Islands in the Stream
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Islands in the Stream

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  6,959 ratings  ·  339 reviews
First published in 1970, nine years after Ernest Hemingway's death, Islands in the Stream is the story of an artist and adventurer -- a man much like Hemingway himself. Rich with the uncanny sense of life and action characteristic of his writing -- from his earliest stories (In Our Time) to his last novella (The Old Man and the Sea) -- this compelling novel contains both t...more
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published July 22nd 2003 by Scribner (first published 1970)
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Mary
Oh how I wish Hemingway had lived to revise and compile this book. Published posthumously and with only minor attention given to copy editing by Papa's publisher and last wife, the book limns its main character in three parts: as an artist living in the Gulf before WWII, as a grief-stricken u-boat hunter in Cuba following the loss of his sons, and in a final hunt for German fugitives. The unifying theme is in line with the Hemingway code: man is powerless before the abyss, but can behave with gr...more
bup
The book is good. It's good but it's sad. It's a good, sad book about a good, sad man, and that's what Hemingway intended. He knew that writing a good book is a fine thing, because people will enjoy reading it.

I tell myself that he's right: reading a good book is a good thing. You can be glad that the book is good, and you can be glad that you are not a character in the book, because Hemingway books are sad books, and characters in Hemingway books do not have an easy time of it. But it's a good,...more
Steve
The Most Interesting Man in the World: The Novel(s). I removed Islands in the Stream from my “currently reading” shelf because I wasn’t sure I would ever finish it. The first part, “Bimini”, is the best part of the novel, and could probably have stood alone as a short novel. It tells the story of Thomas Hudson, a somewhat famous painter, and the visit of his three sons. It’s fishing and drinking and eating and story telling, with a tragic ending . Pure Hemingway, with some wonderful passages to...more
Petra
Look at me, reading Hemingway! :D
It's off to a great start. I'm really enjoying this book so far.

Not sure if I got lucky or if Hemingway truly is a good writer. I no longer, though, have an aversion to Hemingway's works and will gladly read more in the future.

This story of Thomas Hudson had me glued to the pages. Hemingway has a way of blending his personal life with his fiction. He brings elements of his life into this story and builds around them. It's not all autobiographical but enough so th...more
Maureen
Falling in love at an advanced age you would think would be a little bit different. But I am like a school girl. I'm not writing Me and Ernie 4 Eva on my notebooks but I might as well be the way I am mooning around about Papa Hemingway these days. Without a doubt I'm head over heels and “Islands in the Stream” only confirms it.
Even though this book was never highly praised by his critics and is one of his later works it is, to me, one of the finest literary works to pass before these tired eyes....more
Jeff
For anyone who would venture upon this novel as their first trip into Hemingway, I'd presume a rating of far less celestial body. The reality is, this posthumously published, three-part story is not Hemingway's best. In fact, the novel has some pretty uncharacteristic flaws. It is full of the very traditional Hemingway: startling one-liners, little plot with heavy emotion and warmth, intense scene recognition and spatial consideration, machismo oozing out the ears. You name it.

But, for the Hemin...more
Luís
O romance “As Ilhas da Corrente” de Ernest Hemingway,descreve a história de Thomas Hudson,um artista divorciado e alcoólatra,tendo como característica o fato de levar a vida com certo desprezo,apesar disto nunca deixou de escrever suas poesias.O livro conta a trajectória de Thomas Hudson,no decorrer dos anos,ao longo da Corrente do Golfo: às vésperas da Segunda Guerra Mundial e durante a mesma.
O personagem principal do livro,Thomas Hudson,no início dos anos 40,afastado dos 3 filhos e das 2 mulhe...more
Cole Perry
This may have been the most miserable slog through prose that I've ever endured. Highlights include the children's stilted dialogue in Bimini, long digressive stories told to a prostitute in Cuba, (Which she manages to point out are boring as all get out.) and then it finally gets interesting, though in need of serious edits about page 385. Please for the love of god, read any of EH's other books. There is a reason that this one wasn't published until after his death.
Read the last book, (At Sea...more
Arlo
Jul 13, 2011 Arlo rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: ocean lovers, fathers
Shelves: favorites
This was put together posthumously. If you accept that and give the book a little leeway it's a great read about dealing with adversity. The first section "Bimini" is incredible. If you liked The Old man and the Sea, this is right up there. At the beginning of the second part "Cuba" my mind started to drift and I couldn't focus when he was discussing Thomas Hudson's cats. I may have been contrasting it to the the first section with the abrupt change. The momentum quickly comes back when the stor...more
Francesco Scarlata
Pochi scrittori sanno stritolare la vita come Hemingway. La stritolano con le proprie mani, la vivono con un'intensità senza pari, ne muoiono sopraffatti e ce la riconsegnano rimettendone insieme i pezzi attraverso le loro storie.
"Isole nella corrente" non è una lettura semplice: è scritto da un autore in palese difficoltà non solo col suo mestiere ma anche con la sua vita, e nonostante questo riesco a perfettamente a sentire ancora l'odore del mare quando leggo le sue pagine. Hemingway ha la st...more
Wanda
If the author of this was an unknown it would never have gotten out of the slush pile.
Megan
I reread this Hemingway classic to see if over time my opinion had changed about his body of work. It hasn't. While I do appreciate him for his place in the development of 20th century expressionist prose I am still just not that into him! To his credit, his terse bare bones writing style was a major force in the "Lost Generation" literary movement which revolutionized modern fiction. In this sense he merits greatness in the way Madonna merits greatness for revolutionizing pop culture. I don't l...more
Daniel Villines
As a Hemingway fan, there is a lot to like and enjoy about this book. For instance, we’re lucky that it is here in the first place. Being the first of the posthumously published works, Hemingway had no intention of publishing it himself, but here it is. Islands in the Stream is filled with lines that could only come from Hemingway. Filled with his crisp style of writing that leaves so much to the imagination that the story transforms into truth in the minds of his readers.

The problem with Island...more
sky
This is quintessential Hemingway, a classic and a must-read.

I think this is a near-perfect book and not too sure how it could be better. Given its posthumous release as well as simply not considered among the top, popular "classics" by Hemingway; I was a bit wary about reading this. I thought it might read like notes, scribblings, ramblings or a jotted-down memoir. But this is a finished and complete book, with the stroke of a master, in my opinion.

With Hemingway, so much is rather autobiographi...more
Mitch Crosby
Why Papa is the master:

“The end of a man’s own world does not come as it does in one of the great paintings Mr. Bobby had outlined. It comes with one of the island boys bringing a radio message up the road from the local post office and saying, “Please sign on the detachable part of the envelope. We’re sorry, Mr. Tom.”

He gave the boy a shilling. But the boy looked at it and put it down on the table.

“I don’t care for a tip, Mr. Tom,” the boy said and went out.

He read it. Then he put it in his poc...more
TF
I liked it. The first part, Bimini, especially is wonderful to read with the children teasing each other and seeming so real. The scene between David and the fish is typical Hemingway and so beautifully written and just perfect.
The second part, Cuba, had moments that were pure and good. The writing was excellent, straight Hem, but I found myself almost resenting it at times. Maybe I had read too much Hemingway in too little time, but I think some cutting out could've made the second part strong...more
Patrick
The main character in this story is a representation of the author. Which is the main part of the attraction. The reader follows through Hemingway's mind as is thoughts turn forlorn and regretful about the decisions he has made. The voice to Hemingway's thoughts is Thomas Hudson, an American painter living and working in the Caribbean. He is twice divorced, famous in Europe and America. When we meet Mr. Hudson he is eagerly awaiting the arrival of his children to the island.

The protagonist's lif...more
Matt Cooper
An interesting read, mostly just for the Hemingway fan. If you plan to undertake it, understand it's less about the ending than it is about Hudson's and Hemingway's craft (and the distinction between the two is important). Read this essay (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307...) afterwards and you'll appreciate the text more - I certainly did. If you can't access this link it's called "Islands in the Stream as Hemingway's Laocoon" by Evelyn J. Hinz and John J. Teunissen. Google it and you'll f...more
Laurie Mains
I love Ernie but it is hard not to gain weight when reading this book. It makes me want to embrace the consumption of alcohol in vast quantities. It speaks to a generation fueled by booze in a major way. I love the sense of the artist's life on a tropical island, the happy expectation of the arrival of his sons. The book is permeated with an assumed understanding of what is right and wrong which comes from that 30's and 40's absolutism western P.O.V. (assumed moral center of the universe)it is h...more
Candice
Disclaimer: this was the first Hemingway book I've read. I wish I'd started off with something else, like one of his "masterpieces", because this one left me frustrated, exhausted, and disappointed, even a bit disgusted. I started out thinking I was really going to enjoy it, and liked the affectionate tones and his style of writing. By the end of the novel I felt like I was stuck in a room with a drunk man that was making me listen to a drawn out, glorified, story of his life and all the indulge...more
Erez Levinberg
makes one want to drink
Delusional
Although an example of Hemingway's later and more dark works, I can't help but feel a bit puzzled over the fact that this book in it's three part are not divided into three? In my opinion the first part/act "Bimini" was significantly better than the two following (even though that is where tragedy strikes). This leaves me thinking if the three parts were mashed together to either make the story whole, or to "force" people to continue the story. It can of course be explained in great detail, but...more
Carol Storm
I've been a Hemingway fan all my life, and even though I read this novel as a teen, it didn't really work for me. All the good stuff reads like imitations of stuff he did better in other novels.

And some of the wishful thinking is almost comical! Thomas Hudson drinks a Heineken for breakfast and then says, "it would be easy to be a rummy, wouldn't it." And then INSTANTLY his loyal flunky (who is a real rummy, natch) chimes in with, "not you, Tom. You like to work too well."

Puh-LEEEEZE!!!!
Erin
Aug 16, 2007 Erin rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Only those who really like Hemingway
This book was really hard to get through. Parts were interesting but some just seemed to go on forever. The last section was definately the best and while each of the three sections could probably stand alone as a short story to understand some of what he is talking about you need to read the first two. I would probably not recommend this book to anyone. Someone told me while I was reading it that it was probably Hemingway's worst novel.
Raisa
Islands in the Stream is a story in three parts, following the escapades of Thomas Hudson, an American painter. The first part is set in Bimini in the Bahamas, where Thomas' three young sons visit him on summer vacation.

The next is set in Cuba, during the Second World War, and follows Thomas as he struggles with a very personal loss, all while trying to do his duty, conducting surveillance for the US military. The final part follows Thomas as he and his crew track some Germans who survive the s...more
Chris Swann
The first section of this book should stand alone--the rest is all right, but it's more like a version of "I wonder what happened to this character AFTER the book was finished?" As in, "what did Nick Carraway do AFTER he went back home to the Midwest?" But it's worth it solely for the first (and, I believe, the longest) section--three-and-a-half stars.
Richard Maldonado
I haven't read Hemingway in many years and decided to use him for this winter's reads. This book is truly a great work. Efficient, direct and hard but stirring to the soul. He is best read by those who have lived a bit, for those readers who have not yet lived much, might find it a little hard to find a bit foreign.
Corey
I know. One is not supposed to like late Hemingway ("he became a self parody," etc.) but I found this novel grand. I can't think of another novelist who does dialog as well as Hemingway. This was the last fiction by him I hadn't read so now I guess I'll start over with "The Sun Also Rises," or maybe the stories.
Sean
I once met a man who complained that fiction was just, "escapism" and he only read from technical manuals.
Well if thats so this is true escapism.
The first half of the book is really tasteful, raw, and darkly humorous.
The way Hemingway describes living on an island, the water, putting a full clip from a tommy gun into a hammerhead shark, his paintings, the drinking and the loves of his life his sons.

The second half tells a darker tale and almost reads a bit like Norman Mailer's Naked and The Dead...more
Diane
Well worth the read.
Was a long book and not sure if I would finish it.
I started out ok with the book but found by the second
have my mind was drifting off. It did pick up by the third half.
I can say I somewhat enjoyed reading it.
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Have you already read it? 10 41 Sep 28, 2013 04:26AM  
Around the World ...: * Discussion of the October book, Islands in the Stream, is held here! 13 36 May 28, 2012 07:25AM  
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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...
The Old Man and the Sea The Sun Also Rises For Whom the Bell Tolls A Farewell to Arms A Moveable Feast

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