to be expected from one of the great novelists of all time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jytte
  • 08-13-11

No one besides Hemingway

It's so wonderful to listen to this novel. You hear every word, every tone - when you read you can miss a lot. John Slattery gives life to the - on the surface - subdued lovestory. On my Top Ten!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Baltohusky
  • 09-30-22

a must listen to

A Farewell to Arms is beautifully written by Hemmingway in his own distinctive style and a worthy narration by John Slattery

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin
  • 08-23-22

Great Hemingway Book.

I listened to this having really enjoyed For Whom The Bell Tolls .
I love Hemingway's style of writing.
He captures the horror and futility of war in both books.
A must read for everyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. Declan Commons
  • 07-27-22

just very good even after all these years

narrator is excellent
the story is relevant
and it reminds why hemmingway has an earned place in our memories

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 06-20-22

john slattery was born to read this

john slattery was born to read this. an amazing production for a stunningly beautiful book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eugene Avery
  • 06-11-22

True Classic

Great book. Well read.
Still as sad as I remember. Everyone should read or listen to this book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack Agius
  • 07-21-20

Phenomenal

A centrepiece of Hemingway’s writings, a truly transformative tale of love and loss. Heartbreak and pain is coupled with what can only be described as finding a fantasy love. One of the best books every written in my opinion.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Paddington
  • 07-05-14

old world classic

Having started reading this book when we were staying on Isola Pescatori (Island of the Fishermen) on Lago Maggiore I was keen to listen to it. I loved hearing about the same places in the book that we had visited in this historical setting. I did however tire of Katherine's frequent attempts at not annoying her partner and they did seem too lovey dovey continually discussing that they loved each other. I guess this is the style of a great classic of that time. It is a real classic and well worth a read.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Benjamin Bowen
  • 10-28-22

never could write female characters

book in 4 parts, 1 and 3 are a good gritty war story. 2 and 4 is the worst written soulless
romance of all time

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma
  • 12-26-21

A classic with wonderful narration

Slattery’s narration was captivating - he very much captured Hemingway’s minimalist narrative style. Tragic and beautiful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Francis Doherty-Bigara
  • 09-24-21

Only as E.H. can

I cuss you beyond the grave, Ernest Hemingway 😠
Superb narration by John Slattery! Plus a few more words to exceed fifteen for the review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-20

Enjoyable Hemingway Novel. Fabulous Dialogue.

Its a good read, like most Hemingway novels and as usual his style is very spare. Touches your heart and you feel for the characters. Fabulous dialogue, especially between the main character(American) and Italian doctors and paramedics. The narrator is a master of accents.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-20

Classic

A very captivating story, shows the harsh reality of life and love. I enjoyed every moment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-19

beautiful

superb narration and a lovely story that brought a year to my eye. Must read more Hemingway

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Roy Jenner
  • 07-08-19

A potent reflection of life as it happens.

An outstanding presentation by John Slattery with a final chapter that lifts the entire book above the sometimes doubtful level of improbability.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony Wyatt
  • 08-07-18

Indeed a classic

A superb story greatly enhanced by the perfect narrative that made you feel like you were there. It is clear why Hemingway's books are regarded as classics.