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The last novel Ernest Hemingway saw published, The Old Man and the Sea has proved itself to be one of the enduring works of American fiction. It is the story of an old Cuban fisherman and his supreme ordeal: a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Using the simple, powerful language of a fable, Hemingway takes the timeless themes of courage in the face of defeat and personal triumph won from loss and transforms them into a magnificent twentieth-century classic.

Topics: Cuba, Caribbean, Allegory, Spare, Maritime, Fish, Survival, Fishing, Friendship, Courage, Spirituality , Childhood, Male Author, American Author, Novella, Aging, and Modernism

Published: Scribner on
ISBN: 9780743237307
List price: $8.99
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Great story, beautiful dialogue. Amazing read with just three characters, the old man, the boy and the Marlin.more
very good read more
I read it 40 years ago and I found it… dated. Well, I was 16 and an idiot. In spite of knowing everything about the book I found myself crying over an old man's loss. Incredible book, superb writing.more
why we cannot read full book here?more
Great short read.more
I really appreciated the allegory of man vs. struggle in this book. It reminded me a bit of my Saturday long runs, especially the tough ones. Just like Santiago, I'll talk to myself (sometimes aloud), plead with God, wish for companionship/assistance, and look for the light (in my case, my car) at the end of the tunnel (in his case, on land). And sometimes, like Santiago and his catch, I leave pretty much everything out there on the running trail.

I was surprised that this is such a short book and fast read. Now I want to go to the coast and watch fishing boats come in.more
Beautiful and poignant, but here is an example where Hemingway's sparse writing style made me miss the point of this sad tale. I liked it better than I did when I first read it 30 years ago, though; but still, it has a hard time holding my attentionmore
Beautiful and poignant, but here is an example where Hemingway's sparse writing style made me miss the point of this sad tale. I liked it better than I did when I first read it 30 years ago, though; but still, it has a hard time holding my attentionmore
This book is different and it is different in a good way.

I like Hemingway's writing because he avoids lengthy character descriptions and symbolism. Both children and old men can enjoy his words, thanks to his simplicity.

As a foreign reader of English, imagine how warm you will feel when you sift through a novel without referring to the dictionary even once. I myself am a foreign reader and I felt great doing that. Some commentators seem to ignore this accessibility Hemingway's writing provides.

I think the fact whether someone got a Nobel prize for a work (or not), should never be considered when rating/reviewing a book. A book should be judged as is, ignoring all the irrelevant facts. And one should read the story, without prejudice, forgetting one's own literary skills/powers for the moment; like a child listening to a story.

In The old man and the sea, Hemingway tells a story that is worth listening to. It is short, so you won't lose much time even if you come to hate it.

If the book tested your patience, it did its job. Hemingway asks whether you can persist -- like the old man -- at least till the end of the story.

The old man has strength and confidence although he's old. Isn't it an inspiration to all old men?

The boy respects the old man, unlike many teenagers that we see around. The boy wants to be with him, even when the old man is failing to catch any fish. I don't know how many high-schoolers were inspired to respect elders just by reading this book. Isn't that good to all young men?

What a common man with an uncommon determination can do, Hemingway tells us through the story. Isn't that great advice for all?

And all you see is pessimism! In that view itself lies the pessimism, I say.

You need not learn symbolism to recognize inspiration in a story. Look closely, and you'll see many ideas that you'd better start thinking about soon (Value of meaningful reflection, positive attitude, perverseness, mastery of one's craft, and more).

If you think Hemingway is psychotic (or crazy), you're probably right. Yet he had a lot of first hand experience and it shines through his sparse words, in the end. It is way more powerful than the fancy of all those unoriginal writers.

I have much more to say, but today is not the day.more
I’m thankful that when I finished The Old Man and the Sea, I was sitting on the bank of the Brisbane River enjoying what was a truly magnificent spring day. The sun was shining, I was surrounded by happy people and, even if only for an instant, there were moments when life felt magical. And then my mind would be drawn back to the exquisitely poetic yet soul-destroying novel I had just finished and I might as well have been sitting on the pavement in the rain. At less than 100 pages, it’s incredibly easy to knock over in an afternoon, and Hemingway has an easy to read writing style that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. With that said, I fail to see how readers are left inspired after reading Hemingway’s final literary offering. Sure you can, to a certain extent, draw some inspiration from the story. But ultimately the melancholic meditation on success and failure is a disheartening tale of the pursuit of a dream. I wish to make it very clear that I will be talking about the book in its entirety here and giving away all the major plot points. In other words, this review is full of spoilery goodness and if you wish for the novel to remain a secret, do not read any further.

Santiago is an old man. He is a very unlucky old man at that–he has gone 84 days without catching a fish, despite being a fisherman by trade. He lives a very simple life, with only the bare essentials required for survival. To the rest of the village, his time has passed, but the old man still has dreams and determination. His sight is forever set seaward and he tells a young boy, Manolin, that he wishes for nothing more than to catch the biggest fish of them all. Manolin has faith in the old man to achieve his dream and helps the old man prepare the boat for his 85th day. Before daybreak on the 85th day, Santiago sets off alone in his skiff and by the middle of the day, he has managed to hook a large marlin. This is no ordinary fish–unable to reel the fish in, the old man is dragged along by the fish for two days and two nights. Throughout the journey, the old man grows weary and suffers injuries; however on the third day, he manages to harpoon the giant fish and kill it. Although he now feels unworthy to have killed his ‘brother’ and ‘adversary’, the old man attaches the giant fish to the skiff and begins the long trip home. Little does he know that his troubles have barely begun. The stream of blood that the marlin is leaving attracts sharks. Lots of sharks. Santiago manages to fend off the first scavenger with his harpoon, but loses his harpoon in the process, leaving him exposed and unable to adequately defend his catch. The old man fights off wave after wave (pardon the pun) of shark attacks and with each shark, more and more of the giant fish is ripped off and eaten until there is next to nothing left. The old man finally returns home, deflated and destroyed, while the other fishermen speculate about the true size of the fish with only the skeleton to inform their predictions.

So that’s the crux of it. On the one hand, it’s a poetic and poignant love letter to nature–a dedication to a simpler time when people had the patience to connect with nature and disappear for days on end to the great unknown. It stands in stark contrast to our normal lives today, which seem to become increasingly busy as each year passes by. Added to this, we live in a society that thrives on instant gratification. Can’t remember the name of that actor from that film? Your smartphone will tell you in an instant. Got a craving for McNuggets at 2am? Hop in the car and away you go. There are shops open 24 hours to cater to your every whim and the online economy never sleeps. We expect everything to be instantaneous. Many people are not willing to wait for success and become frustrated when it doesn’t seem to happen overnight, and achievements are hardly ever measured by the amount of time and work which went in–the focus is almost always on the output. This is not something I am wanting to dwell on or attempt to change. In fact, I’m fairly sure I participate in this life far more than I realise. But it is a different time that we live in, and Santiago’s zen-like patience and pursuit of his dream is a testament to the true vigor of the human spirit. His determination is unfaltering and though his body cannot keep up, his mind is keenly focussed on achieving his dream. In this regard, many of us have a lot to learn from the old man.

The lessons to be learnt post-fish, though, are another story entirely. The old man put in the fight of his life to catch the fish, but the battle of attrition left him ultimately without victory as the sharks came to strip him of his achievements. Even in success, he was defeated. The old man knows that he caught the fish, but he laments to Manolin that he should not have attempted to capture it in the first place. The success is now irrelevant. The point here that I feel Hemingway was trying to make is that in the end, you cannot celebrate your victories because life will have worn you out too much in the pursuit of the goal. The sharks will peck away at your success, slowly and tentatively to begin with, until they realise you are too weak to fight them off and they grow in confidence and attack harder and more determined each time until there is nothing left. Any sense of happiness or accomplishment has disappeared and all that remains is a hollow shadow of your success. It’s a bleak and uninspiring outlook, but sadly is the realisation for many as they travel through life.
I am generally an optimistic person. But Santiago’s dilapidated and broken spirit at the end of the novel was almost too much to bear. He is the underdog and readers can’t help but support him in his quest. The book is exquisitely written and I really enjoyed Hemingway’s writing style. It is the plot and the underlying theme which brought me down. Way down. In the book, as it so often is in life, achieving your goal only gets you half of the way. There will always be those who want to strip it away from you, and I cannot take a positive message away from the book, as much as I so wish that I could!more
More like 4.5 stars. I never would have imagined that I could actually enjoy reading a book about a man just fishing. I was pleasantly surprised, though. The subject is so mundane yet Hemingway manages to tell this story in a captivating and sometimes witty manner. The old man is a really lovable character. His pride in his work and his compassion for others is what really made this book for me. His friendship with the boy is really sweet and powerful. The book is so short but there's a lot packed into it and it's done well. It did not feel like there was too much or too little; it was just right. Overall, I really liked this and I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner.more
A great example of self determination and hard work in achieving goals. Hemingway does a great job of (dare I say) explaining the American spirit. A truly enjoyable read.more
My first Hemingway. Listened to this on audio, read by Donald Sutherland. Sutherland's voice really added a very interesting character to the story. Really enjoyed this book, with the Old Man's luck, I wasnt sure what would happen as he was working the big fish. I was a little disappointed by the ending, seemed anti-climactic to the ordeal he'd just been through.more
My first Hemingway. Listened to this on audio, read by Donald Sutherland. Sutherland's voice really added a very interesting character to the story. Really enjoyed this book, with the Old Man's luck, I wasnt sure what would happen as he was working the big fish. I was a little disappointed by the ending, seemed anti-climactic to the ordeal he'd just been through.more
This is the third time I've read The Old Man and the Sea, and I can't say I've ever really liked or appreciated it as much as I did this time around. As short as it is, this work is a quintessential classic of both American literature and literature in general. The last two times I read it, once as a too-cool-for-school high school student, and later as a surly Lit major who was burned out on Hemingway, I didn't enjoy it quite as much, true... But I can say that every time I've read it, it's broken my heart the way only a really good story can.more
This could have been a simple Man v Fish story but in usual Hemingway style it becomes a metaphor for so much more. Santiago is an old man struggling each day to fulfil his place in society, as a fisherman, but has dreams of catching a big one, a winning lottery ticket in today's world. The shark seems to represent life while the young man is lost youth with all those youthful dreams of being lucky and therefore different from the rest but overall the story seems to speak of an unbreakable human spirit who no matter what continues to strive to be the best that they can only for life's vagaries, the sharks, to often thwart us. The ending could have been different but then it would not be real life. I even read somewhere that Santiago with his bleeding hands represents Jesus on the cross but not sure that I can see that one personally.more
Winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this famous novella tells the story of an aging Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who wrestles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Perhaps better called the ‘Old Man & the Fish’?This is my first foray into Hemingway and I’m impressed with the sparseness of his prose. I understand that The Old Man and the Sea was a bit of a departure from the norm for the author. Therefore I can’t recommend it as an introduction to him because it may not be representative at all of his work.Read this if: if you like a good ‘fish’ story. 3½ starsmore
Like almost every other student in the American public school system, I read this book in high school. Unlike most students, I enjoyed it. It was a simple story that conveyed subtle, yet profound emotion. The first and only work of Hemingway's I've enjoyed.more
"But man is not made for defeat...A man can be destroyed but not defeated," Hemingway writes in The Old Man in the Sea. Unfortunately the actual ending of the story is somewhat ambiguous on this point, but it is still a powerful and gripping story, and a beautifully written one (despite a couple of awkward sentences and some overwritten ones), and at times quite moving and rousing. Donald Sutherland's narration of this audio edition is well-suited to the material.more
I teach two sets of 7th grade English to GATE students this year, so when I found a partial class set of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea in the back of the book room, I thought why not give it a go. See what happens. What follows is my advice for anyone considering using The Old Man and the Sea with 7th grade students. Stress how they are acting like real college students, reading and discussing a college level book. Stress how reading it now will give them an advantage over other students in high school and college.Mean it.It's true.Read the book aloud to them. Tell them this is because there are not enough copies for everyone to take the book home, which was true for me. Don't let them take turns reading it until at least halfway through and then only if they beg. The Old Man and the Sea looks easy to read, but you're still a better reader than they are, and they know it and appreciate it.Always stop for the day at a key point in the story. If no one goes "Awww" when you stop for the day, you're not at a key point. Read no more than 15 minutes a day. This will mean you'll have to read the book for 8 or 9 days, that fish takes a long time to die, but too much time on any given day dealing with the details of how to fish and you'll lose the students. Explain to the students that whenever Hemingway writes about how to fish, he is really writing about how to write. Don't assign nightly homework activities. They do not have these in college. They just read and discuss in college. And they write two papers.Be brave and present as many high level interpretations to the students as you can. My students we able to understand them all and to come up with a few interesting ones of their own. When I told them some professors read the fish as a work of art and Santiago as an artist, they knew right away that the sharks were critics. When I told them some professors see the fish as a mythical creature, they made all sorts of connections linking Santiago to Heracles performing his labors, his harpoon to the spear Odysseus used to blind the cyclops, the strange creatures Santiago meets like the flying fish and the Portuguese Man-o-war with the fantastic creatures in Greek myths. One came up with Scylla and Charbidis on his own. When we talked about how some professors see the fish as Santiago himself, they remembered the times he called the fish brother and were able to figure out that the fish stood for Santiago when he was young and strong and that the sharks stood for all the hard times Santiago faced in his life. They even got the Christ figure references in the end once I stopped and re-read them. The idea that was new to me that they came up with was that if the fish is a great work of art, Santiago is an art thief who ends up destroying the artwork he worked so hard to get. I'm still thinking about that one.Don't give them a big project or essay to do at the end. Just a quick worksheet with a serious set of questions, all college level but not so involved that they need write more than one page to answer them. Be sure you're working with a high-level group of motivated students. I'm not sure any of this would fly with a regular class though I'd love to hear from you if you've tried it. My district is phasing out the GATE English classes in the middle schools starting next fall, so Hemingway's days may be numbered. But it sure was cool.more
I had wanted to read this but always heard it was boring. I read this in one afternoon. I could not put it down. The story might be boring if it were written by someone else. But this is where you can truly appreciate an author- a gifted storyteller- on the construction of each and every sentence to illustrate every aspect for you. Never really been a big Hemingway fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this read and understand why it garned so many awards.more
Very well written, but I did not like it too much. Though I appreciate the fact that Hemingway is a very good writer, it just didn't appeal to me that much. I thought it was rather slow, and it didn't really draw me in. Then again, I don't really like boats and I don't like fishing, so maybe this just isn't my thing.more
The Old Man and the Sea is a lonely tale about an old fisherman who has befriended a young fishing companion. Their friendship and loyalty to each other is touching. This was my first Hemmingway novel and enjoyed it for how the almost destituted life the old man lived.more
The Old Man  and The Sea is a simply narrated fable of virtue, simplicity, heroism, stoicism, calmness, respect and nobility. Book is considered classic but there isn't much to hang on to in terms of story or morale, but character of old man is something which would stay in mind even after book is at rest. It's an average read but definitely different book.more
Santiago is the old man in this story and he is a fisherman who has been very unlucky; he has caught no fish for the past 84 days. The majority of the story takes place as the old man sets out once again to fish and catches the biggest fish that he has ever caught - a marlin. He must struggle against the sea, the fish, his own physical limitations, and the forces of nature as he attempts to bring the fish in and return home.I listened to the audiobook of this story which is narrated by Donald Sutherland. His voice and rhythm are an excellent match for this particular tale as much of the book is the internal monologue of the old man. This story is also a perfect fit for Hemingway's sparse and utilitarian writing style. Not always a fan of Hemingway, I really enjoyed this book. I am giving it four stars.more
Hemingway's simple prose and plot masks a surprisingly gripping book. The story of an old man fishing - and that pretty much is the entire story - doesn't sound like anything particularly exciting. However, through his excellent characterization of Santiago and his world view this story of a fisherman trying to finally land another big catch becomes an epic tale. There were moments of suspense as great as any I've experienced whilst reading a thriller or adventure novel. True, even though this is a novella I did think perhaps there could be ten less pages of Santiago waiting for the fish to give up swimming. I was never bored though, merely too interested in seeing how the story would develop.more
 “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemmingway was a very good book. It was exciting because it always keeps you wondering what will happen next. It can get boring in some parts but other than that it is a great book. In the story there is an old man that spends all of his time fishing. A little boy that lives up the street from him helps the old man out by getting him water and some food to keep him healthy. They have a very good friendship and they always count on each other. The old man goes months without catching anything but he refuses to give up. The book gets a little boring towards the middle because every day the old man does the same thing. He wakes up, goes fishing, and comes back home with nothing. It may be boring in the middle, but the end gets exciting. He finally catches a fish. Being a fisherman myself made this book much more interesting and understanding. It was easier to understand because I knew what the fishing equipment was and looked like. It helped me get through the book easier. I would definitely recommend this book to a fisherman. Overall, “The Old Man and the Sea” was a fantastic book. I enjoyed it and hope to read more books as good as it in the future.more
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Reviews

Great story, beautiful dialogue. Amazing read with just three characters, the old man, the boy and the Marlin.more
very good read more
I read it 40 years ago and I found it… dated. Well, I was 16 and an idiot. In spite of knowing everything about the book I found myself crying over an old man's loss. Incredible book, superb writing.more
why we cannot read full book here?more
Great short read.more
I really appreciated the allegory of man vs. struggle in this book. It reminded me a bit of my Saturday long runs, especially the tough ones. Just like Santiago, I'll talk to myself (sometimes aloud), plead with God, wish for companionship/assistance, and look for the light (in my case, my car) at the end of the tunnel (in his case, on land). And sometimes, like Santiago and his catch, I leave pretty much everything out there on the running trail.

I was surprised that this is such a short book and fast read. Now I want to go to the coast and watch fishing boats come in.more
Beautiful and poignant, but here is an example where Hemingway's sparse writing style made me miss the point of this sad tale. I liked it better than I did when I first read it 30 years ago, though; but still, it has a hard time holding my attentionmore
Beautiful and poignant, but here is an example where Hemingway's sparse writing style made me miss the point of this sad tale. I liked it better than I did when I first read it 30 years ago, though; but still, it has a hard time holding my attentionmore
This book is different and it is different in a good way.

I like Hemingway's writing because he avoids lengthy character descriptions and symbolism. Both children and old men can enjoy his words, thanks to his simplicity.

As a foreign reader of English, imagine how warm you will feel when you sift through a novel without referring to the dictionary even once. I myself am a foreign reader and I felt great doing that. Some commentators seem to ignore this accessibility Hemingway's writing provides.

I think the fact whether someone got a Nobel prize for a work (or not), should never be considered when rating/reviewing a book. A book should be judged as is, ignoring all the irrelevant facts. And one should read the story, without prejudice, forgetting one's own literary skills/powers for the moment; like a child listening to a story.

In The old man and the sea, Hemingway tells a story that is worth listening to. It is short, so you won't lose much time even if you come to hate it.

If the book tested your patience, it did its job. Hemingway asks whether you can persist -- like the old man -- at least till the end of the story.

The old man has strength and confidence although he's old. Isn't it an inspiration to all old men?

The boy respects the old man, unlike many teenagers that we see around. The boy wants to be with him, even when the old man is failing to catch any fish. I don't know how many high-schoolers were inspired to respect elders just by reading this book. Isn't that good to all young men?

What a common man with an uncommon determination can do, Hemingway tells us through the story. Isn't that great advice for all?

And all you see is pessimism! In that view itself lies the pessimism, I say.

You need not learn symbolism to recognize inspiration in a story. Look closely, and you'll see many ideas that you'd better start thinking about soon (Value of meaningful reflection, positive attitude, perverseness, mastery of one's craft, and more).

If you think Hemingway is psychotic (or crazy), you're probably right. Yet he had a lot of first hand experience and it shines through his sparse words, in the end. It is way more powerful than the fancy of all those unoriginal writers.

I have much more to say, but today is not the day.more
I’m thankful that when I finished The Old Man and the Sea, I was sitting on the bank of the Brisbane River enjoying what was a truly magnificent spring day. The sun was shining, I was surrounded by happy people and, even if only for an instant, there were moments when life felt magical. And then my mind would be drawn back to the exquisitely poetic yet soul-destroying novel I had just finished and I might as well have been sitting on the pavement in the rain. At less than 100 pages, it’s incredibly easy to knock over in an afternoon, and Hemingway has an easy to read writing style that will appeal to a wide variety of readers. With that said, I fail to see how readers are left inspired after reading Hemingway’s final literary offering. Sure you can, to a certain extent, draw some inspiration from the story. But ultimately the melancholic meditation on success and failure is a disheartening tale of the pursuit of a dream. I wish to make it very clear that I will be talking about the book in its entirety here and giving away all the major plot points. In other words, this review is full of spoilery goodness and if you wish for the novel to remain a secret, do not read any further.

Santiago is an old man. He is a very unlucky old man at that–he has gone 84 days without catching a fish, despite being a fisherman by trade. He lives a very simple life, with only the bare essentials required for survival. To the rest of the village, his time has passed, but the old man still has dreams and determination. His sight is forever set seaward and he tells a young boy, Manolin, that he wishes for nothing more than to catch the biggest fish of them all. Manolin has faith in the old man to achieve his dream and helps the old man prepare the boat for his 85th day. Before daybreak on the 85th day, Santiago sets off alone in his skiff and by the middle of the day, he has managed to hook a large marlin. This is no ordinary fish–unable to reel the fish in, the old man is dragged along by the fish for two days and two nights. Throughout the journey, the old man grows weary and suffers injuries; however on the third day, he manages to harpoon the giant fish and kill it. Although he now feels unworthy to have killed his ‘brother’ and ‘adversary’, the old man attaches the giant fish to the skiff and begins the long trip home. Little does he know that his troubles have barely begun. The stream of blood that the marlin is leaving attracts sharks. Lots of sharks. Santiago manages to fend off the first scavenger with his harpoon, but loses his harpoon in the process, leaving him exposed and unable to adequately defend his catch. The old man fights off wave after wave (pardon the pun) of shark attacks and with each shark, more and more of the giant fish is ripped off and eaten until there is next to nothing left. The old man finally returns home, deflated and destroyed, while the other fishermen speculate about the true size of the fish with only the skeleton to inform their predictions.

So that’s the crux of it. On the one hand, it’s a poetic and poignant love letter to nature–a dedication to a simpler time when people had the patience to connect with nature and disappear for days on end to the great unknown. It stands in stark contrast to our normal lives today, which seem to become increasingly busy as each year passes by. Added to this, we live in a society that thrives on instant gratification. Can’t remember the name of that actor from that film? Your smartphone will tell you in an instant. Got a craving for McNuggets at 2am? Hop in the car and away you go. There are shops open 24 hours to cater to your every whim and the online economy never sleeps. We expect everything to be instantaneous. Many people are not willing to wait for success and become frustrated when it doesn’t seem to happen overnight, and achievements are hardly ever measured by the amount of time and work which went in–the focus is almost always on the output. This is not something I am wanting to dwell on or attempt to change. In fact, I’m fairly sure I participate in this life far more than I realise. But it is a different time that we live in, and Santiago’s zen-like patience and pursuit of his dream is a testament to the true vigor of the human spirit. His determination is unfaltering and though his body cannot keep up, his mind is keenly focussed on achieving his dream. In this regard, many of us have a lot to learn from the old man.

The lessons to be learnt post-fish, though, are another story entirely. The old man put in the fight of his life to catch the fish, but the battle of attrition left him ultimately without victory as the sharks came to strip him of his achievements. Even in success, he was defeated. The old man knows that he caught the fish, but he laments to Manolin that he should not have attempted to capture it in the first place. The success is now irrelevant. The point here that I feel Hemingway was trying to make is that in the end, you cannot celebrate your victories because life will have worn you out too much in the pursuit of the goal. The sharks will peck away at your success, slowly and tentatively to begin with, until they realise you are too weak to fight them off and they grow in confidence and attack harder and more determined each time until there is nothing left. Any sense of happiness or accomplishment has disappeared and all that remains is a hollow shadow of your success. It’s a bleak and uninspiring outlook, but sadly is the realisation for many as they travel through life.
I am generally an optimistic person. But Santiago’s dilapidated and broken spirit at the end of the novel was almost too much to bear. He is the underdog and readers can’t help but support him in his quest. The book is exquisitely written and I really enjoyed Hemingway’s writing style. It is the plot and the underlying theme which brought me down. Way down. In the book, as it so often is in life, achieving your goal only gets you half of the way. There will always be those who want to strip it away from you, and I cannot take a positive message away from the book, as much as I so wish that I could!more
More like 4.5 stars. I never would have imagined that I could actually enjoy reading a book about a man just fishing. I was pleasantly surprised, though. The subject is so mundane yet Hemingway manages to tell this story in a captivating and sometimes witty manner. The old man is a really lovable character. His pride in his work and his compassion for others is what really made this book for me. His friendship with the boy is really sweet and powerful. The book is so short but there's a lot packed into it and it's done well. It did not feel like there was too much or too little; it was just right. Overall, I really liked this and I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner.more
A great example of self determination and hard work in achieving goals. Hemingway does a great job of (dare I say) explaining the American spirit. A truly enjoyable read.more
My first Hemingway. Listened to this on audio, read by Donald Sutherland. Sutherland's voice really added a very interesting character to the story. Really enjoyed this book, with the Old Man's luck, I wasnt sure what would happen as he was working the big fish. I was a little disappointed by the ending, seemed anti-climactic to the ordeal he'd just been through.more
My first Hemingway. Listened to this on audio, read by Donald Sutherland. Sutherland's voice really added a very interesting character to the story. Really enjoyed this book, with the Old Man's luck, I wasnt sure what would happen as he was working the big fish. I was a little disappointed by the ending, seemed anti-climactic to the ordeal he'd just been through.more
This is the third time I've read The Old Man and the Sea, and I can't say I've ever really liked or appreciated it as much as I did this time around. As short as it is, this work is a quintessential classic of both American literature and literature in general. The last two times I read it, once as a too-cool-for-school high school student, and later as a surly Lit major who was burned out on Hemingway, I didn't enjoy it quite as much, true... But I can say that every time I've read it, it's broken my heart the way only a really good story can.more
This could have been a simple Man v Fish story but in usual Hemingway style it becomes a metaphor for so much more. Santiago is an old man struggling each day to fulfil his place in society, as a fisherman, but has dreams of catching a big one, a winning lottery ticket in today's world. The shark seems to represent life while the young man is lost youth with all those youthful dreams of being lucky and therefore different from the rest but overall the story seems to speak of an unbreakable human spirit who no matter what continues to strive to be the best that they can only for life's vagaries, the sharks, to often thwart us. The ending could have been different but then it would not be real life. I even read somewhere that Santiago with his bleeding hands represents Jesus on the cross but not sure that I can see that one personally.more
Winner of the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, this famous novella tells the story of an aging Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who wrestles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Perhaps better called the ‘Old Man & the Fish’?This is my first foray into Hemingway and I’m impressed with the sparseness of his prose. I understand that The Old Man and the Sea was a bit of a departure from the norm for the author. Therefore I can’t recommend it as an introduction to him because it may not be representative at all of his work.Read this if: if you like a good ‘fish’ story. 3½ starsmore
Like almost every other student in the American public school system, I read this book in high school. Unlike most students, I enjoyed it. It was a simple story that conveyed subtle, yet profound emotion. The first and only work of Hemingway's I've enjoyed.more
"But man is not made for defeat...A man can be destroyed but not defeated," Hemingway writes in The Old Man in the Sea. Unfortunately the actual ending of the story is somewhat ambiguous on this point, but it is still a powerful and gripping story, and a beautifully written one (despite a couple of awkward sentences and some overwritten ones), and at times quite moving and rousing. Donald Sutherland's narration of this audio edition is well-suited to the material.more
I teach two sets of 7th grade English to GATE students this year, so when I found a partial class set of Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea in the back of the book room, I thought why not give it a go. See what happens. What follows is my advice for anyone considering using The Old Man and the Sea with 7th grade students. Stress how they are acting like real college students, reading and discussing a college level book. Stress how reading it now will give them an advantage over other students in high school and college.Mean it.It's true.Read the book aloud to them. Tell them this is because there are not enough copies for everyone to take the book home, which was true for me. Don't let them take turns reading it until at least halfway through and then only if they beg. The Old Man and the Sea looks easy to read, but you're still a better reader than they are, and they know it and appreciate it.Always stop for the day at a key point in the story. If no one goes "Awww" when you stop for the day, you're not at a key point. Read no more than 15 minutes a day. This will mean you'll have to read the book for 8 or 9 days, that fish takes a long time to die, but too much time on any given day dealing with the details of how to fish and you'll lose the students. Explain to the students that whenever Hemingway writes about how to fish, he is really writing about how to write. Don't assign nightly homework activities. They do not have these in college. They just read and discuss in college. And they write two papers.Be brave and present as many high level interpretations to the students as you can. My students we able to understand them all and to come up with a few interesting ones of their own. When I told them some professors read the fish as a work of art and Santiago as an artist, they knew right away that the sharks were critics. When I told them some professors see the fish as a mythical creature, they made all sorts of connections linking Santiago to Heracles performing his labors, his harpoon to the spear Odysseus used to blind the cyclops, the strange creatures Santiago meets like the flying fish and the Portuguese Man-o-war with the fantastic creatures in Greek myths. One came up with Scylla and Charbidis on his own. When we talked about how some professors see the fish as Santiago himself, they remembered the times he called the fish brother and were able to figure out that the fish stood for Santiago when he was young and strong and that the sharks stood for all the hard times Santiago faced in his life. They even got the Christ figure references in the end once I stopped and re-read them. The idea that was new to me that they came up with was that if the fish is a great work of art, Santiago is an art thief who ends up destroying the artwork he worked so hard to get. I'm still thinking about that one.Don't give them a big project or essay to do at the end. Just a quick worksheet with a serious set of questions, all college level but not so involved that they need write more than one page to answer them. Be sure you're working with a high-level group of motivated students. I'm not sure any of this would fly with a regular class though I'd love to hear from you if you've tried it. My district is phasing out the GATE English classes in the middle schools starting next fall, so Hemingway's days may be numbered. But it sure was cool.more
I had wanted to read this but always heard it was boring. I read this in one afternoon. I could not put it down. The story might be boring if it were written by someone else. But this is where you can truly appreciate an author- a gifted storyteller- on the construction of each and every sentence to illustrate every aspect for you. Never really been a big Hemingway fan, but I thoroughly enjoyed this read and understand why it garned so many awards.more
Very well written, but I did not like it too much. Though I appreciate the fact that Hemingway is a very good writer, it just didn't appeal to me that much. I thought it was rather slow, and it didn't really draw me in. Then again, I don't really like boats and I don't like fishing, so maybe this just isn't my thing.more
The Old Man and the Sea is a lonely tale about an old fisherman who has befriended a young fishing companion. Their friendship and loyalty to each other is touching. This was my first Hemmingway novel and enjoyed it for how the almost destituted life the old man lived.more
The Old Man  and The Sea is a simply narrated fable of virtue, simplicity, heroism, stoicism, calmness, respect and nobility. Book is considered classic but there isn't much to hang on to in terms of story or morale, but character of old man is something which would stay in mind even after book is at rest. It's an average read but definitely different book.more
Santiago is the old man in this story and he is a fisherman who has been very unlucky; he has caught no fish for the past 84 days. The majority of the story takes place as the old man sets out once again to fish and catches the biggest fish that he has ever caught - a marlin. He must struggle against the sea, the fish, his own physical limitations, and the forces of nature as he attempts to bring the fish in and return home.I listened to the audiobook of this story which is narrated by Donald Sutherland. His voice and rhythm are an excellent match for this particular tale as much of the book is the internal monologue of the old man. This story is also a perfect fit for Hemingway's sparse and utilitarian writing style. Not always a fan of Hemingway, I really enjoyed this book. I am giving it four stars.more
Hemingway's simple prose and plot masks a surprisingly gripping book. The story of an old man fishing - and that pretty much is the entire story - doesn't sound like anything particularly exciting. However, through his excellent characterization of Santiago and his world view this story of a fisherman trying to finally land another big catch becomes an epic tale. There were moments of suspense as great as any I've experienced whilst reading a thriller or adventure novel. True, even though this is a novella I did think perhaps there could be ten less pages of Santiago waiting for the fish to give up swimming. I was never bored though, merely too interested in seeing how the story would develop.more
 “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemmingway was a very good book. It was exciting because it always keeps you wondering what will happen next. It can get boring in some parts but other than that it is a great book. In the story there is an old man that spends all of his time fishing. A little boy that lives up the street from him helps the old man out by getting him water and some food to keep him healthy. They have a very good friendship and they always count on each other. The old man goes months without catching anything but he refuses to give up. The book gets a little boring towards the middle because every day the old man does the same thing. He wakes up, goes fishing, and comes back home with nothing. It may be boring in the middle, but the end gets exciting. He finally catches a fish. Being a fisherman myself made this book much more interesting and understanding. It was easier to understand because I knew what the fishing equipment was and looked like. It helped me get through the book easier. I would definitely recommend this book to a fisherman. Overall, “The Old Man and the Sea” was a fantastic book. I enjoyed it and hope to read more books as good as it in the future.more
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