Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway's magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. It was The Old Man and the Sea that won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature. Here, in a perfectly crafted story, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man's challenge to the elements in which he lives. Not a single word is superflous in this widely admired masterpiece, which once and for all established his place as one of the giants of modern literature.
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As I recall, I was either 12 or 13 when I first read this book. It was for a class in literature. At the time, one of my favorite authors was John Steinbeck; The Pearl, Grapes of Wrath and Cannery Row.
I felt Steinbeck painted vivid word portraits of characters and scenes. (In the Grapes of Wrath, before I saw the movie I could see the broken down truck dimly lighting the road ahead or smell the butchering of the hog.
Then I read this book. I was taken by the amazing way Hemingway was able to cajole my mind into imagining the sounds, beating sun, the feeling of triumph turning to danger with sparse snippets of internal dialogue and spare (non-existence) exposition.
Just recently, in my 50’s now, I read it again. I closely identified with the quiet assurance of experience and determination of the Old Man.
We all are threatened at some time, of losing what we pour our lives into building. Win or lose, the fight, the knowledge that all you could do you did and you did it well is the prize.
Hemingway at his best.
Old Man and the Sea
The book I found to be mediocre. Very repetitious. Bored halfway through and skimmed to the end. If this was classic genius, I doubt that I will read anymore Hemingway.