• A Bell for Adano

  • By: John Hersey
  • Narrated by: David Green
  • Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 10-15-10
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4.1 (61 ratings)

Regular price: $24.49

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Publisher's Summary

John Hersey grew up in China, studied at Yale and Cambridge, worked as a journalist, and astonished the nation when he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945 for A Bell for Adano. His first novel, its offbeat blend of patriotism and warm humor immediately captured readers’ hearts.
In 1943, the American Major Victor Joppolo finds himself the civil affairs officer - the mayor - of a small town in Sicily. Equipped with the rulebook, How to Bring American Democracy to Liberated Territories he sets about bringing choices to a people whose every recent activity had been dictated. Asking them what the town needs most, he is answered: give the town back its spirit - a bell to replace the 700-year-old one that was melted down for bullets. The major soon discovers that he may not be able to guarantee democracy for the ancient town, but he can do something about the bell. His story is one of humanity in the midst of war’s cruelty, and conviction in a maze of military bureaucracy.
©1944 John Hersey (P)1989 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Susan on 02-07-12

A quick little gem

Good to listen to, if you like to hear a little Italian spoken here and there. Greatly inspirational story of someone who can make things happen and work around problems. Should be a must read for all troops leaving for overseas. Not out of date despite the years that have passed since its publication. I see why it got the prize. Glad Livermore chose it for our "Community Read".

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Kate Yonder on 08-11-17

Another Good Piece of WWII Historical Fiction

David Green's performance of Hersey's novel is very good. The tipsiness of the Americans, the general's 'Go* damn' voice, Mr. Major, the different Italian guys...great performance. Green helped the story come alive.

The story itself, personally, very excellently follows up Underneath a Scarlet Sky, where the Americans begin to make their appearance at the end of the book. I feel like A Bell for Adano is a continuation of Underneath a Scarlet Sky. Though the beginning of this novel was a bit difficult for me to get through. This story is much older and the style of writing is different, to the point where I could see a 1950s black and white film on television--bland and "he said", then so so said, the the other guy said, and he said...too much ping pong for me. Other than all that, Hersey writes as though Major Joppolo perfected the art of Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. If only the military truly practiced Joppolo's technique of establishing rapport, building relationships, and being selfless then the world might actually be a better place. Unfortunately, there are not enough Joppolo's in our military.

I have been on a WWII in Italy kick. This book is the fourth that I have read on the topic. Whereas Underneath a Scarlet Sky and The Alice Network were educational with historical contexts, there is not exactly anything historical about this book, in the sense that there is little takeaway about the war itself. This book is more on the relationship between the military and the local population.

Still, highly recommend!

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