A LATER CLASSIC FROM AMERICA'S PREMIER FICTION WRITER
First published in 1970, nine years after Hemingway's death, this is the story of an artist and adventurer -- a man much like Hemingway himself. Beginning in the 1930s, Islands in the Stream follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson, from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini through his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II. Hemingway is at his mature best in this beguiling tale.
Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Ernest Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that lead to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction, who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in fiction in his brilliant novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he subsequently covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. He died in 1961.
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Audio version of Islands in the Stream
There are plenty of book reviews out there that give an assessment of this Hemingway story. This review focuses on the audio production. First and foremost, this is a wonderful performance by actor Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek XI, Capote, Thirteen Days). An incredibly rich voice is enhanced by his penchant for accents and for different vocal intonations. This recording is entirely read by Mr. Greenwood: all the Caribbean island accents, American and European dialects, children and women! It is an amazing achievement. His narratives as the main character are beautiful readings but it is the rest of the characters that draw you into the stories and this actor will give you the full ranges of emotions, pathos and humor "in spades". If you like an audiobook that is not monotonously read through, but acted out - really performed, get this one for its amazing entertainment value. Kudos to Bruce Greenwood!
There is something to be said about a writer who writes after a lifetime of experiences. This is Hemingway's finest piece, in my opinion. You see the experience at work here, the words of a fully matured master. The book is divided into three parts, with the first one being the best. You are almost ... Genuinely angry in places, thrilled in others. I wish to be no place else but lying on the Bimini sand with the characters, frozen in a perfect moment in time. If that's not awesome writing, I don't know what is.
Islands in the Stream
This is one of my favorite books, and I have read it many times. This is a wonderful rendition, with only two comments. I really wish someone had told Greenwood that conch is pronounced konk. It is a small thing, but distracting. Also he gives some of the characters (notably Eddie) ethnic accents that do not connect to the impression I had from my several readings of the book. Overall I am very pleased with this audio book.