Title: The Old Man and the Sea
Author: Ernest Hemingway
Published: 1980/1952 Pages: 127
Genre: Literary Fiction
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Santiago, an old Cuban fisherman who has no luck when it comes to fish finds himself pitted against a great marlin far out in the ocean.
I just don't know. Seriously, I can not tell how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is such a simplistic story and told with such plain prose that it is not tremendously exciting or interesting. On the other hand, the story moved me. I felt for the old man; I admired his courage, I felt his pain as the fishing line cut his hands, and I mourned with him over his losses. So, because of my confusion, let's start with a list:
What I Enjoyed
The strength of character shown by Santiago
The love between the young boy and Santiago
Some of the descriptions of animals were rather poignant
What I Didn't Care For
My inability to truly picture what was happening
The sadness inherent in the plotline and in the characters
Overall, I have to admit that I don't really see the major appeal of the book. I'm glad I read it...twice...but I don't ever think I'll have a burning desire to read it again. I would however, like it to be made into a movie, ala Cast Away, but I think this is just so I can have a clear visual.
Memorable Scene: At one point, Santiago sees a bird circling a school of flying fish, but the flying fish are being chased by a school of dolphins. The way the scene is set up the reader relates to the bird who has no chance of catching his dinner with the dolphins so close. I couldn't stop thinking about the flying fish though who are being pursued to their deaths by two separate animals. They are not safe above or below the surface.
Memorable Quote: "Do not think about sin, the thought. There are enough problems now without sin. Also I have no understanding of it...and I am not sure that I believe in it. Perhaps it was a sin to kill the fish. I suppose it was even though I did it to keep me alive and feed many people. But then everything is a sin...You did not kill the fish only to keep alive and to sell for food, he thought. You killed him for pride and because you are a fisherman. You loved hime when he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?"
Question: Have you ever read a book you didn't enjoy because you just couldn't picture what was happening?
If I've missed yours, let me know.
Rebecca Reads: "While it has an element of sadness, there is also a beauty and majesty around its short plot"
Vulpes Libris: "I wonder if it’s not a half-baked idea he had on one of his drunken binges"
Book Escape: "While not much happens in this book, I found it a very interesting and quick read"
Musings: "This concise novella packs a punch in 128 short pages"