The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

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40 comments

  • nothing could possibly change my mind on the tediousness of this reading experience

    That basically sums up my feelings in general about Hemingway! 😀 While I think that literature should address deep issues, it also needs to be entertaining and Hemingway really bombed at that imo.

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  • You have some interesting timing with this one, Lashaan. Earlier today I was thinking about Hemingway and whether I might have any of his works on my shelves that I’ve not read (I don’t think I do). I don’t know what promted this, but it was fascinating to then see your review. I’ve not read this work. I think all I’ve read by him was The Sun Also Rises, and though I think I enjoyed it, it was so long ago I don’t really recall much about it. I’d like to try him again, but don’t know what to choose. I suspect it won’t be The Old Man and the Sea. 🙂

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    • Great minds think alife, Sir Todd! 😀 I just know I was prompted to pick this up in March to finally get around to reading something by Hemingway after having heard so many people throughout the years claim his greatness. While this didn’t impress me at all, I’m looking to give him a second chance in the future, after a good break, to see if his work is for me or not once and for all. The Sun Also Rises was, in fact, going to be one of my top picks too hahaha Thanks for reading as always, Todd! I really appreciate the time you put into doing so and in sharing your thoughts with me. 😀

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  • Lol, I thoroughly enjoyed your review, Lashaan! Your heroic struggle to say something good about a novella that clearly bored you to tears… This review should be titled Lashaan and the Epic Struggle with Tediousness! 😂

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  • You can’t swim? And no that’s not the only thing I get from your review of course but as a “fish” myself since I was 2 years old I am always astonished LOL. Now back to your review! I have never read Hemingway but I aso think some classics appeales to people living in that era and not to us anymore. I don’t say all classics can’t be enjoyed as I truly adored Les Trois Mousquetaires and Le Comte de Monte Cristo. But for example I loathed reading François Mauriac or even Sartre. I think it maybe would have been more enjoyable if we were born and raised around these times to properly enjoy said prose.

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    • Hahahaah I definitely knew someone would make a comment on that at some point! 😛 It’s definitely funny that I can’t swim yet I live on an island!

      I definitely think that you’re right about that. While reading this one, I felt like it was reaching deep into an American psyche, especially with a little religious tone that was present in the novella. I do, however, like to read them and try and contextualize the book to the era in which it was written to better appreciate it but man, some of these classics sure struggle to make themselves pretty to the eyes of everyone! 😛

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  • Well, I’ve read it so long ago, I can’t really comment… but I’ve read a collection of his short stories more recently, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed them. I particularly remember one about pre-war Italy… there were short, precise, and quite powerful. One of many, many things I should re-read…

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    • Hahaaha I’m glad to see that you’ve enjoyed some his stuff recently. It gives me hope that there might be something that would be right up my alley with him. I’ll give him a second chance in the future and, hopefully, it’ll be the right one.

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  • Brilliant review, Lashaan! I haven’t read any Hemingway but I’ve heard that some of the best quotes are from his books. Sorry to hear that you struggled with this book, it sounds quite tedious and not an easy read!

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    • Thank you so much, Darina! I’ve heard great things about him too and that’s probably the only reason left to make me want to give him another try in the future. Maybe a full-length novel could better display his skills! 😛

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  • Ah, I am sorry you didn’t get along with this one. I actually loved it, but then again, I’ve always been fascinated about man’s fight with himself, pushing the limits, finding resources inside of yourself, etc, etc. which is what this is really about. I also love reading about extreme mountaineering and people pushing their limits in other fields. Anyway, I do see that this one is not for everyone and the amount of symbolism squeezed into the story is perhaps bordering to overkill.

    If you are interested, my review is here: https://stargazer-online.com/2019/05/22/book-review-the-old-man-and-the-sea-by-ernest-hemingway/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, I do love those kinds of stories too but I think it needs a special kind of writing style/story to make them appealing to me too. But I do like the mention of overkill which is a bit what I felt once the sharks came into play hahaha Thanks for the link to your review though! I’ll check it out as soon as I get around to my blog hopping! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I have not read this novella, but throughout your review – and especially when you mention the old man’s determination to capture that fish – I could not stop thinking about Ahab and the big whale and wondered if it was not more a matter of obsession than anything else…. 🙂

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  • Great review Lashaan! I usually love “boring” books, but this one certainly doesn’t appeal to me… Maybe that’s because I have no real interest in fishing and fish in general and I really wonder why someone would want to go through so much just for a fish 😂 Anyway, maybe I’ll read the book one day and love it, who knows! Thanks for sharing your tedious experience though, hopefully your next book will be more captivating!

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    • Thanks, Juliette! It’s hard to see the appeal indeed, especially after you read it, if the experience is anything like mine. I told myself that there must be some kind of symbolism in it and that it might be worth trying out but, in the end, the story wasn’t worth all the trouble. I sort of believe that there are other classics who pull it off better. If you ever give it a try, I hope you enjoy it! 😀

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  • Hemingway is another iconic and celebrated author I’ve wanted whose works I’ve wanted to check out, but not sure where would be best to start! As a short novella, the Old Man and the Sea would seem initially be a good place to start but it sounds as though this is more of a miss than a hit. Great write-up Lashaan!

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    • He is indeed an iconic and important author but I think you just have to pick wisely where you want to start with him. I’m not giving up on him just yet and I do hope the next one will prove to be much more promising. Thanks for reading, Chris!

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