Matt's Reviews > The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
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did not like it
bookshelves: overrated, sucked, school-forced-me-to-read-this
Recommended for: mermaids

Worst book ever.

Just throw the fucking fish back in. Fuck.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 1, 1999 – Finished Reading
November 28, 2007 – Shelved
November 28, 2007 – Shelved as: overrated
November 28, 2007 – Shelved as: sucked
November 28, 2007 – Shelved as: school-forced-me-to-read-this

Comments Showing 1-50 of 228 (228 new)

La Petite Américaine HAHAHAH!!!

message 2: by Liv (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liv Whatever

message 3: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Thanks for sharing!

message 4: by Nate (new) - rated it 1 star

Nate Bringhurst Best review ever.

message 5: by Irfan (last edited May 27, 2009 05:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Irfan Ali Hilarious. Loved the review. I rated the book slightly differently (gave it five stars). However, about 15 years ago when I first tried to read the book, my emotions about the book could not have been captured better than your review.

Nursejenna Agree 100%

Fran lol!

David I'm new to recreational reading and I loved it. It reminded me a lot of Hithcock films, my focus was on the imagery as the story gradually went along without me feeling like I knew where it was going or how it was going to unfold.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)


message 10: by Viola (new) - added it

Viola You Oh my god

Marat Some people would throw it back in the sea while others will fight for it, "Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength"

message 12: by Donna (new)

Donna But the fish is big.

Carmen Black Hilarious - and true. I mean, yeah, someone might say "oh, but you know, he just can't give up, it's a great picture of how human beings are able to deal with... blah blah..." - but honestly, how many of them would actually follow that damned fish and act like idiots because of a BIG FISH, while they certainly could catch dozens of smaller fish instead? That's not about strength, that's just about being pig-headed...

message 14: by Karl (new) - rated it 2 stars

Karl Agreed!

Andrew I wish people wouldn't rate books they were "forced" to read in school. Obviously you didn't read it very deeply.

Cathy I enjoyed the book but can totally relate to this review. Like, "For the Love of God, just give up, man."

message 17: by Miriam (new)

Miriam I think this is my favorite review

Abhinav Kapri a person who has never struggled will not appreciate the virtue of perseverance and patience.

Aaron Brumback thank you Abbhinav.

message 20: by C. (new) - rated it 4 stars

C. D. Obviously you have no understanding of perseverance in times of trouble and despair.

message 21: by Ивана (last edited Mar 27, 2013 02:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ивана Well, I thought that too in the beginning. Later, I realized that the book is much bigger than the fish itself. It's about the never-ending human struggle against fear, loneliness and renouncement. But okay, everyone has the right to like different things.

Stacy Even tho I really liked this book this might be the best review of a book I've ever seen, in true Hemingway style. Kudos!!

Diana Rusk I loved the book but also your review. Fair play

Francesca Ahahah! :D

Dylan Maloney Lolz

message 26: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt C. wrote: "Obviously you have no understanding of perseverance in times of trouble and despair."


message 27: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Aaron wrote: "thank you Abbhinav."


message 28: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Aya wrote: "good readers don't talk by that way when they talk about books even if they don't like them"

They don't do what if they huh?

message 29: by Matt (new) - rated it 1 star

Matt Andrew wrote: "I wish people wouldn't rate books they were "forced" to read in school. Obviously you didn't read it very deeply."


Tyler Knowlton I loved the book and I was initially quite offended by your comment, but now I've come to the point where it is like, "to each his own." You seem like a really funny person and I think your comment has really stirred the pot. I am good with it.

Matthew Turner Goodread reviews rarely make me laugh out loud. But this is too funny. And yes - halfway through this book and I totally agree.

message 32: by Daniele (new)

Daniele Morrone Ahahahahah!!

message 33: by Janet (new) - rated it 1 star

Janet Fucking yes!

Bailey Crawly Agreed. Hated it. Thanks for posting.

message 36: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha

message 37: by Grey (new) - rated it 5 stars

Grey C That's hilarious a pothead loser who was taking 9th grade English three years in a row he gave up highschool a year later and dropped out

Bailey Crawly "Grey," you're just jealous that he wrote a better review than you.

message 39: by Omar (new) - rated it 5 stars

Omar Qureshi Are you literate?

Angelmae I know you're just trying to be flippant and funny but I think you and most people who have agreed with your post are missing the point. The old man is a fisherman, that's what he does, that's how he lives, that's how he survives, that's how he earns his living. The mark of any substantial human being is how they respond when under pressure. Do you fight on or do you "throw the fucking fish back"? I'm guessing you're under 60 years of age and have probably never been put under any real pressure in these past 3 decades of abundance and unlimited consumption but it hasn't always been like this. Ask yourself what you would do if you hadn't brought home any wages for your family in 84 days? Yes Hemingway seems a little out of touch with today's political correctness and a perfect target for the one liner comedians, but he still speaks to the deeper and admirable parts of the human spirit.

Matthew Turner Angelmae… are you saying that every story can only ever have one “point” and that you get to decide what that “point” is? Or that statement is only true of this specific story? Because I think the Old Man is a stubborn old fool who risked (and quite probably destroyed) his livelihood out of a warped sense of pride. Not admirable at all. The only part of your comment I agree with is that the book speaks to a deeper, admirable part of the human spirit—but this is not shown through the Old Man—it’s shown through the young boy whose gentle broken heartedness and love for the Old Man is described only briefly but really affected me. Well… that was the “point” I took from the story anyway. Each to his own I guess.

Angelmae No, I'm saying that one of the points to THIS story, The Old Man and the Sea, is the way the old man faced up to his adversity. This adversity included getting older, being "less lucky", having a bad run, people in the village giving up on him, mocking him and even he himself doubting himself. You may not relate to the catching of a fish as such but maybe you can relate to something that requires you keep going in the face of adversity, maybe running a marathon, maybe even a really difficult job at work. At what point should he have given up and thrown the fish away? After first hooking it? After 10 minutes? After 1 hour? After 12 hours? After the first shark attack? Maybe he should have given up fishing altogether when he was a boy, knowing that it would be "too hard"? The point is about enduring even in the face of failure, even in the face of insignificance. This is the choice that many old and sick people make every single day. Like I said, I know you were just trying to get a laugh and I know you probably were forced to read this book as a youngster. Thats sad for you and may I suggest you read it again on your 60th or 70th birthday. In the meantime, at least be man enough to acknowledge that it is not just about "throwing the fucking fish back".

Bailey Crawly I like his opinion... Honestly the story is nothing more than a man trying to get a fish to me... Which was dumb.

Matthew Turner Anglemae--- clarification! I'm not the same Matt who wrote the original review :) — I read this book as an adult and my review was way more complimentary! But I just like defending the idea that every story has more than one "point". You said "missing the point". Singular. I think I'm being pedantic because your subsequent comment said “one of the points”, which I totally agree with.

Phoenix This is, without a doubt, one of the most vulgar and useless reviews ever submitted. Thanks for nothing. And you criticize Hemingway ha! You obvoiusly do not have the intellectual capacity to understand the deeper pathos and meaning to the story line. I'm sorry for you..

Bailey Crawly People are allowed to not like the work. I refuse to dig further into that boring novel for a "deeper meaning" because I honestly didn't care for a single second from the dull beginning to the stupid ending.
I like modern stories that aren't filled with subliminal meanings, and don't focus on a stupid boat with an old person we don't care about, and keeping us there for the length of a novel! Booooring!

message 47: by Kika (new) - rated it 1 star

Kika EXACTLY how I felt the first time I read this book. I was 10. I think I'll pick it up again, because I want to see if I feel the same. Probably do. I hated it.

message 48: by Kristy (new)

Kristy Ramirez Geez... Tell us how you really feel!! Fuck.

Phoenix Bailey wrote: "People are allowed to not like the work. I refuse to dig further into that boring novel for a "deeper meaning" because I honestly didn't care for a single second from the dull beginning to the stup..."

Try reality TV. Sounds like a viable option

Travis Capistrant fuck.

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