Monday, February 2

Book Review: The Old Man and the Sea

Title: The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Pages: 127

Summary: 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 our 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 Noble Prize for literature.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I really enjoyed the book, it is, like the description of the book says a simple language, but it’s the story of the lonely, and perhaps somewhat crazy old man, that pulls you into the story. The reader gets to go on the adventure the old fisherman goes on, as the reader follows him and is agonizing attempts to finally catch the one big fish. Hemingway did a fantastic job at creating the emotions and the heartache the fisherman felt in his attempts, as well as creates a character, readers can easily fall in love with, because the character is determined and hopeful, no matter how many times he is beaten down. The ending is almost sad; I really wanted him to be able to bring his fish back.

Another aspect about the book I enjoyed is how well Hemingway captured the little details of Cuban life. A lot of minor things, such as the mention of baseball, a widely famous and loved sport in Cuba, was well put, and added character and soul to the unnamed old man. I wouldn’t have realized the importance of the sport to the Cuba, or any of the other little details Hemingway put in the book, if I hadn’t recently gone to Cuba, and leaned this. I was also able to go to the little restaurant Hemingway wrote this book in, seeing the picture of the old man, who inspired him to write the book. That made the book that much better. This is definitely a classic book, and a great way to introduce your self to Hemingway.

Would I recommend it to read: I would highly recommend this book! It is such a extraordinary example of a great literary work, which can teach the reader to never except defeat, to try for your personal goals, and losing the “big catch” isn’t everything. Although, I will wrong you, it isn’t action pack, and there will likely be a lot of people out there who would find the book boring, as almost the entire book takes place out on the sea, and the thoughts going through the old man’s head, as he tries to catch his fish, but at least give it a chance, and appreciate what you can take out of the story, once it’s finished.

What to read next: More books by Hemingway. Also the Black Tulip has some similar themes of determination in it, so that may also be a good place to start.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge. Casual Classics Challenge, New Author Challenge, RYOB Challenge


  1. This is one of those I know I will read someday, but I've been saying that for a long time! I think it's on one of my challenges this year.

  2. I too have wanted to read this book for awhile now, but have never gotten around to it. I may just have to change that! Thanks for the thoughtful review.

  3. I really liked reading The Old Man in the Sea a few years back. Plan to read more Hemingway this year. Nice Review.