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The old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway

The old man and the sea (1952)

by Ernest Hemingway

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17,93325196 (3.78)633
Title:The old man and the sea
Authors:Ernest Hemingway
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Tags:Folio society

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

1950s (26)

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English (226)  Spanish (8)  Swedish (3)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (2)  German (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 226 (next | show all)
Poignant, painful, beautiful. ( )
  leandrod | Feb 10, 2015 |
Tarina kuubalaisesta kalastajavanhuksesta ja hänen ystävästään nuoresta pojasta. Kirja kertoo lähes kokonaan vanhuksen kalastusretkestä ja sillä tapahtuvista sattumuksista, kun onkeen tarttuu todella suuri kala. Vanhus ja meri on hyvin tunnelmallinen ja liikuttava kirja. ( )
  Kuosmanen | Dec 16, 2014 |
I wish I had spent more time on this book. I so wanted to know what happened that I don't think I gave myself the chance to enjoy the words. ( )
3 vote LASMIT | Oct 25, 2014 |
I didn’t enjoy this book when I first read it at school, as I suspect many have done, and I didn’t enjoy it this time round either. It seems protracted (no doubt to emulate the struggle with the fish) and sanctimonious, asserting itself as an epic, allegorical tale rather than what I see it as – a rather cruel, pointless story with macho delusions. ‘Fish . . I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you before this day ends’ the old man tells the fish which in turn tells me about Hemingway’s values.

That Hemingway has the young boy, Manolin, practically worshipping the old man is no doubt meant to attract the reader to both the old man and the boy but I found it a rather saccharin relationship, as full of repetition as is the story as a whole. Perhaps the novella would have worked better for me had it been a short story. ‘The End of Something’ and ‘The Doctor and the Doctor’s Wife’ resonated with implied sadness, this coming from the sparseness of the language hinting at deeper emotions but here the old man’s thoughts are not just laid bare but repeated and spoken out loud by the old man, a device Hemingway has to introduce to get some direct speech into what would otherwise have been just straight description. And of course it’s the tourists Hemingway uses disparagingly at the end.

So, protracted and tedious, are how I’d sum up my appraisal of this one – and I’m surprised it’d been so successful. Killing fish and feeling sorry for them when killing them doesn’t strike a cord with me and while I’m no doubt taking the story too literally, the reader has to be receptive to the overt tale in order to accept any other suggestions about life that the story may have. ( )
  evening | Oct 7, 2014 |
The Basics

The Old Man of the story’s title is a fisherman who hasn’t caught a fish in such a long time that he’s now considered bad luck. Realizing he has to turn his luck around, he goes as far out at sea as he can and winds up in a battle of wills against a fish that might just beat him.

My Thoughts

The first thing I want to get across is that, despite my rating, this is a book I’m glad I read. The story and what I felt it was trying to say are really beautiful. That ultimately the goal or success is not the point. It’s the struggle. And the fact that people will care that you struggled, whether you succeeded or not. Because the Old Man’s efforts are profound here, and it’s not lost on anyone who sees that he went through a great deal, and it’s appreciated. It’s a bittersweet sort of hope, but it’s still hope, and I loved that.

Yet ultimately you either will like the way Hemingway chose to write that, the style he used, or you won’t. And I didn’t. It was minimalistic to the point of being too much so. While I don’t know if they’d want to, a middle-grade child could read this. When a book is intended for children, I don’t mind that so much. But as an adult reading a classic, I need more than that. I understood the choice. He was trying to show the main character’s simplistic way of life, his thoughts and dreams, and did it by writing almost entirely from the character’s point-of-view, even in style. That’s an interesting choice, but not fun to read.

Another thing to take into account is that this story focuses a lot on the fisherman’s method of catching fish, as well as on those long periods where endurance is required to win the day. This results in slow spots, even in a book as short as this. They’re peppered throughout the story, and there are moments where the intensity is fairly high which makes up for these slow points, but they are there.

It’s hard to be hard on this book, because it did have something to say, but I’m not sure it was as effective style-wise as it could’ve been. I urge anyone questioning this review to check it out, because it is worth it for the story alone, regardless of everything else.

Final Rating

3/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 226 (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
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

4 Novels: A Farewell to Arms / For Whom The Bell Tolls / The Old Man and the Sea / The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

ROMANZI by Ernest Hemingway

The Novels Of Ernest Hemingway . by Ernest Hemingway

Five Novels: The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / To Have and Have Not / The Old Man and the Sea / For Whom the Bell Tolls (FOLIO SOCIETY) by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises / A Farewell to Arms / The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

For Whom the Bell Tolls / The Snows of Kilimanjaro / Fiesta / The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber / Across the River and into the Trees / The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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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
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:02 -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)

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