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The Old Man and The Sea (1952)

by Ernest Hemingway

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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24,17939891 (3.77)840
The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal--a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for literature.… (more)
1950s (21)

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» See also 840 mentions

English (352)  Spanish (16)  French (5)  Italian (5)  German (4)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Dutch (2)  Finnish (1)  Arabic (1)  Hebrew (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (394)
Showing 1-5 of 352 (next | show all)
Most readers, and high school English students, already know the plot of The Old Man and the Sea. Santiago is an old man, and many are starting to think that he can no longer fish. He has gone for months without landing any kind of fish and has lost his apprentice to another fishing crew. He sets out into the open sea and goes a little further out than he normally would in his desire to catch a fish. Finally, he snags a huge marlin and spends three days and nights in the sea, battling the fish.

The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel and is much simpler than many of Hemingway's other books. Maybe because of its brevity, it's considered one of his finest works. The characters are minimal so he had a chance to show what a skillful writer he was. Hemingway excels in describing the tension of the old man's dogged determination, the magnificence of the great marlin and the beauty of days and nights alone on the sea. This unvarnished style lets him tell a story of simple bravery.

The Old Man and the Sea was the last major book Hemingway wrote, and it led to his receiving the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. I urge you to read this short book and discover one of the greatest works in American literature.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Please note that I gave this book 4.5 stars and rounded it up to 5 stars on Goodreads.

I have to say that this is a great little short story that you can finish within an hour. Besides the story becoming slightly repetitive after the old man goes out to try his hand at fishing, everything else in the story works.

You have an old man who has not caught a fish in 84 days and is now seen as unlucky by other fisherman. A young boy who used to go out with him to catch fish is now forbidden to go by his father. The young boy admires and loves the old man and wishes he didn't have to obey his father. I loved their relationship together.

The old man we see now only dreams of places he has been and barely has any interest in food. He seems hyper aware of American baseball though (you will see the name DiMaggio a billion times--joking, but not really).

He catches fish because that is what he knows to do. When he hooks a huge marlin, he ends up being taken further and further out into the ocean and hopes to tire the marlin out. I thought the writing was really good. Everything flowed together. However, as I already said, the writing does get repetitive. At one point, the old man hurts his hand and starts talking to it, the fish, and wishes that the boy was with him. The drawings are really what make this book sing though. I loved each and everyone one of them. They manage to evoke so much emotions by just looking at them.

The setting of this book takes place in Cuba. I wish that we had more description of the place and people. Instead, we only really get descriptions of the old man of Africa. He apparently was there in his youth.

The ending was bittersweet. I was pulling for a different outcome, but once things start to go wrong they continue. One wonders if the old man really is unlucky or is lucky enough to realize that there is nothing more for him to do but fish. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
I read this in high school (or perhaps college) and was unimpressed. It just seemed to take way to many words to tell a story where not much really happens.

I just listened to it on Audible with Donald Sutherland as a narrator and loved the book. It's a very different experience encountering this book when I'm nearly 50 instead of when I'm 18. All the long passages where not much seemed to happen now seem full of detail and drama. Little things like the Santiago second guessing himself about how he could have had salt for his fish, and the way he views his hands as separate characters, resonate with me.

I'm so glad I gave this book a second chance. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Hemingway's masterpiece about an old man whose fishing trip results in a battle with a fish and sharks. The reader sympathizes with the man as he struggles for his own survival and sympathizes with the fish. Hemingway painted pictures with his words. ( )
  thornton37814 | Jun 28, 2020 |
I just read a 100 page novella about a fishing trip, essentially, and now I feel like I need to curl up under a rug and just sit with the deep feeling of sadness it conveyed.

I love Hemingway's writing. A lot of the time, I don't like the subjects he writes about, which is why I haven't read as much of his work as my deep admiration for his writing talent would suggest. Even this story is really pushing it, although the necessity of fishing for survival makes it much more palatable than Hemingway's tales of big game hunting, and there is an ever-present acknowledgement here that the fish that the old man is pursuing is just as noble and worthy as the man himself.

I think it's this that makes the story--and the fish's ultimate fate--so deeply moving. The fish and the old man are brothers and ultimately they share the same inglorious fate.

A damn powerful piece of writing--one that speaks to me on a personal level. Now, please excuse me: I have something in my eye. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 352 (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 (71 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ernest Hemingwayprimary authorall editionscalculated
Heston, CharltonReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaworski, PhilippeTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, SinclairIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marantonio, UgoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moehlenkamp, KevinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oeser, Hans-ChristianEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Petrov, AlexandreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pivano, FernandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sickles, NoëlIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tainio, TaunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Veegens-Latorf, E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werumeus Buning, J.W.F.Prefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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Leather Bound, Collector's Edition

Dopo ottantaquattro giorni durante i quali non è riuscito a pescare nulla, il vecchio Santiago trova la forza di riprendere il mare: questa nuova battuta di pesca rinnova il suo apprendistato di pescatore e sigilla la sua simbolica iniziazione. Nella disperata caccia a un enorme pesce spada dei Caraibi. nella lotta quasi a mani nude contro gli squali che un pezzo alla volta gli strappano la preda, lasciandogli solo il simbolo della vittoria e della maledizione finalmente sconfitta. Santiago stabilisce, forse per la prima volta, una vera fratellanza con le forze incontenibili della natura. E, soprattutto, trova dentro di sé il segno e la presenza del proprio coraggio, la giustificazione di tutta una vita.
Haiku summary
Old man goes fishing
Out for many days and nights
Returns with nothing


Legacy Library: Ernest Hemingway

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