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The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway (Papilio Classics)

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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is the story of an epic struggle of an old fisherman. For eighty four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. The parents of his young apprentice and friend, Manolin forced the boy to leave him in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. But the boy continues to care for the old man. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is the story of an epic struggle of an old fisherman. For eighty four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. The parents of his young apprentice and friend, Manolin forced the boy to leave him in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. But the boy continues to care for the old man. Santiago is confident that his unproductive streak will soon come to an end. One of the world's most read classics. Complete & unabridged text with introduction & comprehension.


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The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is the story of an epic struggle of an old fisherman. For eighty four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. The parents of his young apprentice and friend, Manolin forced the boy to leave him in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. But the boy continues to care for the old man. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is the story of an epic struggle of an old fisherman. For eighty four days, Santiago, an aged Cuban fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. The parents of his young apprentice and friend, Manolin forced the boy to leave him in order to fish in a more prosperous boat. But the boy continues to care for the old man. Santiago is confident that his unproductive streak will soon come to an end. One of the world's most read classics. Complete & unabridged text with introduction & comprehension.

30 review for The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway (Papilio Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Worst book ever. Just throw the fucking fish back in. Fuck.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Oh, my good lord in heaven. Cut your line, land your boat and go to McDonald's! Just as in the case of The Great Gatsby, I understand the book. Yes, I know it changed the way American writers write. I also understand that it celebrates the ridiculous American idea that you're only a REAL man if you've done something entirely purposeless, but really dangerous, in pursuit of making yourself look like the bull with the biggest sexual equipment. Get over it, already! Go home and clean out the refrig Oh, my good lord in heaven. Cut your line, land your boat and go to McDonald's! Just as in the case of The Great Gatsby, I understand the book. Yes, I know it changed the way American writers write. I also understand that it celebrates the ridiculous American idea that you're only a REAL man if you've done something entirely purposeless, but really dangerous, in pursuit of making yourself look like the bull with the biggest sexual equipment. Get over it, already! Go home and clean out the refrigerator, or wash the curtains, or vacuum under the furniture. Pick your kids up from school or take your daughter bra shopping. THAT would impress me. Being too dumb to cut your fishing line? Not the mate I would pick... The only bright spot about the book is if you think of it on a metaphorical level: there is a point at which ALL of us must grit our teeth and hold on in the face of despair. That is the definition of life. However, if that's the point, then the plot situation needs to be one of necessity (like the shipwreck in Life of Pi), instead of stubbornness. ************ It's been a while since I wrote this review, and there's a lot of amusing speculation in the comments people have attached. I have to say, they crack me up. Here's my final word on reviewing on Goodreads (or anywhere); One of the most important elements of reading is that it allows each of us to react in the way we need to react, without judgment, as we experience the book. This is how I reacted to The Old Man and the Sea. Hemingway is dead, or I wouldn't have been so up-front with my opinion. He's not insulted, I understand that we all need goals in life, and I've been happily married for a LONG time. Now take a deep breath and smile. Life is too short to be anxious about picayune stuff like this.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I read this as a young man and was disappointed. It didn't work for me. I thought it was about a crazy old man gone off the reservation, picking a fight with an innocent fish while ranting about the New York Yankees ("I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing. They say his father was a fisherman..."). I picked it up again, after the passage of some years, and found it incredibly poignant. It's a simple story. There's an old man, Santiago, who is a fisherman fallen on hard times. He is cared I read this as a young man and was disappointed. It didn't work for me. I thought it was about a crazy old man gone off the reservation, picking a fight with an innocent fish while ranting about the New York Yankees ("I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing. They say his father was a fisherman..."). I picked it up again, after the passage of some years, and found it incredibly poignant. It's a simple story. There's an old man, Santiago, who is a fisherman fallen on hard times. He is cared for by a young boy, Manolin, who no longer works on his boat. Santiago goes into the Gulf and engages in the fight of his life with a giant marlin. What follows is a dream-like, stream-of-conscious meditation as the old man matches strength and wits with the great fish. After 84 days of no fish, Santiago takes his skiff far out to sea. He drops his line and hooks a marlin. He can't pull it in, so he takes hold of the line, beginning the back and forth: when the marlin runs, he gives the line slack; when the marlin is still, he pulls the line in. The old man's hands are cut by the rope. His muscles strain. He has no food or water. Yet he doesn't give up. The obsession has shades of Moby Dick, except at the end of this novel, I didn't feel the need to dig up Melville and punch him in the skull: I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars. Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. . . . Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. . . . There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity. I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers. Eventually, the marlin is hauled in and killed. The old man attaches him to the boat, and begins to row towards shore. Of course, the marlin is dripping blood, so if you've seen Jaws or read James and the Giant Peach, you can imagine that his dreams of hitting it big with this fish are probably not going to come to pass. Age teaches you a lot of things. You start to realize that you might never be the person you thought you'd be as a child. Days go by, you start to lose more and gain less. I thought about this as I thought about the old man, raging like Dylan Thomas against the night; an old man nearing the end of his days fighting against nature, time, death, a fish, able to boil all things down into one climatic struggle on the high seas. At the end, he did not succeed, at least not in the manner he'd foreseen, but he was, in an inimitable way, victorious. 'You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food,' he thought. 'You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?'

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    My very first time reading Papa and I absolutely LOVED IT. Sometimes the experience you have with a book can be effected by many things beyond the narrative itself, and I think that is certainly the case here. While I believe I would have loved this story regardless, there is no doubt that the stars aligned themselves perfectly to make this a singularly special read for me. Let me explain... Last year, I was in Napa with my wife and two of our best friends celebrating my (oh shit!!) 40th birthday My very first time reading Papa and I absolutely LOVED IT. Sometimes the experience you have with a book can be effected by many things beyond the narrative itself, and I think that is certainly the case here. While I believe I would have loved this story regardless, there is no doubt that the stars aligned themselves perfectly to make this a singularly special read for me. Let me explain... Last year, I was in Napa with my wife and two of our best friends celebrating my (oh shit!!) 40th birthday. It was the latter part of October (near the end of harvest time) and the weather was perfect...DUH, it’s Napa. We were staying at our favorite Napa sanctuary, the Villagio Inn and Spa. Though pricey, Vellagio is just about perfect, it's centrally located, with wonderful rooms, and one of the BEST breakfast spreads in the world...Hey, when you are going out drinking all day, it is important to load up on foodstuffs to avoid alcohol-related trouble. have a nice big breakfast before you go out and drink all day...it is called being practical. Speaking of drinking all day, we had just come back from an awesome tour of the Castle di Amarossa Winery which is, I shit you not, a real castle in the middle of Napa, California... …complete with MEGA DINING HALL ...and a TORTURE CHAMBER…..yep, a rack, an Iron Maiden and some device that made me constipated just looking at it. . . . Anyway, we got back to the room and had a few hours to relax before a late dinner reservation. Well, I don’t sleep all that much and so, while my wife took a nap (light weight that she is), I decided I would find something fairly short to read. I choose this story because it was only 100 pages long (or just under 3 hours via audio) and it seemed to fit my time allotment perfectly. So, feeling a little buzzed and in a superb, yet contemplative mood (I had just turned 40 for crying out loud), I poured myself another glass of wine (shut up and don't judge me), went and sat on the balcony outside our room and, with the sun starting to go down, began listening to the audio version of this story. Well, this story slammed me and had me sucked in and captive from the very first words: “He was the old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish.” By the way, now would be a good time to mention that the audio version I listened to was read by Donald Sutherland, and the marriage of the story with Sutherland’s perfect narration was nothing short of magical. In my opinion it is THE ONLY VERSION of the audio book that should be sold. 

 As many have said (and almost as many have complained), this is in many ways a simple story about an old Cuban fisherman named Santiago, who has had a significant run of bad luck fishing (i.e., 84 days). "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the 
same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated." Attempting to change his luck, he decides to take his skiff further out than he has ever gone before, "beyond all the people of the world." Eventually, he lands the largest Marlin he's ever seen and the bulk of the narrative details his epic struggle to reel in the fish and get it back to shore. 

 Yes, a simple story and Hemingway uses sparse, straight-forward prose...and devastates with them. The most powerful emotions, passions and struggles that people experience are often tied to the most basic needs and the most elemental aspects of who they are. I felt an immediate connection to the story and was deeply moved by the restrained, yet palpable power of the narrative. The most lasting message that I took away from the story was that, despite the many hardships Santiago faces, and the titanic trials that he endures on the open sea, I NEVER ONCE felt that I was supposed to pity or feel sorry for him in any way. Here was a person doing what he loves to do, what gives him purpose in life, and struggling with an iron will to accomplish his goal. The struggle is hard, it is difficult, but it is who he is and what gives him fulfillment in life. All I could feel was giant admiration for this man. I found this uplifting and a powerful reaffirmation of what is truly important in life. "But a man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed 
but not defeated." Whether it was the setting I was in, the mood I was in, the wine I was drinking, the wonderful narration or the power of the words themselves, in the end the result was the same. I felt ALIVE, and for that I say thank you “Papa” wherever you are!!! 
 That is basically it, but I wanted to leave you with my favorite line from the story, one that I think encapsulates everything Hemingway set out to accomplish in his tale. "And what beat you, he thought. 'Nothing,' he said aloud. 
'I went out too far.'" 
 5.0 stars and one of my “All Time" favorites. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Madeline

    "There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know." -Ernest Hemingway

  6. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    It is intimidating to offer a truly critical look at such a classic, so we will ease into it with a few images. The GOP has offered us a ready-made item to begin this list, and yes, I know that John Stewart already snagged this one and threw it back. I turned up a visual art concept that fits in, for a restaurant based on EH themes: Although I did not sit for this photo, the resemblance is indeed striking And, of course The Old Man and the Cee Lo. I suppose am certain there are plenty more images one It is intimidating to offer a truly critical look at such a classic, so we will ease into it with a few images. The GOP has offered us a ready-made item to begin this list, and yes, I know that John Stewart already snagged this one and threw it back. I turned up a visual art concept that fits in, for a restaurant based on EH themes: Although I did not sit for this photo, the resemblance is indeed striking And, of course The Old Man and the Cee Lo. I suppose am certain there are plenty more images one might lure into our net, but sticking to words for a bit, we will pass on the porn offering, The Old Man and the Semen. How about the moving tale of a Navy Construction veteran, The Old Man and the Seabees, or an obstetrical episode of Grey's Anatomy, The Old Man and the C-Section. Then there might be a psychological drama about a man with bipolar disorder, The Old Man and the See Saw, or a book about an elderly acupuncturist, The Old Man and the Chi. How about a Disney adventure in which Paul Hogan rescues a pinniped, yes, gentle reader, The Old Man and the Seal. Maybe a bit of Cuban self-affirmation, The Old Man and the Si. I could go on, of course, and probably will, at home, until my wife threatens to leave. The possibilities are rather endless. But the Geneva Conventions might be brought into play, and we can’t have that. Tackling such a review head on seems, somehow, wrong, like using paint by number to copy the Mona Lisa, carving the Pieta out of gigantic blocks of cheddar, writing a love poem for your beloved using MadLibs or (view spoiler)[ Yes, the forces of righteousness sanity wanted this one deep-sixed: …checking for skid marks on Ghandi’s dhoti. Ok, 12-year-old inner me is all giggly now. (hide spoiler)] At some point, though, I guess you have to, you know, fish or cut bait. I struggled mightily with this one, finding a hook, then having it pull away, grabbing hold of an idea and watching it disappear beneath waves of uncertainty. I tried waiting a while, resting between attempts, losing myself in other contemplations. Smiling a bit, but always hoping for something I could finally yank aboard. Notions of religious connections, Papa’s personal philosophy, and story-telling technique all pulled in diverse directions. As you will see, it was a not a simple contest. And I am not certain that what I ultimately caught is all that filling. 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. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky.So opens The Old Man and the Sea, the book, we hear tell, that convinced the Nobel committee to reel in EGH with the biggest literary hook of them all. Santiago is an old, unlucky, but skilled Cuban fisherman. He has an able assistant, the young Manolin. The lad is not a blood relation, but he sees a father figure in the old man, and he may be a younger reflection of the old man himself. Maybe Santiago sees himself in the young man and takes some strength from that. Like the best sort of father, he teaches the boy to fish rather than fishing for him. But Santiago’s ill fortune has marked him as someone to be avoided and Manolin’s parents have put the kibosh on their professional association. The old man is determined to salvage his reputation, and his honor, and bring in some money by going farther out than the other fishermen are willing to sail, in search of redemption. No herald calls him to action. No dramatic event sparks him to excessive risk. It is an internal challenge that powers his engines. But it is a quest nonetheless on which Santiago embarks. Any time there are fish involved, one might presume a degree of soul saving. I do not know enough Hemingway to have a take on whether or not that figured here. I raise it only as a passing thought. But the second sentence of the book offers a hint. “In the first forty days…”clearly places Santiago’s travails alongside another person who spent forty days in a different barren environment. It was after being baptized that Jesus spent his time in the desert, preparing for what awaited. Is Santiago to be tested here? Will he be offered a route away from his difficult path? The waters are becalmed. Nothing moves. A moment, then, for a digression. OK, let’s try some simple arithmetic, if Jesus, at age 30, spent 40 days in the desert, and Santiago has gone 84 days in his version of the desert, just how old is the old man? 63, according to my calculations. Possible. I do not recall seeing an actual age noted, so I am gonna go with that. I know you guys will let me know if an actual age is revealed somewhere and my squinty geezer eyes missed it. Done. I can feel a slight breeze beginning to flutter the sail. Some sort of religion seems to flow through this fish tale. Not only are we sprinkled with forty-day references, but Santiago discusses sin. In his struggles he suffers physical damage in which some might see an echo of Calvary. But I think that is a stretch, personally. So, we have a bit of religion, and a quest. What is Santiago questing for? Redemption would fit in nicely. Having failed for a long time, he feels a need to redeem himself in the eyes of his community. Maybe not a religious thing, per se, but swimming in the same waters. And speaking of religion, water as a baptismal element is always a possibility, although somewhat diluted here, as Santiago makes his living on the water. The old man is strong, skilled and determined. Maybe it is his character that is at issue. Maybe somehow, taking on this challenge is a way to prove to himself that he is truly a man. He goes about his business, and his fishing is his fate, maybe even his life. It is in how he handles himself when faced with this challenge that will show us the sort of person he is, a common Hemingway theme, and he does just that. This is a very short novel, more, maybe, a novella or large short story. But it has the feel of a parable. There is definitely something going on here even if it keeps slipping out of my analytical net. I was reminded of another well-known fish story, Moby Dick (really, allow a little literary license here people. Yes I know the whale is not a fish. Geez.). Whereas in that one, the fisherman, Ahab, sets himself against the whale, and therefore either fate or god, seeing a personal enemy, Santiago sees the fish as his brother, a fellow creature in the universe acting out his part. The challenge is always about oneself and not about the external enemy, or rival. In fact, the fish and Santiago are both victimized, together, by the sharks that feast on his catch.Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. How many people will he feed, he thought. But are they worthy to eat him? No, of course not. There is not one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behaviour and his great dignity.One might be forgiven for seeing here a possible reference to catholic communion and the relative merit of so many of those who receive. Is the fish (a Christian symbol if there ever was one) meant to be Jesus or some other form of deity, as Moby was? Could it be that Hemingway’s notion of religion is less Christian and more a sort of materialist (as in non-spiritual, not as in accumulating stuff) philosophy? Lacking the proper tackle for that I will leave such considerations to those who have spent more time than I trolling Hemingway’s waters. The writing is mostly either third-person description or the old man’s internal, and sometimes spoken, dialogue. Regardless of the literary ambitions splashing about here, the story is about a very sympathetic character. Santiago is a man not only of physical strength, but moral character. He is not portrayed as a saint, but as a simple man, maybe even, in a way, an ideal man in his simplicity. He knows his place in the world, faces the challenges that world presents to him and using only his skill, intelligence, strength and determination, overcomes (or not). It is easy to climb on board as a Santiago supporter. He is a fellow who is very much a part of the world, even as he contemplates larger things. The Old Man and the Sea is a small story, but it is a whale of a tale. If you have not fished these waters before, don’t let this be one of those that got away. WB32 ==============================UPDATES 1/5/13 - Jeffrey Keeten sent along this amazing link. Gary Wyatt had shared it with him. It will definitely make you smile 6/20/13 - I discovered that one of the images I used had vanished into the ether, so I substituted another

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    521. The Old Man and The Sea, Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Bimini, Bahamas, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba. In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pul 521. The Old Man and The Sea, Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Bimini, Bahamas, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba. In 1953, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and it was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. عنوانها: مرد پیر و دریا - پیرمرد و دریا - ارنست همینگوی (نگاه) ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1972 میلادی عنوان: مرد پیر و دریا؛ نویسنده: ارنست همینگوی؛ مترجم: م.خ. یحیوی؛ تهران، کانون معرفت، 1331، در 176 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: 1340؛ مترجم: سعیدی، تهران، نشر شهریار، ؟؟، در 175 ص؛ مترجم: رضا مرعشی، تهران، معراجی، ؟؟، در 128 ص؛ عنوان: پیرمرد و دریا؛ نویسنده: ارنست همینگوی؛ مترجم: نازی عظیما؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1354، در 151 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1388، چاپ دیگر: تهران، افق، 1389، در 158 ص؛ شابک: 9789643696108؛ چاپ چهارم 1391؛ عنوان: پیرمرد و دریا؛ نویسنده: ارنست همینگوی؛ مترجم: نجف دریابندری؛ تهران، خوارزمی، 1363، در 145 ص؛ ویرایش دوم 1372: در 224 ص؛ چاپ سوم 1385؛ چاپ چهارم 1389؛ در 222 ص؛ شابک: 9789644870729؛ چاپ پنجم 1392؛ شرح تلاش‌های یک ماهیگیر پیر کوبایی، به نام: «سانتیاگو» ست، که هشتاد و چهار روز است، یک ماهی هم نگرفته، اینبار در دل دریاهای دور، برای به دام انداختن یک نیزه‌ ماهی بسیار بزرگ، با آن ماهی وارد مبارزه ی مرگ و زندگی می‌شود. و ...؛ نگارش این کتاب، یکی از برهانهای اهدای جایزه ی ادبی نوبل سال 1954 میلادی، به «ارنست همینگوی» بوده‌ است. شخصیت «پیرمرد»، در داستان: «پیرمرد و دریا»، دست کم در برخی موارد، برگرفته از شخصیت واقعی یک ماهیگیر کوبایی، به نام: «گرگوریو فوئنتس»، بوده‌ است، که «همینگوی» ایشان را، برای نگهداری از قایق خویش، به نام: «پیلار»، در کوبا استخدام کرده بودند. ا. شربیانی

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    My children and I were crossing a bridge in Rome. Our senses were acutely sharpened. We were aware of each minute spent in this capital of human storytelling, of the neverending drama of human culture and nature in interaction and in occasional clashes. Looking out over the river, my son and I spot the sorry remains of a boat, just the bare metal frame without any "flesh", and we instinctively say at the same time: "Hemingway's old man!" We look at each other, smile at our simultaneous association My children and I were crossing a bridge in Rome. Our senses were acutely sharpened. We were aware of each minute spent in this capital of human storytelling, of the neverending drama of human culture and nature in interaction and in occasional clashes. Looking out over the river, my son and I spot the sorry remains of a boat, just the bare metal frame without any "flesh", and we instinctively say at the same time: "Hemingway's old man!" We look at each other, smile at our simultaneous association, and start arguing whether or not one can see the fish in the same way as a boat, or whether the destruction of the boat is a more definitive loss. While we are arguing, my younger children are enquiring about the story we discuss, and we give them the details. "Losing something means you really had it!" That is their conclusion, and while my eldest son and I start pondering whether or not the younger two are ready for the old man and the sea in Hemingway's own words, we continue walking, and life goes on, and a new generation of Hemingway readers find sense and meaning in his parable on the human struggle. We feel like saying: "I'm sorry, boat!", in the same way the old man said: "I'm sorry, fish!" But the fact that it lies there showing its naked metal ribs tells us it truly existed. That's more than nothing. And it is not a bad place for a boat to rest. Just like the old man and the fish are in good hands between the covers of a Hemingway novel. Nothing's lost as long as we can tell stories about it. Brilliant parable of man's struggle with nature and himself. Beautifully written. One of my favorite Hemingways. PS: And a Pulitzer that I don't find disappointing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    The wolves will come... I started this in high spirits as my updates show: "fifth re-read, how thrilling it is to plumb new depths in old wells of wisdom..." But, as I read on towards the last few pages, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is Moby Dick set in an alternate universe. In this alternate universe: The Giant Leviathan is a noble, unseen fish - steady and without malice. Captain Ahab is transformed into a gentle, wise old zen master. Santiago - a humble fisherman with no legendary crew t The wolves will come... I started this in high spirits as my updates show: "fifth re-read, how thrilling it is to plumb new depths in old wells of wisdom..." But, as I read on towards the last few pages, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is Moby Dick set in an alternate universe. In this alternate universe: The Giant Leviathan is a noble, unseen fish - steady and without malice. Captain Ahab is transformed into a gentle, wise old zen master. Santiago - a humble fisherman with no legendary crew to command and only his frail body instead of a Pequod to do his bidding. Ishmael is a young boy, who instead of being a "end is nigh" Nostradamus is a loving, weeping young boy who cares deeply about the world. Queequeg is probably the dolphin which was the old man's only hope against his foe, his brother. Now Moby Dick for me was the grand struggle of an obsessed genius with his destiny (in fact, about the creative struggle) - it proves that life is a tragedy and in the grand conclusion, you go down with a mighty confrontation and your ambitions take you down to the depths of the sea - no trace left of either you or your grand dreams except a mist of madness propagated as a half-heard story. This was profound and it moved me to tears - but it was still grand, was it not? The great struggle, the titanic battle and the heroic capitulation! It was operatic and it was uplifting - even amidst the tragedy, the mighty bellow of man's cry in the face of the unconquerable; that gave me goosebumps. But Hemingway and his Old Man has turned the story on its head. It takes you beyond the happily-ever-after of Moby Dick (!) and as always those unchartered waters are beyond description. This alternate universe is much more cruel and much more real. There is no grand confrontation that ends in an inspirational tragedy. It turns it into a battle of attrition - you are inevitably defeated even in success and life will wear you down and leave no trace of your ambitions. It makes you battle to the last breaking point of every nerve and sinew and lets you win a hollow victory that you cannot celebrate as life has worn you out too much in your pursuit of your goals and the destiny, the destiny too now seems more and more unreal and you ask yourself if you were even worthy enough to start the battle. And as you turn back after that jaded victory, then comes the sharks, inevitably, inexorably. And then begins the real battle, not the grand epic, but a doomed, unenthusiastic battle against reality - with the knowledge that no grand ambition can ever succeed. And the old man tells it for you - "I never should have gone out that far!" The alternate universe is depressing and it is Zen at the same time, I do not know how. I probably have to read this many more times before any hope, any secret light in it comes to illuminate me - for today, for this reading, Hemingway has depressed me beyond belief and I cannot remember how I always thought of this as an inspirational fable! The scene in which the restaurant lady sees the bones of the once great fish sums it up for me - In the end you give up hope of success and only wish that at the very least you might be able to bring back a ghost of the fish so that people can see how great your target really was - but all they see is the almost vanished skeleton of your idea; your grand dreams are just so much garbage now and who will have the imagination to see the grandeur it had at its conception? “They beat me, Manolin,” he said. “They truly beat me.” “He didn’t beat you. Not the fish.” “No. Truly. It was afterwards.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the masters of American 20th century fiction. Garnering from his life experiences, his novels reflect on his time as a newspaper reporter and correspondent in a Europe during both the inner war and war years. A member of the lost generation, Hemingway was the first of his group to have a major work published. In addition to all of the accolades bestowed upon him, Hemingway is considered along Steinbeck to be a master storyteller, especially of short stories. Ernest Hemingway is considered one of the masters of American 20th century fiction. Garnering from his life experiences, his novels reflect on his time as a newspaper reporter and correspondent in a Europe during both the inner war and war years. A member of the lost generation, Hemingway was the first of his group to have a major work published. In addition to all of the accolades bestowed upon him, Hemingway is considered along Steinbeck to be a master storyteller, especially of short stories. The crowning achievement to an illustrious career, The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1952, less than ten years before Hemingway's death. Santiago is an older fisherman in Havana. He is content fishing and contemplating on his life while finding out the daily baseball scores. His favorite ball player is Joe DiMaggio because his father was a famed fisherman. As a younger man, Santiago was considered the strongest man in Havana, one time outlasting a negro from Cienfuegos in a twenty four hour arm wrestling duel. Yet, despite his fame and accomplishments as a fisherman, Santiago's luck has run out on hm. As an older man, her needs help from a boy to complete his daily fishing hauls and tasks, and has not caught a fish in 84 days. In spite of this run of poor luck, Santiago still returns to the seas on a daily basis, hopeful to catch the big fish that has alluded him for his entire life. Because of lack of successes, his boy has turned to another, lucky fishing boat. Santiago has to go at it alone, with only two fishing lines and baits. Determined to catch that big one, he sets out even with the dangers of sea, especially sharks, knowing that each journey into the water could be his last. Yet, this is subsistence and sustenance for many people on an island, so Santiago persists at his task. His voyage for the big fish becomes more than a fishing trip but his contemplating life, bestowing his wisdom on both the fishing trade and life knowledge on the younger generations. This is without the assurance that he will even catch a fish or if this determination to catch the big one will be his last voyage. From this 120 page novella, one can see glimpses of Hemingway's greatness. His sentences are full of imagery and imparting the wisdom of a rich life. As an older man, he himself enjoyed fishing and Santiago mirrors how Hemingway spent his later life. I have read a number of Pulitzers, and while the writing of this novella is enriching, I am left wondering if perhaps Hemingway won the award here as a crowning jewel on his life body of work. The story was captivating and full of messages yet a novella, rather than a novel. Perhaps, unbeknownst to me, this powerful novella was the best work of fiction in its given year and worthy of the award. In my quest to read the Pulitzers, I am glad that I was finally lead to read Hemingway. It is clear to me that he is a master of his craft, and I look forward to reading his further work. The Old Man and the Sea looks back on an enriching life and won Hemingway a deserving award, if not for his lifetime of writing. As a lovely story and another Pulitzer I can check off my list, The Old Man and the Sea rates 4 powerful stars.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    “ ’But man is not made for defeat’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.’ ” I first encountered Hemingway in college. I was taking a humanities class, and the professor had us read Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories . I fell in love with Hemingway’s short stories. I wrote an impassioned paper on the character of Nick and received an “A” for my efforts. Throughout the years, I have returned to Hemingway’s short stories, and novellas, and I have never been disappointed. Fast forward “ ’But man is not made for defeat’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.’ ” I first encountered Hemingway in college. I was taking a humanities class, and the professor had us read Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories . I fell in love with Hemingway’s short stories. I wrote an impassioned paper on the character of Nick and received an “A” for my efforts. Throughout the years, I have returned to Hemingway’s short stories, and novellas, and I have never been disappointed. Fast forward 15 years: The Old Man and the Sea had been on my book shelves for quite some time. I picked it up on a whim on July 21st, in honor of Hemingway’s birthday. So once again, I returned to the world of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway's story is told with extraordinary simplicity. It is amazing that Hemingway accomplishes so much using so little. Hemingway sacrifices nothing, and shows that brevity is the essence of style here. He clearly draws a portrait of the inner and outer strength of this amazing man. A man who faces each day with a quiet dignity. The Old Man and the Sea is not just a tale of a man and a fish. It is a story of man against nature, and valor, in the face of adversity. Most importantly, it is a story of man and God. To quote William Faulkner: " His best. Time may show it to be the best single piece of any of us, I mean his and my contemporaries. This time, he discovered God, a Creator. Until now, his men and women had made themselves, shaped themselves out of their own clay; their victories and defeats were at the hands of each other, just to prove to themselves or one another how tough they could be. But this time, he wrote about pity: about something somewhere that made them all: the old man who had to catch the fish and then lose it, the fish that had to be caught and then lost, the sharks which had to rob the old man of his fish; made them all and loved them all and pitied them all. It’s all right. Praise God that whatever made and loves and pities Hemingway and me kept him from touching it any further. " Hemingway celebrates the daring and resolve of the old man. Hemingway celebrates this man who goes thru life alone, ferocious, heroic, daring, showing what Hemingway views as the human spirt at its very best. I can’t help but think this is how Papa Hemingway views himself. There is another story being told here as well; one of the purest, most beautiful stories of friendship I’ve ever read. The old man is not alone. He has a friendship, with a young boy who began fishing with him when the boy was only five. Their story is rooted in love, and mutual respect. The boy has been forced to work with another boat, a luckier boat, by his parents. He dreams of working with the old man once more. When the old man goes to war with the fish, he says repeatedly, “I wish the boy were here.” I am surprised that there is such animosity towards this brilliant work. Most people are introduced to this work in high school. That is really quite a shame since it is not intended for the young. With their limited life experience, they cannot relate to the old man. Is there a place for Hemingway’s view of the world today? Politicians’ speak of individualism, and point to rugged individualism. But in this world of Trumps and McConnells, Kardashians and Kanyes, the individual spirit is trampled on daily. Are there any people left in this world like the old man? I don’t know of any. To those who criticize this brilliant work, I understand; today we live lives far removed from the old man’s world. But Hemingway forces us to remember the spirit of the individual, the struggle for human dignity in the face of our daily struggles to survive. Hemingway forces us to recognize bravery, tenacity, expertise, skill and strength.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jibran

    My big fish must be somewhere. Many years ago when I read The Old Man and the Sea I thought it was going nowhere, that it was too simple and ordinary to be of any consequence. On a second reading, however, my view changed and I ended up loving it. What I mistook for repetition was a literary device for emphasis and the boat, like the story, that I judged to be unmoving in the rolling seas was caught in a whirlpool churning the waters in its depth so that the boat and the old man at the sea were n My big fish must be somewhere. Many years ago when I read The Old Man and the Sea I thought it was going nowhere, that it was too simple and ordinary to be of any consequence. On a second reading, however, my view changed and I ended up loving it. What I mistook for repetition was a literary device for emphasis and the boat, like the story, that I judged to be unmoving in the rolling seas was caught in a whirlpool churning the waters in its depth so that the boat and the old man at the sea were never at rest till the end. Although grounds for comparison do not exist, reading this novella, Orhan Pamuk came to mind. It's their ability to weave the many similar threads of narrative into a stunning improvisatory whole that turns a small, and prima facie simple, scenario that might be covered in a few pages into an expanded mass of words that transcends the boundaries of its immediate context to inform on larger human struggle. Repetition or artistic improvisation, when done well, is fascinating and here Orhan Pamuk and Ernest Hemingway appear brothers-in-arms. You start with a pin prick of a view that widens and opens out into a wide vista giving you a clear view of the clutter of human ethos. Like his so many stories it's a tale of a heroic struggle but only inasmuch as a frail-legged ant suffers to get a tiny lump of sugar to its colony to claim its superiority on the lesser types. A knackered old man dreaming on the seas of a big catch in a boat fit for the axe of a lumberjack with a young boy for a helper do not evoke the romantic world of heroic battles fought by the gun-wielding machismo of Hemingway's other stories. This is something simpler in its setting yet more profound in its humanistic import. A piece of writing - a prose story or a poem - becomes great because it has no single, fixed, literal meaning that forbids imagination. It is the reader who picks up the idea consistent with the subjective conditions of his own worldview, interpreting the text, changing it, and then getting changed by it in turn. This novella lends itself to interpretation on multiple levels and, for its rich imagery of natural elements and human emotions, remains one of the very best Hemingway offered us. October 2015

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    A masterpiece. Like a fable, this has become a part of our cultural consciousness. Santiago's simple heroism is a benchmark for all who persevere and endure.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    So, reading this book was my personal penance for reading a rather silly YA fantasy freebie, Obsidian. If I read something particularly shallow and brainless, I try to balance it out with a classic or something that makes me actually use my brain cells. At first Hemingway's typical simple, spare prose and his testosterone-fueled values were getting on my nerves. Digression here: one of the funnier things I've read was a piece on McSweeney's titled "Toto's 'Africa' by Ernest Hemingway". If you kno So, reading this book was my personal penance for reading a rather silly YA fantasy freebie, Obsidian. If I read something particularly shallow and brainless, I try to balance it out with a classic or something that makes me actually use my brain cells. At first Hemingway's typical simple, spare prose and his testosterone-fueled values were getting on my nerves. Digression here: one of the funnier things I've read was a piece on McSweeney's titled "Toto's 'Africa' by Ernest Hemingway". If you know 80s pop music you'll enjoy this. It reads in part:His head spun from whiskey and soda. She was a damned nice woman. It would take a lot to drag him away from her. It was unlikely that a hundred men or more could ever do such a thing. The air, now thick and moist, seemed to carry rain again. He blessed the rains of Africa. They were the only thing left to bless in this forsaken place, he thought—at least until she set foot on the continent. They were going to take some time to do the things they never had. He stood on the tarmac and watched as the plane came in for its landing. He heard the sound of wild dogs crying out into the night. The man thought the dogs sounded desperate, perhaps having grown restless and longing for some company. He knew the feeling.Anyway, I'm reading sentences in this book like "They sat on the Terrace and many of the fishermen made fun of the old man and he was not angry," and I'm thinking, I'm just going to have to make myself power through this. But gradually this story sucked me in, and I could feel the nobility in both the old man and the immense fish. I had sympathy for old Santiago and his physically and mentally excruciating battle against the marlin (view spoiler)[and then the heartbreak of the hopeless fight against the sharks (hide spoiler)] . The Christ imagery toward the end was interesting, if not subtle. For example:He started to climb again and at the top he fell and lay for some time with the mast across his shoulder. He tried to get up. But it was too difficult and he sat there with the mast on his shoulder and looked at the road.There's a lot more (his poor hands!), and it was moving even if I'm not completely buying everything Hemingway is selling. It's clear that the old man has gone through a shattering experience and has come through it, if not having defeated the forces of death, still with a huge personal victory. I'm going to digress a little here again, and get a bit personal, but I'm reminded as well of an old poem, "Gethsemane" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, that ends:All paths that have been, or shall be, Pass somewhere through Gethsemane. All those who journey, soon or late, Must pass within the garden’s gate; Must kneel alone in darkness there, And battle with some fierce despair. God pity those who cannot say, “Not mine but thine,” who only say, “Let this cup pass,” and cannot see The purpose in Gethsemane.We all have our personal hardships, whether they be giant fish, sharks (I've met a few in my life, mostly human), jobs, physical problems, relationships, or any number of other trials in our lives. Not giving up, enduring with dignity, doing your best, reeling in that fish, battling those relentless sharks -- how we handle our troubles makes a huge difference, both to those around us and, perhaps mostly, to ourselves.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    The Old Man and the Allegory This book might just be an allegory of Darwinist Capitalism and the survival of the most aggressive and hungry in the world of corporate enterprise and rivalry. Hey, What's the Big Idea? It describes what it feels like to have one big idea or to invent something for which the market is not ready. You struggle and wrestle with your "big fish" for ages, until in your mind you have caught it and perfected the way to reel it in, nobody is watching when you start the journey The Old Man and the Allegory This book might just be an allegory of Darwinist Capitalism and the survival of the most aggressive and hungry in the world of corporate enterprise and rivalry. Hey, What's the Big Idea? It describes what it feels like to have one big idea or to invent something for which the market is not ready. You struggle and wrestle with your "big fish" for ages, until in your mind you have caught it and perfected the way to reel it in, nobody is watching when you start the journey back to the market, your rivals snipe and question you and your catch, the market stands back apprehensive and sceptical, you never give up even when you're totally broken backed and exhausted, then the sharks start to have a field day pecking at your catch, first tentatively, then more confidently when they realise you're too poor to fight them off, then one day you discover there is nothing left of your catch, your rivals have offered the market an alternative but inferior product, and your wife and children regard you as a failure. The Old Man and His Chair Every afternoon, before dinner, you sit shattered and weary in your chair, wondering whether it would have been so much easier to get a job, be a salary boy and do what the man said. Just before you fall asleep, you wonder if there is such a thing as karma or reincarnation, it would be nice to get a second chance to prove your worth and avoid making the same mistake of believing in yourself, your ideas and your resilience. One afternoon, you don't wake up from your sleep. An Old Man, A Big Fish and the Sea One old man was lucky enough to have another old man with a beard write a book with simple sentences about his life. That book will have to suffice for the rest of us and our efforts. We read it when we are too young and don't realise that it might one day describe what has happened to those of us who are brash enough to have big ideas. It's just a book about an old man, a big fish and the sea. For Brian "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." Jonathan Swift SOUNDTRACK: The Clean - "Fish" (Live in Brisbane) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1WfIG... The Clean - "Fish" (Live in Wellington, NZ, 2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFWLdl... Just to prove that people can be genuinely inspired by fish, with or without psychedelic drugs.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aj the Ravenous Reader

    3.5 stars but rounding it up because it's my first review for the new year. Happy 2016, Goodreaders! "No one should be alone in their old age. But it is unavoidable." And so the old man went to the ocean alone on his skiff to catch some fish but ended up being caught by the big fish instead, a fish so big, it controlled the skiff and took its own course at the sea. The big question is why didn't the old man just let go of the fish? It would have made his life easier. He was wise wasn't he? But 3.5 stars but rounding it up because it's my first review for the new year. Happy 2016, Goodreaders! "No one should be alone in their old age. But it is unavoidable." And so the old man went to the ocean alone on his skiff to catch some fish but ended up being caught by the big fish instead, a fish so big, it controlled the skiff and took its own course at the sea. The big question is why didn't the old man just let go of the fish? It would have made his life easier. He was wise wasn't he? But again, who says wisdom always coincides with practicality? I noticed when reading classics, I end up posing more questions than answers. I guess that's what most classic novels intend to do-to make you question life. To make you think and ponder deeply about the events in the story which may appear superficial and boring at the surface but dense and philosopical in their deeper meanings. When you're old and wise and you catch the biggest fish (literal or metaphorical) in your life, you wouldn't let it go that easily. You'll fight for it no matter what the cost, the best way you know how even if it meant you may have to risk your life or swallow your pride. What fate awaits the old man trapped in the middle of the sea, caught in both internal and external conflicts? You'll be surprised to find out when you read the novel. You'll be even more surprised at the amount of things you'll realize at the end of the story. ^^ For an excellent review that catches the novel's very essence, do read Vani's review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gaurav

    The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence. -Tom Wolfe Loneliness of human existence is omnipresent, perhaps that is what human existence is condemned to and that is what has haunted human beings most since the early days of civilization. Though loneliness is an unavoidable condition of our humanity, it resides in The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence. -Tom Wolfe Loneliness of human existence is omnipresent, perhaps that is what human existence is condemned to and that is what has haunted human beings most since the early days of civilization. Though loneliness is an unavoidable condition of our humanity, it resides in the innermost being of the self, expanding as each individual becomes aware of and confronts the ultimate experiences of life: change, upheaval, tragedy, joy, the passage of time, and death. Loneliness in this sense is not the same as suffering the loss of a loved one, or a perceived lack of a sense of wholeness or integrity. Existential loneliness is a way of being in the world, it is an ontological condition, a way of grasping for and confronting one's own subjective truth. And perhaps that’s where, the man uplifts himself against seemingly odds and defines his life and thereby stick to truth of life- truth which he has defined for himself or his life per se. I struggle to put my thoughts into words about this little gem by Hemingway, it is exactly like fishing- just when you think you have grabbed the ideas and put them in assorted order, and you believe you would pull it away, it disappears in the depth of chaos and you lost it. This is what it is- a condensed prose written with the precision of a minimalist who can portray great ideas about human existence beneath the simple tales. The Old, Santiago has been going for fishing for 84 days now without success. In the first forty days a boy-Rogelio was with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that old man was now definitely and finally salao. Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated. Perhaps that’s what kept him moving despite all not getting success for a longtime. Probably it was his experience too with life- for he would have been in such situations before- which provides him strength and motivation to move forward. How easy it to lose grip of life when things are not going as you want to be, and how difficult it is to get your act together to move forward even when you ‘believe’ things are not going as you like them to be. Perhaps not so difficult, probably it is all about mindset but is it really that easy- probably not, for had it been so, there wouldn’t have been no prophets, enlightened men throughout our history. Probably it requires high degree of meditation of soul to cultivate your mind in such a way that it may act as you wish- and a few have been able to do so since the outbreak of human civilization. At one level it is the tale of a man and a fish, at another, a story of man versus nature, at yet another, the story of the culture of manhood, courage, bravery in the face of existence, and at yet another a history of what life was like when individuals were more the central actors on the human stage and not groups or organizations. The Old man no longer dreams of storms, nor of women, nor of great occurrences, nor of great fish, nor fights, nor contests of strength, nor of his wife. He only dreamed of places now and of the lions on the beach. He has stood up from petty details of life and hope to sustain through punishing life keeps him moving forward. Better to sail an ocean of hope than a sea of despair. The Old man is a dreamer, though his dreams may not have been ordinary, scuffed and sanded down by decades of fishing the Gulf Stream: no longer does his sleeping mind drift to the great events throughout his life but instead just to a place, a childhood memory: lions playing on an African beach. He is reverent but not pious, wary of devotion, although he could waver. He is a symbol of an attitude toward life. He often thinks and talks poetically and symbolically and so artificially.His relationship with nature is not usual- unusual in the sense that he thinks of sea as most people do not:- But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favors, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought. ”Fish,” he said, “I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” He has been victim of worst form of luck- Salao, the fish may remain allusive for 84 days from him, but he sets out 85th day with hope of life, forgetting the burden of last 84 days- as one should do in life. May be today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready. He gets lucky too this time and his quarry hooked and a big fish from the hope of sea struck in his fishing net. But then true test of life begins for him, Day becomes night becomes day, and with little or no sleep the old man loses track of time and islands of Sargasso weed drift by. Eating raw bonito and dorado to maintain strength, while slowly sapping the marlin’s will, Santiago regrets his poor planning: I will never go in a boat again without salt or limes. Santiago symbolizes courage, gut and perseverance- which are perhaps most important of the traits required to live the life. He will win the battle but lose the prize, and rue the desperation that carried him beyond practical bounds. He laments the ruins of his lionheart dream, and yet he remains unbowed: “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” He is not only courageous. He is humble and gently proud, aware of beauty and filled with a sense of brotherhood with nature. And he has a loving heart. These attributes have not been common in Hemingway characters in the past. Since they are admirable and Mr. Hemingway admires them, the moral climate of "The Old Man and the Sea" is fresh and healthy and the old man's ordeal is moving. The book reflects upon some of the basic parameters of human existence- which are loneliness and recognition. Here, it builds upon Sartre’s The Other, when the old man is fishing right in the middle of sea, the loneliness of human existence strikes him- a man may achieve insurmountable feats but he needs to someone to share the very feat; solitude may be a bliss but you need someone to discuss that it is. He looked around for the bird now because now because he would like him for company.. He develops psychological association with ‘the fish’ over a period of time as man generally becomes attached even with inanimate things if put in exile. But he is the symbolism for entire humankind, and he realizes how laws of nature work and any sort of unrequired affection may be futile in the struggle for existence. I wish I could feed the fish, he thought. He is my brother. But I must kill him and keep strong to do it. The Old man and The Sea may come across as a simple fable about an unlucky fisherman to a naïve reader, but it is what it conveys beside simple arrangements of words and it is exactly the beauty of Hemingway that how he has been words with minimalist approach to portray profound subjects of humankind. The book, to me, may be said as bible of human existence, the Old man symbolizes the human attitude towards life in general; it is the tale of civilized human life and exactly what does it take to live such one- courage, love, faith, hope, and clarity. And the prose of Hemingway provides indefinite possibilities to the readers to interpret it according to their own world, how rare it is to find a piece of art which can be interpreted in every probable way, which holds true in every era, and that is what exactly Hemingway offered to the mankind. 5/5

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This was my very first Hemingway and I loved it! However, I am not sure if it broke me for future Hemingway novels. This one was so perfect in its simpleness. When I got to other Hemingway novels it was almost like there was too much in them - I wanted the basics of this book again. That is not to say that I have not enjoyed his other books, but if I had read the others first and wasn't tempted to compare them to this, I would have rated them higher. So, if you want to read lots of Hemingway, may This was my very first Hemingway and I loved it! However, I am not sure if it broke me for future Hemingway novels. This one was so perfect in its simpleness. When I got to other Hemingway novels it was almost like there was too much in them - I wanted the basics of this book again. That is not to say that I have not enjoyed his other books, but if I had read the others first and wasn't tempted to compare them to this, I would have rated them higher. So, if you want to read lots of Hemingway, maybe don't start here. I would suggest probably A Farewell to Arms followed by The Sun Also Rises (I don't think I would recommend For Whom the Bell Tolls until you were sure you are into Hemingway) If you have always thought about reading Hemingway and you just want a taste with the chance that you may not read more, The Old Man and the Sea is a perfect place to start!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fergus

    On July 2, 1961, Heaven and the world fell silent. When a just man dies Lamentation and praise Sorrow and joy Are one. And some suicides, as Scobie’s in The Heart of the Matter, are - no matter what dour theologians May say - Trophies of Heaven. Such, surely, was Hemingway’s. That sunny, windy summer morning we all got the news, even my preteen friends and I were taciturn and sullen. Ernest Hemingway had been a Hero in our world. Life and Time magazines said so, and they were the gospel truth for our p On July 2, 1961, Heaven and the world fell silent. When a just man dies Lamentation and praise Sorrow and joy Are one. And some suicides, as Scobie’s in The Heart of the Matter, are - no matter what dour theologians May say - Trophies of Heaven. Such, surely, was Hemingway’s. That sunny, windy summer morning we all got the news, even my preteen friends and I were taciturn and sullen. Ernest Hemingway had been a Hero in our world. Life and Time magazines said so, and they were the gospel truth for our parents... That was the morning my parents had scheduled to get our hardwood flooring refinished, so all us kids had to be outa there pronto! So, little James Deans all, my buddies and I decided grimly to ride our bikes far, far into the rural countryside. Our chests were hollow, as happens at times when you lose someone special. So, we thought, A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do - saddle up and ride out! We rode for hours that day. Me, Ricky, my little brother and Peter Teal. We knew on the way back we’d be bucking the strong north wind, but we didn’t care... Finally we arrived at an eerily abandoned farmhouse. Obviously, no one had lived there for years. But everything - furniture, appliances, even cutlery on the table - was strangely untouched. Like the family wasn’t planning to go far... Just like Ernest Hemingway. He just had to go and get some Fresh Air, away from all his demons for a moment! A month later I read this book. My Mom the librarian said it was a good place to start with this great writer. With school starting soon and the days getting shorter, I read about Santiago and his dream. And the Great Victory he had won in that dream... The greatest victory of all - The victory of the immortal human Heart over Despair.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    "You have control over only your karma: never on its fruits. So because of [concern over] the fruits of your karma, never shirk from it." This is most probably the most quoted, used, misused, praised and maligned verse from the Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna on the Karma-yoga. It has been praised as the epitome of virtue to do your duty regardless of the consequences: it has been severely criticised as the upper caste Hindu spiritual drug to force a person to follow his caste "You have control over only your karma: never on its fruits. So because of [concern over] the fruits of your karma, never shirk from it." This is most probably the most quoted, used, misused, praised and maligned verse from the Bhagavad Gita, where Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna on the Karma-yoga. It has been praised as the epitome of virtue to do your duty regardless of the consequences: it has been severely criticised as the upper caste Hindu spiritual drug to force a person to follow his caste duties without contemplation. Both views have their merits: but what they ignore is that, spirituality aside, this is what keeps most of us sane - having very little control over where we are placed as a cog in this huge machine of the universe, the best thing is to bite the bullet and press ahead, and do the best you can. Hemingway's old fisherman, Santiago, would not have known the Gita. But he echoes its philosophy when he says: Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman, he thought. But that was the thing that I was born for. Being born as a fisherman, his karma is to fish - it does not matter whether he manages to land anything. Everyday he keeps on returning to the sea, because My big fish must be somewhere. Yes, indeed. ------------------------- This slim book is Hemingway's testament to the eternal struggle of man against nature, a dance of life and death, enacted by Santiago and the marlin against the backdrop of the sea and the sky. Even while intent on killing one another, the contest is one of love as well as antagonism. “Fish," he said, "I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved him when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more? There is nothing personal in it, no pleasure or pain - just the inevitability of karma. And it does not matter whether one wins or loses, whether one has the catch to show for one's victory - for the act of fishing is what is important, for a man who was born to be a fisherman. Up the road, in his shack, the old man was sleeping again. He was still sleeping on his face and the boy was sitting by him watching him. The old man was dreaming about the lions. Something attempted, something done, has earned a night's repose. Tomorrow is always another day. One of the real gems of world literature.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    On the first glance, The Old Man and the Sea is a very simple story about a Cuban fisherman fighting against a giant marlin. On the second glance ... it is still a very simple story. You won't find any complex characters in this story, you won't find even the smallest trace of complexity. One can try to find symbolisms in this story (and will most likely succeed), but as Ernest Hemingway said himself: "There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and On the first glance, The Old Man and the Sea is a very simple story about a Cuban fisherman fighting against a giant marlin. On the second glance ... it is still a very simple story. You won't find any complex characters in this story, you won't find even the smallest trace of complexity. One can try to find symbolisms in this story (and will most likely succeed), but as Ernest Hemingway said himself: "There isn't any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is shit. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know." What remains when you take away the lack of complexity? A powerful tale about the efforts of a human being to achieve a certain goal and about how easy it is to lose what you have won. And powerful it is indeed. I was familiar with Hemingway's writing style and his tragic life due to preparing a school presentation about him years ago and reading some of his short stories, so I was able to direct my expectations to the necessary direction, ultimately finding - as surprising as this may sound - a lot to enjoy in here. I don't know if any other author would have been able to spend 140 pages on a subject as simple as this (although Dickens probably could), but Ernest Hemingway succeeded in the attempt, creating a timeless classic. The language is not very demanding - sometimes even poor, if you look at the way he repeats himself unnecessarily at passages every writing adviser would cringe at. And yet there is something powerful, endearing behind those words, something which lures you in without you even realizing it. It is impossible to describe the atmosphere within this tale. Read it for yourself if you are open for classics without a lot of action going on - and this is a short one, a story I read in the course of two hours with interruptions - or don't if you need your complex plots. For everyone else, I'd highly recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    My first Hemingway, that I had looked forward to seeing! And positive results, with a very good read, carried around Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman who has caught further fish for eighty seven days, and decided the next day to attempt once more to conquer the ocean.And from there, we follow three days of struggle, fury and battle the old man facing a huge fish, sturgeon; it finally so close to this human, that will express the same feelings and that will eventually move the fisherman. Finally, My first Hemingway, that I had looked forward to seeing! And positive results, with a very good read, carried around Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman who has caught further fish for eighty seven days, and decided the next day to attempt once more to conquer the ocean.And from there, we follow three days of struggle, fury and battle the old man facing a huge fish, sturgeon; it finally so close to this human, that will express the same feelings and that will eventually move the fisherman. Finally, the fish will be fought although Santiago will have to face a horde of hungry sharks and a heavy heart that he will return to Havana accompanied the skeleton of one who has so long been his confidant ... Despite this cruel end to this man so brave, Ernest Hemingway wanted to express the victory in defeat, the first sailor to win returning with the biggest fish ever caught, but the defeat because Santiago will never recognized for his admirable deed ... a beautiful story I devoured with lovely moral and thank its author so good that I reread with joy!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    The tail, excuse me, The tale of an elderly fisherman and his not so good friend , a 1,500 lbs. marlin. They meet for lunch and immediately fight over the menu (he wants the fish , as the main course). This disagreement causes some friction. Boys will be boys. So eventually, the two, decide to take a long leisurely voyage , to cool off. What harm can happen? Imagine, Cain and Abel , without the brotherly love...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    After eighty-five fishless days, Santiago hooks more than he bargained for. Can he battle everything the sea throws at him to land his prize? In the interest of reading a wider variety of things, I snapped this up like an eighteen-foot marlin bites a baited hook. It was definitely worth a read. The Old Man and the Sea is the tale of an Old Man. And a Sea. It's man vs. nature at its finest. Hemingway's language is spare but very powerful. I felt every wound and heartbreak along with Santiago and wa After eighty-five fishless days, Santiago hooks more than he bargained for. Can he battle everything the sea throws at him to land his prize? In the interest of reading a wider variety of things, I snapped this up like an eighteen-foot marlin bites a baited hook. It was definitely worth a read. The Old Man and the Sea is the tale of an Old Man. And a Sea. It's man vs. nature at its finest. Hemingway's language is spare but very powerful. I felt every wound and heartbreak along with Santiago and was nearly as worn out as the old fisherman by the end of the tale. If you haven't already had the ending spoiled for you, do yourself a favor and steer clear of introductions, reviews, and Wikipedia summaries. I knew the ending before I got there due to reading an excerpt in middle school and the experience would have been much better going in cold. What else is there to say? It didn't win a Nobel Prize for Literature for nothing! For years, the only Hemingway I'd read was The Sun Also Rises and I wasn't overly fond of it. However, The Old Man and the Sea has made me a believer. Four out of five stars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Luffy

    Maybe I'm being a little dim in not appreciating something this important. I'm not appreciating the importance of this book. But I can only look at it through my eyes. I can only relate my reading experience. The book covers 4 days or so of the Old Man's life as a fisherman. Like many books from that period (namely from American authors) the major events are glossed over. It's a style that has not survived the passage of other influences. This book could have been one of those books that are hated Maybe I'm being a little dim in not appreciating something this important. I'm not appreciating the importance of this book. But I can only look at it through my eyes. I can only relate my reading experience. The book covers 4 days or so of the Old Man's life as a fisherman. Like many books from that period (namely from American authors) the major events are glossed over. It's a style that has not survived the passage of other influences. This book could have been one of those books that are hated by students assigned to read it. Its short length is a big plus, yet I gave it 2 stars. I just didn't feel either like or dislike of The Old Man and The Sea. Perhaps I'm not finding appropriate words to display my state of mind. I just confess that it's a vacuum - that's how I see it. The prose is modern sounding, but the subject matter is treated in an alien manner.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Sad book. Read it, but know it is sad. This is probably written at about a 4th grade reading level, and the audience is at least that broad. I'll spare you the christ imagery chit-chat. Why did Ernest Hemingway cross the road? To die. In the rain.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    Whether or not one enjoys this book is partly a matter of personal temperament, but upon re-reading, I'm convinced more than ever that The Old Man and the Sea is objectively Hemingway's best. Here's why I think so: Hemingway's prose is deliberately minimalist, the sentences carefully stripped back. In its best moments, I think his prose feels like looking into a clear water. The style doesn't obtrude or obscure; it has a lovely cleanness; so what's suggested underneath the words has the feel of Whether or not one enjoys this book is partly a matter of personal temperament, but upon re-reading, I'm convinced more than ever that The Old Man and the Sea is objectively Hemingway's best. Here's why I think so: Hemingway's prose is deliberately minimalist, the sentences carefully stripped back. In its best moments, I think his prose feels like looking into a clear water. The style doesn't obtrude or obscure; it has a lovely cleanness; so what's suggested underneath the words has the feel of being laid bare. It's a style that I generally like, partly for its novelty. What could be a more perfect match for this style than the simple fishermen of this book whose lives have a similar minimalist effect? They live with such touching dignity, with an empathy among themselves so profound that it hardly requires speech, and with such reserves of great, quiet strength. These characters say so little, but I've come to love them so deeply! In fact, the perfect match of style and substance elevates the whole work with its clean, broad lines into myth. For me, everything about the book radiates with a mythological, transforming power. It doesn't feel quite real - not because the image is fractured or marred but because it's trying to be something else, like a good modernist painting that lays bare the truth in a way much more profoundly than a representational image ever could. The story is somehow half in this world and half somewhere else, steeped in magic, Plato's cave of forms perhaps? Yes, the plot is somewhat thin, and there are really only two characters of significance; yet for my part I could have read 800 more pages. Here's a dolphin catch quote that I think is representative of the book's feel, for me pure suggestiveness beginning to end - it doesn't really figure in the plot; so no need to worry about spoilers: "Its jaws were working convulsively in quick bites against the hook and it pounded the bottom of the skiff with its long flat body, its tail and its head until he clubbed it across the shining golden head until it shivered and was still." "Shining golden head," I so love that - it gives the poet-lover in me chills of wonder! I've read many other books by Hemingway including A Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises, To Have and Have Not, and The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories, and some of them were very good. Still, I feel that The Old Man and the Sea is in another whole league of greatness. I recommend it especially to anyone who likes reading myths! The men, creatures, and objects of the story function well as themselves, but they also have the feel of symbols from beginning to end! There's much to be gained from piecing together the various allegories Hemingway's writing might suggest; I highly recommend a little Internet research - it's interesting and can add depth to the story. But in the end, after reducing it to any kind of allegory, I just can't leave it at that level - it would feel too much like going to Catholic mass wearing a tank top, chewing gum, and listening to a Walkman while waiting in line for communion. I can pull the words down to the level of one allegory or another for a moment, but then I have to let them spring back up to where they belong - with a weary fisherman in his boat amid a fierce wonder of ocean, darkness and stars!

  28. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff on the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days without a fish.” A masterpiece. I know that many many young people read this book and don’t quite get what all the hoopla is about, but I think it is not written with young people primarily in mind. There is the boy that supports the old man, true, but as with other stories about old people facing hardship—King Lear comes to mind—I think other stories may connect better for kids. I know I read this “He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff on the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days without a fish.” A masterpiece. I know that many many young people read this book and don’t quite get what all the hoopla is about, but I think it is not written with young people primarily in mind. There is the boy that supports the old man, true, but as with other stories about old people facing hardship—King Lear comes to mind—I think other stories may connect better for kids. I know I read this as a young man, maybe first at 14, and liked it just fine, then taught it in various settings, and don’t think I appreciated it anywhere as much in any previous reading as I did now. Maybe because now I begin to approach the age of the old man! “Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the color of the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.” When I grew up my Dad and his brother Joe took me out fishing for decades, teaching me each time we went out how to fish. Always teaching me. We fished for decades perch and walleye and pike in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on Lake Manistique. In a boat with a small motor and oars. Or fishing for Coho Salmon and Lake Trout in a larger boat ten-twelve miles out Lake Michigan. Neither of them spoke much in the boat, nor encouraged me to speak, or do much of anything but focus on the fishing lines before me as if in some religious observance. We’d be out on the lake before dawn and get back at dusk. I loved then as now to read, but this was not allowed, really, in the boat. Full concentration was required. I learned how to respond in such a way that I would keep the fish on the line and not allow him to spit out the hook. I learned the very specific strategies for reeling them in. I learned how the fisherman and the fish were in contest, and this required presence in every moment. I have not read this book for decades, not since my Dad died, now many years ago, so that was part of my reading, connecting it to my Dad and fishing with my Dad and Uncle Joe, in a way. I didn’t think much about my own parenting or mentoring, as much, actually, though the book is about that, too. The book conveys in simple language the fight of one man’s life, for days alone attempting to reel in the largest fish he has ever encountered, who takes him farther and farther out to sea. If you like to fish, this is also a fine book. It’s a Biggest Fish Ever story. And if you like nature, you learn about the sea and various birds and fish. “Now alone, and out of sight of land, he was fast to the biggest fish he had ever seen and the biggest he had ever heard of. . .” “Blessed Virgin, pray for the death of this fish. As wonderful as he is.” In the process Hemingway manages to convey several dimensions of his code for living: courage, humility, endurance, respect for others. He’s resourceful: “No, no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what you have.” “I will show him what a man can do and what a man can endure.” “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” Hemingway wone the Pulitizer Prize in 1953 for this book, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He grew up in Oak Park, Illinois, the nearest west suburb of Chicago. He died of self-inflicted gunshot wounds in Idaho in 1961. I thought of that fact while reading this book, about whether he had finally been defeated, out of emotional resources.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I was very surprised when I finally tried to read this, and discovered that it bored the living crap out of me. I just couldn't get into it, I don't know why, maybe it was just my mood or something....? I mean, I do like Hemingway. I love the sea, and baseball. I am relatively fond of both old men and little boys (not like that, you fool).... and this is supposed to be really terrific and all, but I just.... I mean, I could've finished it of course, it's short, and it wouldn't have been like tor I was very surprised when I finally tried to read this, and discovered that it bored the living crap out of me. I just couldn't get into it, I don't know why, maybe it was just my mood or something....? I mean, I do like Hemingway. I love the sea, and baseball. I am relatively fond of both old men and little boys (not like that, you fool).... and this is supposed to be really terrific and all, but I just.... I mean, I could've finished it of course, it's short, and it wouldn't have been like torture at all, but I just wasn't feeling it.... so I stopped. Sometimes I think about making an "okay-so-does-this-mean-i'm-stupid-or-something?" shelf, but my ideological opposition to the idea has overridden that impulse every time.... so far.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Samra Yusuf

    I don’t remember the exact time, when I started forgetting things, let alone the reason be a medical or psychological. I forget remembering my forgetfulness even at times, and things go irrevocably wrong. But our dear brain, do quiver things with us, our memory is discerning in keeping things, and the only reminiscence I have in all its luminous shape is of the way to school, of the old man I used to pass in my way daily. There was something in his eyes, even as a child I could sense that, or I w I don’t remember the exact time, when I started forgetting things, let alone the reason be a medical or psychological. I forget remembering my forgetfulness even at times, and things go irrevocably wrong. But our dear brain, do quiver things with us, our memory is discerning in keeping things, and the only reminiscence I have in all its luminous shape is of the way to school, of the old man I used to pass in my way daily. There was something in his eyes, even as a child I could sense that, or I was the only child who could sense that, because no other one seemed to even notice him, his wrinkled, weather-worn face had a pair of speaking eyes, they spoke as you looked into them, same as the Santiago of Hemmingway had "Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated". Santiago and Hemmingway both are entwined together too much to shun the autobiographical acclaim of the struggle away. Hemmingway, wrote his last work to restore the position of his literary genius, and succeeded undoubtedly. The story, is quite simple one like the style of EH, even the principle heroism of Hemmingway novels is not prevalent here.Santiago,is not to be expected to have macho expeditions, fighting supernatural forces, projecting immaculate masculine powers, what he is, is a man destroyed but not defeated, what he fights is life itself, and what he fights for….is not mere living! Hemmingway is at his best while portraying the sea imagery, the sound, the air, the smell and sight, all seen through the words, and lived through the eyes of old man, are more like a character rather than objects, the sea itself is symbolized with life and all it has to offer, the treasures and miseries and sorrows for those who mistook her for a woman who can be wooed with hearty songs! Santiago knows the skills, but lacks the fate, he is not to take the biggest catch of his life home, albeit his struggle of three days with mighty Marlin. The ambivalence in the treatment of pride is very much vivid in throughout the novella. . A heroic man like Santiago should have pride in his actions, and as Santiago shows us, "humility was not disgraceful and it carried no loss of true pride" .but in truth, wasn’t it the pride that drove the old man past from usual sea stations, "beyond all people in the world," to catch the marlin. While he loved the marlin and called him brother, Santiago admits to killing it for pride, the excitement that stirs, the blood that rushes through those old veins while battling the mighty antagonist is unshakably nothing else, than a notion of pride. And after all as Wilde says: “Yet each man kills the thing he loves, By each let this be heard, Some do it with a bitter look, Some with a flattering word, The coward does it with a kiss, The brave man with a sword!

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