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To Have and Have Not
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To Have and Have Not

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  12,416 ratings  ·  678 reviews
Hemingway's Classic Novel About Smuggling, Intrigue, and Love
To Have and Have Not is the dramatic story of Harry Morgan, an honest man who is forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West as a means of keeping his crumbling family financially afloat. His adventures lead him into the world of the wealthy and dissipated yachtsmen who throng the region, and invol...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published 2003 by Scribner (first published 1937)
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"a man ... ain't got no ... hasn't got any ... can't really ... isn't any way out. No matter how ... a man alone ... ain't got no bloody chance."
Harry Morgan

A novel of the Depression Era, To Have and Have Not follows the struggle of Harry Morgan to make ends meet, to live a decent life. He is a boat owner sailing the waters between Cuba and Key West, renting out to rich tourists lookinh for the thrill of big fish chasing. The novel opens with a spectacular gunfight in front of a bar in Hava...more

It starts very strongly -- good character development, definite Hemingway commentary tone -- lots of Hemingway Southern Hemisphere fun in Cuba.

But midway -- he just sort of wanders off and starts pointing his Hemingway at anything that moves. He introduces secondary and tertiary characters with incredible detail, but with no discernible purpose.

It's not one of his better books, and ends leaving you wondering how much better it would have been if the writing from about the second third on was...more
Will Byrnes
This is not at all the Nazi romp of Bogie and Bacall fame. There might be some external similarities, but they seem fleeting. If you put your lips together to whistle here, the likelihood would be that it would be to warn someone that the police were coming. Life can be tough in The Conch Republic.

Harry Morgan is a hard man in a hard time. He owns and operates his own fishing boat, out of Key West, catering to those who Have and want an ocean-going adventure. When Harry is stiffed out of almost...more
This book is widely considered one of Hemingways worst, and there's even a tale floating around that he told director Howard Hawks that he thought it was a pile of shit. It's not, though. It's neither his worst nor a pile of shit. Nor is it his best. But there is much to admire in To Have and Have Not, and those things are amplified by Will Patton's award worthy vocal performance in the audio version.

Patton's quiet, simmering rhythm, and his hushed tones -- even in the most violent moments -- b...more
I'm all over the map on how to rate this one. It's better than 3 stars, but probably not worth 4 (but I'll round up). I was surprised to find that this was Hemingway's first "novel" in eight years. Is it a novel? On one hand, you could probably view this as a collection of short stories and a novella, with the connective thread being that Middled Aged Man of the Sea: Harry Morgan. But there are connective threads here (the Depression being the main one) where the reader can discern a beginning t...more
If you've never read Hemingway, this isn't the book for you. If you don't like experimentation, this isn't the book for you. If you're turned off by violence, this isn't the book for you. If you're an opponent of socialism, this isn't the book for you. If you want happy endings, this isn't the book for you.

If, however, you have dabbled in Hemingway and you want a challenge, this is the book for you. If you dig experimental literature, then this is the book for you. If you can stomach violence or...more
Emily Luba
Oh I really wanted to love this book! I'm very aware that Hemingway is a literary genius and writes fabulous novels, but this book had me scratching my head. Basically I could summarize it in one sentence "A man drives his boat between Florida and Cuba and runs into violent and illegal happenings." And that. Is. It. I was really looking forward to reading Hemingway, as I never have before, and he is my Dad's favourite author but I just didn't get it the point of this novel. I'm not sure if there...more
Florida Keys. 1937. Harry Morgan, husband to a former prostitute, disappointed father, erstwhile deep sea fishing guide. Broke. Desperate. Surrounded by wasted, depressed, angry, hopeless characters. Welcome to Hemingway.

How can a protagonist who refers to blacks as "niggers", who writes his own moral code with little regard for law or ethics, who regrets his daughters, and who has a dismal outlook on life even on his best days get under your skin? How can a writer, whose phrases are bleak, who...more
Earl Gray
This was my third time reading it. The first was in 1999, borrowed from the local library when I read/re-read a lot of his books for his 100th birthday. The second was when I bought a copy with a Border's gift certificate that my wife had given me in 2007. This time was when I brought it with me to read during a trip to Key West for my birthday because he wrote it there and it takes place there.

The highlight of reading it this time was reading it in our Key West hotel room on the Sunday that Is...more
The last Hemingway book I read was The Garden of Eden. To Have and Have Not has made me appreciate that last book a bit more. Comparing the books is unfair. Both are extremely different. Eden was unique. This book felt predictable, chaotic, and unrelateable. It almost felt as though it were two rough drafts thrown together. I did not like the turn of the structure near the end. I did not like the dialogue or the characters. I had high hopes after the first chapter. Even though I did not like Har...more
Considered Hemmingway’s worst- To Have and Have Not is almost shocking to read with modern eyes. Either he was a racist pig- likely; or he was documenting the sad state of racial affairs in the 1930’s when this was written- unlikely- but true, however inadvertedly. Even if I give him the benefit of the doubt, he probably was showing his ass as well.

The first section of this decidedly short novel is told from Harry Morgan’s POV. I found the first section to be the most engaging, although this is...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I can see Papa walking the cat walk leading to his his studio. By 1937 he was growing tired of Pauline. Their marriage was on the rocks and Hemingway resented her money. He did question the rich and their attitudes somewhat, but his feelings about the rich was really about Pauline. He enjoyed his money. He thought To Have and Have Not was shit and really didn't care how Hollywood treated this small book. And Hollywood did treat the book differently. The Becall and Bogart movie was nothing like t...more
No matter how a man alone ain't got no bloody fucking chance.

Don't stare at it too long. Hemingway can write a little better than this crude assembly of improper grammar, this frayed string of incomprehensible nonsense. I know this, despite certain times of doubt while reading his works. But in To Have and Have Not, all the contemptible characteristics of Hemingway's style work together seamlessly and, more importantly, with profound effect. I nearly glimpsed the genius which the literary world...more
Although I have been unable to confirm my interpretation of this book, the jangle of points of view, including stream of consciousness - which I do not remember Hemingway using - and a writing style quite unlike the declarative sentences and concrete words he is known for, made me think Hemingway wrote this book as a satire of other writers' styles, namely Faulkner and Steinbeck.
The first fifty pages is the most tightly constructed opening one could hope for ... Hemingway stated this novel began...more
Kevin Xu
The question and the premise of the book is how far what a person go to survive and fed his or her family? Even if that mean breaking laws? Those are the moral decision taht the main character of the novel, Harry has ask himself. He does it in order to fed his family by getting illegal things from Cuba to Flordia, even though sometimes he does not succeed. Hemingway taps into the mind and heart of a person who what do this, and tries to explain to the reader the result.
Motors out of the starting gate strong, with a craggy, taciturn Yank skipper and his rummy mate running cash-pocketed tourists on Marlin jigs out of a decrepit, oil-soaked marina on the leeward side of Cuba. Fishing lingo, Caribbean seascapes, diesel stink, smoky taverns with callused patrons and dames in the shadows all combine to portend of a mission out of the same that has the potential to go sideways—and it does, just not in the manner that seemed to be warranted and not one that I believe...more
Hemingway's punchy style comes at you from the first page and it's refreshing. It feels like you've just walked in on a story that's already started and everything's a little confusing but starts to make sense pretty quickly. The characters take shape from only a couple of boney words and the pace is quick.

But then before even the half-way point it drops a gear. All these boring characters wander in with drunken non-sequitor conversations and bar fights and marriages of people I don't care about...more
This is dark - but beautifully written. Hemingways style of short and to the point sentences with a few interesting details to fine tune, works fabulously to add grit at times and heart at others to Harry Morgan's character.

Set in the depression in Key West and Cuba and the waters between, it's full if contrasts: the revolutionaries of Cuba vs white Key West- American edge; the rich on their yachts thinking about suicide or treating their staff with noses stubbed vs the basic wholesome hardwork...more
To Have and Have Not is a tale of discontentment, death, and desperation in the Depression-Era Florida Keys. Definitely one of Hemingway's more detached and disjointed novels, but told in typical style with a backdrop he knows intimately. He wrote it after registering distaste from critics and readers alike that he was writing gallivanting tales of international playboyhood while the country was in deep socioeconomic turmoil. They called him out of touch. He responded with this novel. Interestin...more
Tom Carrico
A Little Hemingway Vacation

My wife and I snuck away in January to Key West to celebrate our wedding anniversary (yes, indeed, she does deserve some sort of medal for putting up with me for 33 years!). We took a tour one day of the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum on Whitehead Street. Hemingway lived in that home for nine years, from 1931 to 1939, with his third wife Pauline Pfeiffer. It suddenly dawned on me that seven months earlier I had been browsing the Shakespeare and Company book store o...more
Oct 26, 2013 Sera rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: Bookish
3.5 stars

Giving Hemingway another chance is paying off. This book is about Harry Morgan, a have not, who uses a boat that he owns to try to get himself and his family into the "to have" category. Harry's story is action-packed and well written, but Hemingway does a poor job of juxtaposing Harry's position with the haves, which makes most of the book about the have nots. Then, as if Hemingway has realized this deficiency himself while writing this book, he attempts to cram in some "have" anecdote...more
Chester Bowerman
The characters, locations and sentiments of 'To Have and Have Not' are perfectly crafted in Hemingway's unique, unmistakable style yet I never fully connected with the story which was, I felt, less defined and less gripping than 'Fiesta'.
Eh. Boats, fights, dead people. Not my thing.
The original New York Times review in 1937 put it this way:
"Mr. Hemingway has been for some years an outstanding figure in American literature; he has influenced greatly men a little younger than himself, and they have paid him the tribute of imitation. Whatever he does is of interest because he has, unquestionably, a very real talent. What has he done with it in To Have and Have Not?"

It's a good question, and one that hasn't really been answered in the 70 years since then. Some have said Heming...more
I'm in the middle of a personal project right now (truthfully, I find myself in the "lull" of this particular project) consisting of working through the reading list established by the American Studies class at Open Yale Courses called Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner. I find the lecturing professor, Dr. Wai Chee Dimock, to be earnest, engaging and generous with insights I know I would never have arrived at myself (I think she's kind of sexy, too, but that's standing at the edge of the precipice...more
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Definitely not one his better ones. My cultural reference point to this was the Howard Hawks Bougart/Bacall movie - memorable largely for the "put your lips together and blow" line and the fact that Faulker co-wrote the screenplay. Anyway the movie has a completely different story give or take a rummie who get slapped around alot. This is about Harry Morgan (yes - I think Jeff Lindsay did steal/homage the name), a boat owner in the Florida Keys suffering hard times, who has to get involved in va...more
“Aren't they fine boys,” said the tall man. “War is a purifying and ennobling force. The question is whether people only like ourselves here are fitted to be soldiers. Or whether the different services have formed us.”
“I don't know,” said Richard Gordon.
“I would like to bet you that not three men in this room were drafted,” the tall man said. “These are the elite. The very top cream of the scum. What Wellington won at Waterloo with. Well, Mr. Hoover ran us out of Anacostia Flats and Mr. Roosevel...more
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This book is problematic in a few ways, but there's something about Hemingway's writing style that I like in spite of those problems.
For one thing, the racism that persists in this book is a little much. Whether this is Hemingway's own way of speaking or the way of the culture that he's writing about, there are only so many times I can read "nigger" and "chink" in a book and not find it unnecessary. On the other hand, I have no idea how pervasive this was in Cuba in the 30's, so I'm not going to...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add book cover and number of pages 3 22 Mar 14, 2014 05:10AM  
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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
More about Ernest Hemingway...
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“Listen," I told him. "Don't be so tough so early in the morning. I'm sure you've cut plenty of people's throats. I haven't even had my coffee yet.” 154 likes
“Death is like an old whore in a bar--I'll buy her a drink but I won't go upstairs with her” 124 likes
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