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The Old Man and the Boy
 
by
Robert Ruark
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The Old Man and the Boy (The Old Man and the Boy #1)

4.48 of 5 stars 4.48  ·  rating details  ·  380 ratings  ·  48 reviews
This classic memoir captures the relationship between a man and his grandson as they fish and hunt the lakes and woods of North Carolina. All the while the Old Man acts as teacher and guide, passing on his wisdom and life experiences to the boy.

Author, Robert Ruark grew up in North Carolina. His grandfather was his mentor, his companion in the field, his teacher at streams...more
T1227
Published November 1st 1957 by Crest Books (first published 1953)
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(showing 1-30 of 630)
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Dan Moore
Apr 28, 2008 Dan Moore rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with kids, especially boys.
Recommended to Dan by: Ron Dorman
For me this book is a classic and a must read. It's one of a few books that I routinely give away, not as a gift but just because "You haven't read it?! Here, take this home."

Robert Ruark story of growing up in the Southport area of NC puts him in my neck of the woods. His stories of growing up, wisdom shared, and often times earned the hard way, are what anyone, especially any boy should be blessed with growing up. These aren't stories on hunting and fishing, these are stories on what hunting a...more
Mike
This is one of those books remembered from childhood. It was before I knew that Robert Ruark was one of those 1950s era depressed, macho-man drunks in the style of Hemingway. But he is a better writer than Hemingway because he actually tells a story you want to read and the characters are not as dull and dreary as Hemingway's.

It was a book to escape into for an 11 year old boy.

This book might not have withstood time if I went back and read it again, but I suspect that it would. Unlike the narcis...more
2patnt
Jul 13, 2011 2patnt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes the outdoors, simple times and great writing
Recommended to 2patnt by: my mother
This is my absolutely favorite book. I first read it when I was about 13 and have read it every couple of years since. It is extremely well written and will engage you from the first word to the last. It is a reflection on a simple but rewarding childhood that most of us can envy. Ruark led a tragic life as an adult but this account of his childhood is wonderful. I have searched out every other Ruark book and count him as one of my favorite authors. Not suitable for PETA members.
T. J.
Sep 20, 2007 T. J. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People from NC; People Hunt Fish; People who like old people.
My father read me this book when I was a child and I have probably read it four or five times my self. It has an endearing quality that very few other books have. It is a book filled with love; it is a series of stories, and anecdotes written by a grandson about his grandfather. It demonstrates affection in a way that is so masculine, whilst being full of devotion. The Old Man and the Boy is a book that I would recommend to almost anyone...
Tom
Most books I read once; some twice; this one I have read 3 times and am ready to read it again. It is the essence of the outdoor life for those of us who still think like a kid and want nothing more than wade a creek, paddle a canoe, or find a wing shooting paradise. I can't get enough of reading it and of living it.
Chandler
This book furthered my appreciation of nature and also led me to move out of the city.

This book focuses on passing on information from the older generations to the newer. I think we have lost sight of how important that is in our society and I will no longer take my elders for granted.
Robert Attaway sr.
Ruark spent his summers with his grandfather who taught him to hunt and fish as a sportsman and in the process how he should act in the world as he lived his life. These lessons stuck with Ruark his whole life. This is a excellent book for any young man!
Benjamin Sprueill
This was the first book that I read with my father and to this day I still remember almost every page, This one book and the time I got with my Father has forever changed my life!
Daryl
To appreciate having known, in my case briefly, a grandfather--read great-grandfather--who had time for you, with few distractions and a lifetime of wisdom to offer.
Ken
My favorite book ever. I've read it at least once a year for over 40 years!
Kate Allen
My Dad had me read this book when I was young.
Beautiful story.....
Jeff
A must for the bookshelf; I return again and again.
Aaron
One of my top-ten favorite reads.
Kent
Six stars if I could.
Mike (the Paladin)
I've mentioned before that I'm a huge fan of Robert Ruark's writing, at least his "outdoor writing". For many years Mr. Ruark wrote a column in Field and Stream Magazine...The Old Man and the Boy, Mr. Ruark himself being the boy. This is a collection these.

I suppose I love this for the same reason(s) that I love some other books, movies etc. It reflects an idyllic and idealized situation that I find myself very envious of. I grew up in the country and wandered the fields and the creeks. My dad a...more
Chris
We chose this for our April book club.

I was interested in reading a biography on Robert Ruark but if it wasn't for the book club deadline, I would still be laboring through it. Honestly though, once I decided to stop criticizing and focused on the grandfather and grandson relationship, I enjoyed the book. Ok, full disclosure...I scanned through the way too intensely visually descriptive parts of fresh kill dissections. These are too much for me...lol
Shannon
Okay - so this book came HIGHLY recommended to me....and I get why this particular couple loved this book. It's a sweet story of a growing boy and the lessons of life he learns from his grandfather through fishing and hunting. However, there was SOOO much detail about said fishing and hunting that I wanted to gouge my eyes out. I don't look at myself and see someone who even remotely cares about how to skin a squirrel or exactly what is the best way to shoot a mallard (depending, of course, on w...more
Mike Disalvo
Ruark's book conjures up memories of my own Old Man. The same guidelines on handling guns and how to shoot are still valid today. Some of the more important parts of this book deal with just going hunting, fishing , etc. not with the results of the day, but why we go do these things. Learn why fishing isn't about catching fish. Learn why some dogs are made to hunt and some aren't. The last chapter "All He Left Me Was The World", is not to be read by the tenderhearted. It strikes a chord with any...more
Jim
This is a series of tales, hopefully true, which were originally published in a sporting magazine. The writer (the titular boy) lovingly relates the wisdom passed on to him by his enate grandfather (the Old Man). It's refreshing to read something written by someone who claims to have had the perfect childhood, in spite of the fact that he grew up during the depression. The author's love for his grandfather shines through on every page; the book is consequently sentimental and soppy, and I loved...more
Wesley
Sweet as a peach meaning drunk as a goat. And Lead on Macduff actually is Lay on Macduff.
Yulin0501
I would say this book is the source of my American dream. It's a story of a friendship between a boy and his grandfather. The story brings me to the woods and fields of North Carolina with the fascinating story about fishing, hunting, camping. Even more, the book set a vision of life to me. "It's a heartwarming, eloquent, and ultimately poignant tale about choices, about responsibility, and about becoming a man" from the preface of the book, and it's true. enjoy~~
Jan
Sep 21, 2008 Jan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who enjoy philosophy, sociology, American social history, a good story
The home spun philosophy delivered while learning to hunt and fish is priceless and ageless. The relationship between grandfather and grandson is pure southern and worth a read. Don't get discouraged in the middle when it seems there are one too many hunting or fishing trips. The last 12 or so chapters branches. I live in Southport, the town where this book is based; it's a legendary tribute to the way things use to be.
Ron Weddle
A collection of short stories by Robert Ruark in which the "Old Man" was a composite of some of the mentors of Ruark's youth. The stories relay the transmission of the wisdom of a life well lived to his young protege'. Much of the beauty of this book to me is that it captures an innocence of a lifestyle I was fortunate enough to experience, at least in some degree. Thanks Ryan & Jessica for this gift.
David Ward
The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark (Henry Holt & Co. 1957) (Biography) is one of my all-time favorite books. It's a memoir of being taught to love and respect the outdoors, nature. and sportsmanship on the North Carolina coast in the first half of the 20th century. More importantly. it's the story of the love that can exist across generations of a family. My rating: 9/10, finished 1980.
Jim
This is the most enjoyable book I have read in a long long time. Reminds me-in spots- of Mark Twain and Hemingway. And is s better than either at times. Although it takes place in North Carolina-not Florida -and is a little ahead of my time I imagine some of us have had a lot of these same experiences and, if it were possible, would like to again.
Leigh Stroud
I came across this book in a beach house on Edisto Island SC when I was 10 years old. My daddy and I enjoyed reading as many stories as we could while we were there. Years later I bought it for him for Christmas and got my own copy...I still enjoy rereading the stories and it reminds me of the great times I had at the beach with my daddy!
Martin Hensley
This is one of my Top Five books. It captures so much of what it was like to grow up in the rural South in the pre-electronic age. No one considered it unusual for kids to be gone all day with a fishing pole, a .22 rifle or a shotgun. Hunting and fishing were a given on our farm. I'm not sure that times have improved.
Drew Johnson
Read at the invitation of Witt Stephens who i had hunted with at his plantation in south Georgia. Beautiful story about a grandpa imparting wisdom to his grandson. A fun quote "Some people are so busy they miss the important things in life. They swat at nats but miss the misquotes
deepa
A good book to read in your growing years. I did enjoy the sweet way the grandfather teaches the life lessons however most places it gets really detailed and there is a strong urge skip through.
Overall though, this is how one would to want spend their childhood...
Giovanna
Great story of a boy and his grandfather in North Carolina. Lots of hunting, and fishing, as well as one of my all-time favorite breakfast descriptions involving a frying pan, eggs, toast, bacon cooked one after the other in pooling grease.
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42572
Robert Ruark was an author and syndicated columnist.

Born Robert Chester Ruark, Jr., to Charlotte A. Ruark and Robert C. Ruark, a bookkeeper for a wholesale grocery, young Ruark attended local schools and graduated from New Hanover High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. He graduated from high school at age 12 and entered the University of North Carolina at age 15. The Ruark family was deeply af...more
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“Any time a boy is ready to learn about guns is the time he’s ready, no matter how young he is, and you can’t start too young to learn how to be careful.” 6 likes
“You might as well learn that a man who catches fish or shoots game has got to make it fit to eat before he sleeps. Otherwise it’s all a waste and a sin to take it if you can’t use it.” 6 likes
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