Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman, and his struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

”Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.”
My first experience with Ernest Hemingway and it wasn’t terrible... nor was it amazing. It just felt very middle of the road for me.

I’ll start with what I did like. Hemingway’s writing is so simple and to the point, yet he can convey quite a lot with so few words. I also greatly admired the old man himself (Santiago, not Hemingway lol) - his perseverance and strength is truly something to behold!

I had been doing some research after I finished and was a bit dismayed to find that Hemingway had said this story isn’t an allegory for anything. The old man is just an old man. The sea is just the sea... and so forth. However I find that I like it more when I interpret it a little deeper. So I’ll just pretend it means something...

In terms of the negatives... fishing isn’t really my forte. (Is that obvious?!) Terms were being used that I didn’t understand, and I find the act of fishing itself very boring. So it wasn’t always the most invigorating read - in this case, I was thankful it was short.

Overall, I’d say I liked it slightly more than I disliked it? But in no way does it put me off reading more Hemingway. I’ll definitely give him another chance! 3 stars.


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