The Old Man and the Sea

The Old Man and the Sea

Book - 1952
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Told in language of great simplicity and power, this story of courage and personal triumph remains one of Ernest Hemingway's most enduring works.

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal--a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Publisher: New York, Scribner, 1952
ISBN: 9780684801223
Branch Call Number: HEMI
Characteristics: 140 p


From the critics

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Mar 06, 2018

I read this book for the "A Book That Has Won A Pulitzer Prize Any Year" part of my 2018 reading challenge. I really enjoyed it, it was simple yet gripping, and I was sucked right in to the man's trials.

Nov 21, 2017

Just a heads up. This translated version is really bad. I left this half-way since rhe translation was not clear at all.

Oct 22, 2017

I read this book when I was really young. Honestly speaking I could not understand the real purpose of writing this story because it seemed a little bit boring for me. The story was about an old man who made his living from fishing, and he went to sea in a cold, storming winter night. He got a big fish after hard work, however, a few sharks wanted that fish as his food as well. Those sharks began trying to get every bit of meat off the fish. After a few days spent on the sea, the old man lost almost all meat off the fish. He was so angry that he finally beat the sharks. In my opinion, the author wrote this story to encourage people to fight against the evil force. Generally speaking, it did work for me. The old man never gave up although there were so many sharks and he knew he could not really keep his fish from them. I would give a 4.5 out of 5.
- @Lize of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 25, 2017

The Old Man and the Sea is a great introduction for those wanting to explore the unique style of Hemingway's works, concise/ straight to the point. The book is not lenghty at all and explores very relatable, universal human struggles through the focus of on an elder fisherman, and because of that I would recommend to any age group.

Hemingway writes a classic fable illustrating the characteristics of manhood. He draws vivid pictures of abstract traits such as willpower and responsibility while pondering man’s place within nature even as he seeks, at times, to dominate it. Ultimately our greatest struggle is our final one.

Aug 18, 2016

An easy read for a classic and not like Life of Pi or other water survival stories-this is more about the fisherman and the fish he he feels about it and how sad he is about it by the end.

Aug 04, 2016

This book is an old(but not very old book) in China. I read it in Chinese and English.I Like this book. because it have a lot of feelings in it, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. This book also did not really( happy but not very very happy, sad but not very very very sad.) I like this book have another reason : this book's setting, characters, everyday's whether is amazing too.

May 28, 2016

Ernest Hemingway published his novella THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA in 1952, but it still reads well today, owing to that terse style that won him many a prestigious award. I'm not a big fan of fishing and that kind of lifestyle, so reading this one was a bit of a trudge. However, the book was short, so I'd be damned if I wasn't going to see it through. Which is kind of the point of THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA. Thematically and symbolically, the book is a goldmine. First, it deals with life as an endurance test, overcoming obstacles. (DiMaggio's bone spur, anyone?) If you don't catch a fish for months, the other fisherman deem you too old to be in the game any longer. But the human spirit can defy these declarations. He is not just the "old man," but rather the great fisherman and arm-wrestling champion Santiago, and he aims to conquer the age discrimination against him by capturing a truly great fish in the sea. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA also describes the loneliness endured in this quest for survival, not just physical survival but the survival of one's dignity in the face of these judgments. Above all, though, perseverance is king, and Hemingway expertly demonstrates that, if at first you don't succeed, try again. You are never too old to do so. So, while I didn't like the book all that much, its brevity was a plus, and it can be interpreted widely and greatly. I wouldn't recommend it, but if any of the above interests you, then maybe it's the book for you.

Apr 20, 2016

Penned by Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea is a classic that trails the courage of an old man as he struggles to catch a fish in the sea. After eighty-four days without a catch, the old man goes far out into the Gulf Stream. When a marlin is caught on his line, the old man is elated; he does not know that the ordeal is yet to begin. Despite his old age and wearing strength, the old man overcomes natural obstacles with admirable spirit throughout his course. It is the old man’s unwavering determination that allows him to endure constant physical pain while not accepting defeat. Although the story is fairly short, it conveys important messages relating to bravery, pride, dignity, and persistence. The Old Man and the Sea is an inspirational piece of work and undoubtedly worth reading.
Rating: 5/5
- @VirtueofReading of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

The Old Man and the Sea was my first read by Ernest Hemingway and paved way for my love of his writing style which is concise yet so descriptive you could put a picture together in your head easily. This type of writing style allows one to be completely submerged into a novel and especially since this one is only 126 pages long, don't be surprised if you have trouble putting it down. The novel follows a relentless old Cuban fisherman in his journey of becoming triumphant after a long streak of haplessness. If you are looking for a positive and motivational novel which encourages courage in the face of defeat this might be exactly what you're looking for. Overall Hemingway's novel is  adventure packed with suspense and unexpected turns, I promise it will leave you philosophically questioning what you just read. This book is especially recommended for beginner readers, or younger people, or those who are interested in reading other novels by Hemingway.
- @magicsoup of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

A short read, this book packs in a lot of detail that is overlooked by its tiny size. It is about (generally) the struggle between an old fisherman and a large fish. There are many large lessons that can be learned from the smallest of acts, shown through the old man. The detail is multitudinous and the plot is fairly easy to follow. It kind of bored me at parts, and I feel that if I liked fishing more, I would relate to the story in a lot more ways. But truthfully, one shouldn't have to like the sport of fishing to like the book, just have a well-developed insight on bigger pictures. 3/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 classic and his last book may appear to be a story of an old man pursuing a fish across the ocean, but there is so much more to it than the just the story itself. I couldn’t put it down. There is so much to get out of it, and depending on who you are you will get different messages. There are so many themes and morals to be learned in this tale of determination, companionship, and respect. It’s also a quick read, if that’s what you’re looking for. It takes no more than a couple of hours to get through the whole thing, and it’s compelling enough that, should you wish, you can read it all in one sitting. It’s truly a beautiful story not just of a man and his fish, but of a tangible dream.
- @freckleface675 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Feb 21, 2016

For anyone interested in getting into Hemingway, there is no better place than "The Old Man and the Sea". It's short enough to finish in one sitting and packs a big enough punch to leave you thinking about it for some time after. Like most other Hemingway books its the ending that makes you question what you've just read. While you are looking for a nice ribbon to tie around the end of the book, Hemingway is busy puling the rug out from under you. It's these unconventional climaxes that make you total reevaluate and question what you have just read bringing new meaning and significance to previously unsuspected details. For someone looking for a more mature and complex introduction to the author, I would also recommend his short story "Hills like white elephants".

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May 29, 2016

trevordunfordswife thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Nov 05, 2013

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Dec 01, 2012

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Aug 08, 2012

Jian Feng Wang thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 99


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siammarino Apr 24, 2016

an incredibly courageous old man hooks a swordfish while fishing alone, but must battle sharks all the way home. There is little left of the fish by the time arrives exhausted and dehydrated, but at least his young friend is there to comfort him.

FavouriteFiction Sep 30, 2009

An old Cuban fisherman faces the battle of his life when he goes against a fantastic marlin.


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Oct 01, 2016

"'But a man is not made for defeat', he said. 'A man can be destroyed but not defeated.'"


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