Having just missed one hundred books in the first year of The Book Challenge, in 2010, I made the full tonne. Still reading, but without the challenge, take a look at the reviews for the books that I have read this year.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Book 88 - The Old Man and the Sea

Book - The Old Man and the Sea
Author - Ernest Hemingway
Year - 1952
Genre - Classic

There are several authors who are quite rightly considered literary greats whose books I have never read.  Dickens, Austen, Hardy - I haven't read any of them, but now I can take Hemingway off of the list.

I have always thought of The Old Man and the Sea as being the most famous of his works, and so I thought it would be the best place to start.  It was the book that reignited his career, and is still studied by many, particularly in America where Hemingway is considered one of their finest writers.  It tells of an elderly Cuban fisherman who has gone eighty-four days without catching a fish, but is certain that the eighty-fifth day will be his lucky one.  And indeed it is, as he hooks the biggest fish of his life, but it then proceeds to drag him across the sea for several days and nights.

The story has plenty of wonderful themes running through it - that of the loneliness of the sea, and of old age, of the respect due to someone who has worked his whole life, and even towards the end of the book, of the difference evident when tourists visit - but it has been suggested that the whole book has a large Christian parallel running throughout.  That particular last one was not one that I massively picked up on however, as to me, it is a story about one man's dedication.  It is a lovely story, but certainly not the big classic I had expected it to be.  I would be more that happy however, on the back of this book, to read some more Hemingway, so I shall see what else I can tuck into.


1 comment:

  1. Good to see some Hemingway, mate. I read quite a bit last year when the Wench and I went to Key West.

    You have to respect anyone who, when his favourite bar moved around the corner, dragged an unrequired urinal all the way home through blistering heat for his cats to use as water fountain.