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The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics) (original 1952; edition 1999)

by Ernest Hemingway

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19,58130182 (3.77)702
Member:Ranolph
Title:The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Ernest Hemingway
Info:Vintage Classics (1999), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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

1950s (17)
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Showing 1-5 of 271 (next | show all)
This is a biased review. It contains spoilers, in memoriam sentimentality, and personal quips. Beware.

Here's the deal: I'm fixing to be 27 in a little over a month. So I'm feeling pretty sentimental. Add in the *BOOM* of Father's Day coming and passing and the little bit of grief that starts pouring over the sides of the cup because of it and any father-ish Old Man deal is probably going to pluck at my nerves a bit. My dad died when I was seven. Unfortunately grief doesn't come and go in as much finality as the ones we grieve. It sticks with and shapes you a little here and there. That's not a bad thing though it can certainly feel like it. It brings tears but it can also bring self-reflection, wisdom, and a wealth of compassion. Consider this the silver lining look of things from someone who also knows what shit it is to lose someone so vital. You get good things you might never have experienced but you also get the anger, confusion, and emotional distortion that plays loud and heavy in a lot of different areas at different times in your life.

Don't worry, this is leading somewhere.

I was lucky. I had a good dad for seven years. He was a mixed bag guy doing the best he could in his nerdy, pocket-protector-wearing way. He had a strong sense of character and he believed in things like spending time with your kid, cooking for your family as an expression of love, that you work hard no matter what, you take care of family (no matter what), and that Indiana Jones is and always will be a total badass. Oh, and that dry alphabits cereal with the rainbow marshmallows is the best movie night food and fierros are the best cars even if they keep catching on fire and you end up having to get a tow home on a late night Krystals run in your ratty scrub pants that you insist on never throwing out (because no one's ever going to see them, right?). He sang Amazing Grace in church and made his little girl believe it really did exist out there in the world.

It's this man that I remember at Father's Day and this man that gave me the wisdom to fall in love with books. It was also this man's few possessions I was going through a few days ago while searching for my parent's wedding album for my mom. Amongst the old bomber jacket, a red telescope, old chess set, and other memorable odds and ends sat The Old Man and the Sea. Surprisingly not noticed prior to this which is a bit odd to me to say the least. My dad was enamoured with books and learning but most of his books sat on my shelves long after he died, wrapping me up in comfortable and familiar prose whenever I needed them to. This book, however, was mixed up in Scientific American mags and old almanacs.

I pulled it out and figured it might be interesting to see why this particular book was liked by him so much that the dog-eared pages were clearly visible after all this time. (Not to mention I needed a book with an "O" for a reading challenge, fortuitous no?) It was pretty easy to get the picture within the first few pages.

You're introduced to a wise old man whose luck has fallen flat. However, he has a wealth of character and strength despite this fact and he happens to be respected and loved for it by a young boy that looks up to him and by the community he inhabits. It's this character that prompts his will to work hard, to do things the right way, to have respect and love for what he does and the scheme of his life that consists of religion, cultural belief, identifying with animals (even the ones he survives on) and seeing them as lives that should be respected and honored, and a personal reserve that he's more in tune with than most people seem to be. Even though he has this wisdom and reserve, he's also human in his stubbornness and his fight with his catch and the sad denouement that results because of his fallacy, pride, and said stubbornness.

I was lucky. I caught a glimpse of my dad in this book. A glimpse that showed me why he was probably moved by this book in particular or by Hemingway in general. Why it would appeal to his sense of rightness in the world, his character and wealth of humility and strength. Even his stubbornness.

It's sappy and sentimental but it's human. And while the fish may just be a fish and my dad was certainly just my dad- I'm happy in my human sentimentality and happy in experiencing this book.
( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
Review: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

Great story for all ages. This is a standard man against nature story. Ernest Hemingway is a great writer and he knew how and what to write to capture his readers. This is a short story of energy and humanity of how men strive for reality, power, and the outstanding
struggle against something greater than themselves. It is a story of a fisherman’s success in the wake of failure while refusing to give in to tough challenges that nature and life throws his way.

Santiago is an older fisherman from Havana, Cuba and his strength and will-power holds his body together so he does not fail. He sometimes has a young boy fishing companion named Manolin but this time he heads out to sea alone in his own small skiff of a sail boat. He fishes every day to catch a fish to feed himself. Sometimes he goes days without food. Lately he has been down on his luck but when he headed out that morning he told himself that this was his day to catch a big enough fish to feed him for a year. On this day he goes out further in the ocean than he ever has.

Hemingway allows the reader to see through the old man’s eyes, sense what he feels, and describes Santiago’s pain in his hands as he tugs at the fishing line that cuts through the skin of his palm and fingers. The story describes both the outer landscape of the boat on the vast open ocean and the slow devastating labors to kill the huge Marlin sailfish which was larger and weighed more that his boat did. It took some time for Santiago to get the sailfish strapped to the side of his small sailboat and to sail the fish back home. With more harsh struggles on the way home Santiago never lost pride or his dream that he carried out that day. It was a symbolic sign that he was a true fisherman to the end…. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Sep 18, 2016 |
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 |
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 |
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

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Dedication
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Leather Bound, Collector's Edition
Audio Tape
Haiku summary
Old man goes fishing
Out for many days and nights
Returns with nothing

(hiddenpunk)

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

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