Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Old Man And The Sea (Scribner Classics) by…

Old Man And The Sea (Scribner Classics) (original 1952; edition 1996)

by Ernest Hemingway

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,51930182 (3.78)697
Title:Old Man And The Sea (Scribner Classics)
Authors:Ernest Hemingway
Info:Scribner (1996), Hardcover, 96 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (1952)

1950s (21)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 697 mentions

English (271)  Spanish (10)  French (4)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  Finnish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (300)
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
An old Cuban fisherman sets out to sea to find his catch-of-the-day for survival. Before the end of the day he catches the biggest fish he has ever come across, nearly the size of his boat. He holds onto the fish through the line as it drags him days into sea. By the time he finally defeats the fish he is far from home. As he is alone, he cannot pull the fish into the boat so he attaches it to the side of the boat. While traveling home he is attacked over and over again with sharks who eat the fish to the bone. When he finally reaches his home he is near death with hunger and water dehydration and exhaustion (probably some heat stroke as well). He lays resting while the community is at awe at the carcass attached to the side of the boat.

I remember seeing the Hallmark movie when I was a child and remembered this differently. It was the perfect literary companion for my cruise to the Bahamas though and I enjoyed the simplicity of the text. I was also in Key West when reading this and touring Hemingway's house where you can see pictures of the fisherman that inspired this book along with the local hang out where he wrote and drank with friends. ( )
  missbrandysue | Jul 27, 2016 |

For eighty-four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. So conspicuously unlucky is he that the parents of his young, devoted apprentice and friend, Manolin, have forced the boy to leave the old man in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. Nevertheless, the boy continues to care for the old man upon his return each night. He helps the old man tote his gear to his ramshackle hut, secures food for him, and discusses the latest developments in American baseball, especially the trials of the old man’s hero, Joe DiMaggio. Santiago is confident that his unproductive streak will soon come to an end, and he resolves to sail out farther than usual the following day.

On the eighty-fifth day of his unlucky streak, Santiago does as promised, sailing his skiff far beyond the island’s shallow coastal waters and venturing into the Gulf Stream. He prepares his lines and drops them. At noon, a big fish, which he knows is a marlin, takes the bait that Santiago has placed one hundred fathoms deep in the waters. The old man expertly hooks the fish, but he cannot pull it in. Instead, the fish begins to pull the boat.

Unable to tie the line fast to the boat for fear the fish would snap a taut line, the old man bears the strain of the line with his shoulders, back, and hands, ready to give slack should the marlin make a run. The fish pulls the boat all through the day, through the night, through another day, and through another night. It swims steadily northwest until at last it tires and swims east with the current. The entire time, Santiago endures constant pain from the fishing line. Whenever the fish lunges, leaps, or makes a dash for freedom, the cord cuts Santiago badly. Although wounded and weary, the old man feels a deep empathy and admiration for the marlin, his brother in suffering, strength, and resolve.

On the third day the fish tires, and Santiago, sleep-deprived, aching, and nearly delirious, manages to pull the marlin in close enough to kill it with a harpoon thrust. Dead beside the skiff, the marlin is the largest Santiago has ever seen. He lashes it to his boat, raises the small mast, and sets sail for home. While Santiago is excited by the price that the marlin will bring at market, he is more concerned that the people who will eat the fish are unworthy of its greatness.

As Santiago sails on with the fish, the marlin’s blood leaves a trail in the water and attracts sharks. The first to attack is a great mako shark, which Santiago manages to slay with the harpoon. In the struggle, the old man loses the harpoon and lengths of valuable rope, which leaves him vulnerable to other shark attacks. The old man fights off the successive vicious predators as best he can, stabbing at them with a crude spear he makes by lashing a knife to an oar, and even clubbing them with the boat’s tiller. Although he kills several sharks, more and more appear, and by the time night falls, Santiago’s continued fight against the scavengers is useless. They devour the marlin’s precious meat, leaving only skeleton, head, and tail. Santiago chastises himself for going “out too far,” and for sacrificing his great and worthy opponent. He arrives home before daybreak, stumbles back to his shack, and sleeps very deeply.

The next morning, a crowd of amazed fishermen gathers around the skeletal carcass of the fish, which is still lashed to the boat. Knowing nothing of the old man’s struggle, tourists at a nearby café observe the remains of the giant marlin and mistake it for a shark. Manolin, who has been worried sick over the old man’s absence, is moved to tears when he finds Santiago safe in his bed. The boy fetches the old man some coffee and the daily papers with the baseball scores, and watches him sleep. When the old man wakes, the two agree to fish as partners once more. The old man returns to sleep and dreams his usual dream of lions at play on the beaches of Africa. ( )
  bostonwendym | Jul 20, 2016 |
I consider myself very lucky to have found this little gem at the Hunterdon County Library sale last week. Even though I had read "The Old Man and the Sea" years ago, it was a delight to read again. Hemingway was a genius to take a simple fishing story and turn it into a timeless classic. You don’t have to be a sportsman or an avid fisherman to enjoy the message within the story. You just have to be in the mood for a short, intense, very descriptive adventurous tale of an old man catching a monstrous marlin- a fish that a sportsman only dreams of catching- the catch of a life-time.

Hemingway, with his usual crisp, direct writing style, describes in simple clear language this elderly man’s thoughts and emotions, his techniques and strategy, and the ultimate outcome of this three day long fishing trip alone at sea. And we all heard the cliche of “the big one that got away”. This plot is unpredictable. Will he catch it? Will he die in the process? Or will it be the big one that got away?

Aside from the physical action of this tale, Hemingway explores the laws of nature. As long as the contest was one of equality- a match of strength and perseverance- an elderly experienced man against a wise old majestic fish, it was a beautiful thing to behold.

I had an elderly uncle named Ralph who was an avid hunter in his youth. I’ve got fond memories of him dropping Aunt Florence off at our house, and trekking out into the woods armed with his gun and a hunting license pinned to his Edie Bauer plaid flannel shirt. He would proudly return several hours later lugging local game; a deer, rabbit, or pheasant. But as years wore on, he began carrying a 35 millimeter camera on his other shoulder, and after that I don’t recall him ever coming home with anything other than a bunch of nature snapshots.

Without revealing the entire plot to "The Old Man and the Sea", I will say that once the old man robbed the fish of it’s dignity, the beauty of the catch was gone. And once the laws of the sea prevailed, no amount of perseverance, strength, and wisdom was going to change the outcome. Perhaps the old man should have been more like Uncle Ralph.

Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for "The Old Man and the Sea" and the novel also contributed to his winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. ( )
  LadyLo | Jul 13, 2016 |
Read this as a kid when my Mom gave me a copy. Beautiful and simple. I heard it was an allegory for the Cuban revolution but that doesn't resonate with me. I think it is about the strength of youth leaving a once strong man and how cruel fate can be. Nice simple quick read and good for a holiday as it isn't too heavy. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
I was forced to read this so many times in high school and college that I just came away with an intense hatred of this damn little story.

And while re-reading it today may give me new perspective, I literally cannot imagine picking this up again, even if you paid me. ( )
  crystallyn | Jul 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
The Old Man and the Sea has almost none of the old Hemingway truculence, the hard-guy sentimentality that sometimes gives even his most devoted admirers twinges of discomfort. As a story, it is clean and straight. Those who admire craftsmanship will be right in calling it a masterpiece... it is a poem of action, praising a brave man, a magnificent fish and the sea, with perhaps a new underlying reverence for the Creator of such wonders.
added by jjlong | editTime (Sep 8, 1952)
It is a tale superbly told and in the telling Ernest Hemingway uses all the craft his hard, disciplined trying over so many years has given him.
Within the sharp restrictions imposed by the very nature of his story Mr. Hemingway has written with sure skill. Here is the master technician once more at the top of his form, doing superbly what he can do better than anyone else.

» Add other authors (61 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Hemingwayprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heston, CharltonReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marantonio, UgoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moehlenkamp, KevinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petrov, AlexandreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pivano, FernandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sickles, NoëlIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veegens-Latorf, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Is abridged in

Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Charlie Scribner and to Max Perkins
First words
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Leather Bound, Collector's Edition
Audio Tape
Haiku summary
Old man goes fishing
Out for many days and nights
Returns with nothing


Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0684801221, Paperback)

Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to the author. In fact The Old Man and the Sea revived Ernest Hemingway's career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River and into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the Nobel Prize in 1954 (an award Hemingway gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that "no son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterwards"). A half century later, it's still easy to see why. This tale of an aged Cuban fisherman going head-to-head (or hand-to-fin) with a magnificent marlin encapsulates Hemingway's favorite motifs of physical and moral challenge. Yet Santiago is too old and infirm to partake of the gun-toting machismo that disfigured much of the author's later work: "The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords." Hemingway's style, too, reverts to those superb snapshots of perception that won him his initial fame:
Just before it was dark, as they passed a great island of Sargasso weed that heaved and swung in the light sea as though the ocean were making love with something under a yellow blanket, his small line was taken by a dolphin. He saw it first when it jumped in the air, true gold in the last of the sun and bending and flapping wildly in the air.
If a younger Hemingway had written this novella, Santiago most likely would have towed the enormous fish back to port and posed for a triumphal photograph--just as the author delighted in doing, circa 1935. Instead his prize gets devoured by a school of sharks. Returning with little more than a skeleton, he takes to his bed and, in the very last line, cements his identification with his creator: "The old man was dreaming about the lions." Perhaps there's some allegory of art and experience floating around in there somewhere--but The Old Man and the Sea was, in any case, the last great catch of Hemingway's career. --James Marcus

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:02 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Hemingway's triumphant yet tragic story of an old Cuban fisherman and his relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream combines the simplicity of a fable, the significance of a parable, and the drama of an epic.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 17 descriptions

Legacy Library: Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Ernest Hemingway's legacy profile.

See Ernest Hemingway's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.78)
0.5 16
1 168
1.5 31
2 410
2.5 79
3 1088
3.5 249
4 1716
4.5 211
5 1470


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 108,392,850 books! | Top bar: Always visible