The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – Book 64

My Grandpa Ben and I used to go fishing in the lake? canal? pond? in my grandparent’s old condo neighborhood.  I wasn’t some great fisherman (caught my finger on a hook at least once) but it’s a fun experience and a great memory I have of my grandfather and I from when I was younger before he passed away.

So to help with my A-Z Book Challenge, I picked up The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway.  It’s a short read and was written in the 1950’s, taking place in Cuba.  I had no idea it was so “modern” for classic literature.  I mean, Hemingway’s characters were discussing the Yankees baseball team and Joe DiMaggio.

Anyway, The Old Man and the Sea is a book about an older man who is having bad luck catching fish, but in general he’s a great fisherman.  One day after a long streak of no fish, he goes out alone, only to hook an enormous catch.

But will he be able to make it back to shore with the fish?  And will he make it alive?

This book was good, but seems to be right in the middle for me.  I thought the ending fell a little flat.  And the whole time I was reading, there were these little shark-killing episodes that had me thinking. . . oh no, Allison @ The Book Wheel would not like this (since she’s like a crazy anti-hurting-sharks person).

My overall thoughts?  If you need a short classic to read, this is a decent one.  I wasn’t thrilled, but mainly because the ending was a little too short for me.

Tell me about your fishing experience!

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44 thoughts on “The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – Book 64

  1. I haven’t read it, but it’s in my list; I want to try.
    About fishing, my grandfather was also a fisherman and I loved to have the trouts he caught for dinner!! I sometimes went with him, just to take a look, because I didn’t know how to fish, but I like it. I think that what he really liked was to spend the whole day in the riverside 🙂

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  2. Ahh I love this book! 😀 I also love fishing but I’m pretty terrible at it. But I always seem to catch a fish every time I try, even though I have no technique or anything. It often annoys friends who actually know how to fish, at which point I gently remind them it’s “about the journey, not the destination!” 😉

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      • I enjoy fishing for more reasons than catching fish. In some ways it is like a baseball game where there are periods of quiet inactivity with flurries of excited action.

        I enjoy the quiet inactivity as much as the flurry. The early morning quiet, the colors of dusk and dawn. The stillness and little sounds of birds, insects, and wildlife. The beauty of water.

        And if you go with a friend, there is as much reward in sharing silence as in conversation.

        And if you are a parent or grandparent sharing time with your child, it is a great experience and relaxed conversation.

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  3. The Old Man and the Sea is one of stories that has stayed with me. It is a simply told tale of a peasant fisherman but the story to me is much deeper in symbolic meaning.

    I loved the boy who loved and respected the old man and that they shared their love of baseball. Baseball being a game of chance, skill, and perserverance. It has its heroes.

    To me this pararells the old man’s story.

    The old man went out farther at sea, he reached too far perhaps, but he took the risk.

    But to me he was a hero. He fought to save himself, he endured and found inner strength and used his skills.

    He lost the physical contest but won the spiritual test.

    The story could be about a person battling cancer with shark being the cancer and eating away the body. The old man could be those heroic brave patients who battle their disease with bravery. It doesn’t matter that the battle might be lost, it’s the fight for life that counts.

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  4. I would like to point out that shark conservation is extremely important for our ecosystem and that 100 million sharks are killed every year by commercial fisheries, over 78 million of whom are violently killed only for their fins. For more information you can visit my About Me page for various links.

    That said, I am still going to read this book. I remember reading it many, many years ago but I read it for school and skimmed it for the answers to the questions we were assigned. I have it on audiobook, so I will probably listen to it, but I may end up reading it. We shall see!

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  5. I read this in high school and had a hard time seeing any deeper meaning to it other than it being just a story about a fisherman. Maybe I should read it again and see what I take away from it. Thanks for the post!

    Stop finning!

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  6. I think I haven’t experienced fishing. I know that living in an archipelago can put me in advantage, but I grew up in a city and didn’t have the opportunity catching those creatures. Anyway, I haven’t read this book though it is already in my list. I also have a copy.

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  7. I love your memories of fishing as a child. I used to go fishing with my dad when I was young. Never in a boat though, always at a lake. He would get terrible sea sickness. I also got a hook caught in my finger!! Once I caught 30 fish in one afternoon 🙂 My dad would hook the line with bait and I’d cast it in. It was glorious!

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  8. Pingback: January Mini-Reviews « Love at First Book

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