The Old Man and the Sea
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The Old Man and the Sea

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  306,451 ratings  ·  9,435 reviews
Here, for a change, is a fish tale that actually does honor to the author. The Old Man & the Sea revived Hemingway's career, which was foundering under the weight of such postwar stinkers as Across the River & into the Trees. It also led directly to his receipt of the 1954 Nobel Prize--an award he gladly accepted, despite his earlier observation that "no son of a b...more
Hardcover, 132 pages
Published June 10th 1996 by Scribner Book Company (first published 1952)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Matt
Nov 28, 2007 Matt rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: mermaids
Worst book ever.

Just throw the fucking fish back in. Fuck.
Stephen
hemingway-1-1 v2

My very first time reading Papa and I absolutely LOVED IT. Sometimes the experience you have with a book can be effected by many things beyond the narrative itself, and I think that is certainly the case here. While I believe I would have loved this story regardless, there is no doubt that the stars aligned themselves perfectly to make this a singularly special read for me.

Let me explain...

Last year, I was in Napa with my wife and two of our best friends celebrating my (oh shit!!) 40th birthday...more
Sara
Oh, my good lord in heaven. Cut your line, land your boat and go to McDonald's! Just as in the case of The Great Gatsby, I understand the book. Yes, I know it changed the way American writers write. I also understand that it celebrates the ridiculous American idea that you're only a REAL man if you've done something entirely purposeless, but really dangerous, in pursuit of making yourself look like the bull with the biggest sexual equipment. Get over it, already! Go home and clean out the refrig...more
Matt
I read this as a young man and was disappointed. It didn't work for me. I thought it was about a crazy old man gone off the reservation, picking a fight with an innocent fish while ranting about the New York Yankees ("I would like to take the great DiMaggio fishing. They say his father was a fisherman...").

I picked it up again, after the passage of some years, and found it incredibly poignant.

It's a simple story. There's an old man, Santiago, who is a fisherman fallen on hard times. He is cared...more
Riku Sayuj
The wolves will come...

I started this in high spirits as my updates show: "fifth re-read, how thrilling it is to plumb new depths in old wells of wisdom..."

But, as I read on towards the last few pages, I couldn't shake the feeling that this is Moby Dick set in an alternate universe.

In this alternate universe:

The Giant Leviathan is a noble, unseen fish - steady and without malice.
Captain Ahab is transformed into a gentle, wise old zen master. Santiago - a humble fisherman with no legendary crew t...more
Will Byrnes
UPDATE - 1/5/13 - at bottom

It is intimidating to offer a truly critical look at such a classic, so we will ease into it with a few images.

The GOP has offered us a ready-made item to begin this list, and yes, I know that John Stewart already snagged this one and threw it back.
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I turned up a visual art concept that fits in, for a restaurant based on EH themes:description

Although I did not sit for this photo, the resemblance is indeed strikingdescription

And, of course
description
The Old Man and the Cee Lo.

I suppose am certain there...more
Ian Paganus
The Old Man and the Allegory

This book might just be an allegory of Darwinist Capitalism and the survival of the most aggressive and hungry in the world of corporate enterprise and rivalry.

Hey, What's the Big Idea?

It describes what it feels like to have one big idea or to invent something for which the market is not ready.

You struggle and wrestle with your "big fish" for ages, until in your mind you have caught it and perfected the way to reel it in, nobody is watching when you start the journey...more
Greg
Aug 17, 2007 Greg rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the literate in the broadest sense.
Sad book. Read it, but know it is sad.
This is probably written at about a 4th grade reading level, and the audience is at least that broad.

I'll spare you the christ imagery chit-chat.

Why did Ernest Hemingway cross the road?

To die. In the rain.
Jessica
May 19, 2008 Jessica marked it as aborted-efforts
Shelves: dicklits
I was very surprised when I finally tried to read this, and discovered that it bored the living crap out of me. I just couldn't get into it, I don't know why, maybe it was just my mood or something....? I mean, I do like Hemingway. I love the sea, and baseball. I am relatively fond of both old men and little boys (not like that, you fool).... and this is supposed to be really terrific and all, but I just.... I mean, I could've finished it of course, it's short, and it wouldn't have been like tor...more
Jason
Hi!!!!!

I’m drunk again.

So, this book. Ostensibly about a geriatric dude who goes fishing, The Old Man and the Sea covers way more bases than that. One could say it is a book whose themes include “the solitude of man” or, um… “one being pitted against the world.” Or maybe even a “powerlessness against nature” or whatever. And all of these things may be true, but I think I would have enjoyed this touching novella even if it didn’t capture those thematic bases. Of course, I only say that because I...more
Cierra
I'm not a huge Hemingway fan, but I do have to say that this book is one of my favorites and the best that Hemingway wrote. What an incredible tale of human fortitude and self-validation. I love this story so much. I forget I am reading each time: the words are constructed in such a way that I visualize the whole story as though I were an invisible spectator. I love the descriptions of the old man's hands, and the whole story is told with unbelievable detail. We can all identify with the epic st...more
Moira Russell
He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy’s parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff...more
Brad
Jul 28, 2009 Brad rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katya, Gio, Ruzz, Marcicle, Los, Te
Shelves: faves, classic, pulitzer
I was very near to finishing Mr. Midshipman Hornblower when we were on our way to the hospital the other night, and I knew I was going to need something else at some point over the next few days. I was passing by the computer on the way to the door, and I decided to grab The Old Man and the Sea. I'd been using it as a mouse pad because the Scribner trade paperback edition is a perfect size with a slick, matte-laminated cover that the mouse glides across with no fuss. So the book was handy, I nee...more
Jason Koivu
Back in the old VHS days I made a video movie based on this book and it was AMAZING!...or at least I thought it was. While visiting home last week, I dug it up and gave it a watching after not having seen it in about 10 or 15 years...

The video begins with a little lego fisherman in a boat amidst a placid, construction paper sea. A blazing yellow sun is glued to the back of the shoebox stage. In the foreground, blue waves calmly rise and fall. My undulating manipulation of the sheet of static wav...more
Garima
May 13, 2012 Garima added it
Shelves: my-2-cents
Reading this book is like reading one of those lessons from your English school books which you always find boring but nevertheless you need to answer the questions giving at the back of the chapter. From there on you would realize the answers that particular lesson demands are with reference to ideas or experience you never thought about while reading it. So this story is about an Old Man, a sea and his fishing expedition. I became interested in Hemingway after watching Midnight in Paris in whi...more
Madeline
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kirstine
So... Hemingway won the Pulitzer Prize for a book about an old man in a boat chasing a fish. Impressive.

I tried to analyze it while reading it, but I found it way too exhausting, because it's so simple, and to crack open simplicity to unearth something complex is just... hard work.
And to be honest I'm not convinced Hemingway didn't just write a book about a man and a boat and a fish. Which is enough, amazingly.

The story made me incredibly sad and I felt immediately sorry for the old man. I'm...more
Rick
May 27, 2008 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone living their life and anyone that has tested themself in some way
I liked this book because it has something to say about life and people. I'd agree with any interpretation that compares the marlin to our ambitions and accomplishments in life. They might be big, but in the end they are a skeleton of memories and then not even that. For me the character of the boy meant most that we help give each other's lives meaning. I agree with the Sparknotes analysis that pride will make us drive ourselves mercilessly to make what we want of our lives. The old man's battl...more
Amber
I really really hate Hemingway's writing. And this book epitomizes every element of my hatred. At least it is short. It's got that going for it.
Michelle
I know this is supposed to be some great classic bit of American literature but I hated it. I get that it is supposed to be written in the voice of the uneducated Santiago but to me it just reads like a Dick and Jane primer. I was ready to sell my soul for a multisyllabic word or a complex sentence.
أميــــرة
description
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رواية قصيرة أبطالها رجل عجوز، صبي، وسمكة!

*****
قرأت في تذييل عن حياة (هيمنجواي) أنه ليس كاتبًا رمزيًا رغم احتواء كتاباته على رموز. في رأيي (العجوز والبحر) رواية رمزية للغاية، ومن سيقرأها، ويعمد إلى النظر إليها بسطحية، سيجدها هراءً كاملًا! لكن المميز في رمزية (هيمنجواي) أنها مطاطة؛ فكل واحد منّا إذا قرأها في ظروف معينة وبطريقة تفكيره الخاصة فإنه سيفسر رموزها بشكل يختلف تمامًا عن الباقين.
لن أذكر -بالطبع- تفسيراتي الشخصية للرموز، فليس هذا مستحبًا في المراجعات؛ لكنّي أتوق إلى مناقشة الرواية مع آخرين...more
Ranee
Old Man and the Sea
Perseverance. Will. Experience. Spirit. There is much to be known about this classic. And I was not pertaining to fishing.

"The sea is life and I am one with it"

There is an overwhelming calmness in the middle of the sea. Waves are quieter, they lull you unlike its sisters on the shore, they lash you ever so often that it makes you wonder if it were the same water it was carrying. Much is like aging. You start feisty, full of yourself, lashing out each day. And as you grow wrin...more
Amanda
Sep 16, 2013 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hemingway fans
While this is not my favorite Hemingway book, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The plot structure is simple: just look at the title and there you have it. What is impressive is what Hemingway does with the plot. As always, Hemingway is a master of capturing the natural world in his often poetic prose.

In the figure of Santiago, you have the Hemingway code lived to its fullest. It's the knight attempting to slay the dragon, the matador in the bull ring, the big game hunter in Africa. In challenging natu...more
mai ahmd

أي عاشق للأدب الكلاسيكي لابد وأن يقرأ هذه الرواية .. كما قال ماركيز لم يكن هذا الصراع صراع قوة ولكنه كان صراع حكمة وذكاء
شيخ طاعن في السن يصارع سمكة من الحجم الهائل هذا هو فحوى الرواية التي لا يوجد قارىء إلا ويعرف قصتها وإن كان لم يطلع عليها وذلك بسبب شهرتها وكثرة الأفلام التي قدمت عنها واستوحيت منها إن التحدي الذي قام به الشيخ لم يكن سوى تحدي للنفس التي طعنت في السن لذلك على الرغم من اقتراب الهزيمة في كثير من الأحيان إلا هاجس الإنتصار كان ملحا كشوكة في اليد
إنه كان كمن يقول لنفسه مازلت حيا وناف...more
Mark
Oct 16, 2012 Mark rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Robson Greene
Recommended to Mark by: Mr Flint, (God bless him)
Having read this years ago whilst at school I can safely say it ranked alongside 'Cider with Rosie' as one of those books I hated simply because i was told by my English teacher (who incidentally is one of my unsung heroes), that I should love it. Choosing to re-read at the grand age of cough cough i sensed something more wonderful. There is a sparsity to the language which is powerful as the man battles with his own demons and his own recognition of his ageing self.

There are no massively flowe...more
Hager
HAMLET: To be, or not to be--that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles

And by opposing end them.

To die, to sleep--

No more--and by a sleep to say we end

The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to.

'Tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep--

To sleep--perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub,

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come

When we have shuf...more
Fionnuala
Having recently failed to find 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' credible in any way, I decided to give Hemingway another go and reread this novella. In the process, I've learned something about myself and maybe something about writing too. I remember being completely absorbed by both the story and the telling of it when I read it as a teenager and was surprised and pleased to find it could still work the same magic on me now. I am still able to become totally absorbed in the life of a fictional charact...more
Shayantani Das
“But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ”
Beautiful story.
Arun Divakar
I know next to nothing about fishing. The nearest I have been to fishing is when after a good six steady shots of whiskey we helped the fishermen at a beach haul in their nets in the twilight. We sang songs with them ( which for the life of me, I cannot recollect even a word of !) and had those moments of back slapping camaraderie with them after which we went off, drank more and slipped into alcohol induced slumber. Beyond this, the sea and fishes have never held my attention for more than a mi...more
Ellie
Set off the coast of Cuba, The Old Man and the Sea is the story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned fisherman and the greatest catch of his life. For 84 days, Santiago, an elderly fisherman, has set out to sea and returned empty-handed. On the 85th day, Santiago finally hooks a giant marlin. After an epic three day battle with the fish, it takes all Santiago's strength, skill and knowledge to reel the fish in and kill it. The fish is bigger than Santiago's small fishing boat so he's for...more
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the old man and the sea 3 31 Aug 17, 2014 04:00PM  
Isn't this book boring? Hemingway has the story as long as Santiago cannot kill the fish. 27 402 Aug 03, 2014 07:23PM  
6 Word Stories 2 54 Jul 31, 2014 10:45AM  
Bookwormed Reviews: The Old Man and The Sea - Ernest Hemingway 2 5 Jul 26, 2014 01:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Bad capitalization in edition title 3 19 Jul 23, 2014 10:10AM  
Book-club Dropouts : New Read 3 2 Jul 15, 2014 08:12AM  
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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec...more
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“But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated. ” 907 likes
“Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.” 299 likes
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