Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway


Classic Literature / Historical Fiction (127 pgs.)


The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal--a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.


I picked up this title at my local bookstore because it was a required read; not for me, but for my younger brother. Let's just say he is quite the opposite of me when it comes to reading... he will rarely read a book, and if he does, it's almost always required. So, I told him we would tag-team read this, making it much less painful for him.

I was very surprised by this little book. And believe me, it is little. If it were just me reading it, I probably would have finished in a few hours. But I am glad I got to tag-team this read; it gave me just a bit more time to savor Hemingway's classic work.

I think the beauty of this novel resides in its simplicity: the prose is plain, unadorned, and very easy to read. But this contemporary prose holds so much power over the reader. It makes you really focus on the story, which is a masterpiece in its own right.

The old man's story is one full of triumph and loss, elation and sadness. He is such a simple fisherman struggling against something so much bigger than himself. It is the classic "man vs. nature" story. The old man realizes what it is to be human, and in turn, so does the reader.

So many lessons can be learned from this little novel... patience, humility, perseverance. It was really quite a good story, and beautifully written. And it's so short, you'll be done in no time.




.alana. said...

I've actully never read hemingway, so short might be a good place to start. Thanks for the review!

KristinCanRead said...

I've had a copy of this for years. I seriously should read it.

Untouchable Treasure said...

.alana.: I think it would be a great place to start! :) You're welcome!

KristinCanRead: You should, it's really great. :)

We Heart YA said...

So glad you enjoyed it! Sometimes classics are classics for a reason, eh? Old Man and the Sea can be hard for some people to get into, but another great book by him (and a longer one, though not *long*) is A Farewell to Arms.

Jinky said...

Well written review. Nice of you to tag team read ..such a wonderful sister you are. ~I enjoyed this book too ... one of my favorites. :)

Untouchable Treasure said...

We Heart YA: So true! I will definitely have to check that one out!

Jinky: Aw, thanks! :)


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