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updated 2/15/2006 2:01:22 PM ET 2006-02-15T19:01:22

Audio editions of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "A Farewell to Arms" and other full-length Ernest Hemingway classics, long available only to libraries, will soon be sold to the general public, publisher Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday.

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"The market for unabridged, full-length books only started taking off over the last few years. And we think Hemingway will be especially popular for audio downloads," Chris Lynch, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio, told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Lynch said that the audio versions had been distributed by Books on Tape, a division of Random House, Inc., that sells primarily to schools and libraries. Simon & Schuster, which releases the print editions, acquired the audio rights after they became available last year.

According to Mary Beth Roche, president of the Audio Publishers Association, most major authors have their books out in audio.

In a statement issued through Simon & Schuster, the author's son, Patrick Hemingway, said his "father would have been pleased to have so many of his finest works published in audiobook form.

"Reading Hemingway is to listen to him, to 'hear' the dialogue. The spoken word versions will certainly add another dimension to his writing and will entice new audiences to his work," Patrick Hemingway said.

In May, audio versions of "A Farewell to Arms," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "The Old Man and the Sea" will be released, with the readers still to be announced. Other audio books to come out include "The Sun Also Rises," "A Moveable Feast" and "Death in the Afternoon."

Hemingway's short stories, read by actor Stacy Keach, already are sold through Simon & Schuster Audio.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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