David's Reviews > Islands in the Stream

Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2490942
's review
Mar 31, 10

Read in March, 2010

This was an awfully wonderful book and a wonderful awful book, just like Hemingway. For some reason unknown to me, I enjoy reading the man, even though I find his writing to often be empty and the man himself to often be outlandish, to the point that I don’t know how or why he achieved his status. Or, for that matter, why I myself, one who rarely reads novels, would bother with this author. Granted, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and “The Old Man and the Sea” were excellent, but even these works have literary peculiarities that are inexplicable. Islands had all the boozing, rambling conversational narratives, and weird internal dialog I’ve come to expect from him. It included three very loosely connected stories, the first two of which had no particular meaning except to express some manly bravado. I honestly don’t know why I tolerate it, yet I’m strangely captured by it. Like life itself, it rarely seems to amount to anything meaningful, is often annoying and frustrating, but I can’t let go of it. Hemingway was surely existential, to (and beyond) the point of suicide. Everything is nothing.
Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Islands in the Stream.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by John (last edited Feb 01, 2011 01:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

John [I honestly don’t know why I tolerate it, yet I’m strangely captured by it. Like life itself, it rarely seems to amount to anything meaningful, is often annoying and frustrating, but I can’t let go of it.]

Maybe you answered your own question. For me, I like that I don't have to analyze everything nor even much. What a title. we are all islands in the stream. his three boys. sharks in the lagoon.

Did you catch Mr Bobby's description of how Thomas should paint Hell? Thomas mentions Bosch already did one. Then we move into Chaos on the dock that same night. The flares, the cauliflower ear, barrels of gasoline, tourists believing the world must stop for them.


David Yes, you don't have to analyze everything. But you did, and I think a good book prods the reader to reflect on it and life itself, as you did. To me, Hemingway is a captivating storyteller, but is at his best as a short-story writer (see my review on his short stories). But I think what most attracts me to the man is his actions, to live boldly in spite of its ambiguities or apparent existential qualities.


John Well I finished it last night and enjoyed it even more this time. I'm putting a quiz together for Islands. Thanks for your response.


back to top