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Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789382088301


About the author:
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was born in Oak Park, Illinois, started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. He wrote this book - The old man and the sea - in 1951 and got it published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction he published. This story was awarded Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.

This most acclaimed story from Hemingway centers on Santiago, an aging fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

My take on the book:
It is the shortest book - shorter than the 'Siddhartha' which I claimed be the shortest, before - I've read. And  probably, second of Pulitzer Prize winner - The Road by McCarthy being the first.

Heard a lot of praise about Hemingway and more about his writing. The latter half of the praise was true. The writing was as simple as it could get. There were many lines in the story to support that. Here is one of my favourite among those simple lines,

he watched the aeroplane until he could no longer see it

I can't recollect an instance when there was hard word and I had to refer the online dictionary to know the meaning. Of course, there were few fishes whose names I never heard. Apart the narration was filled with simple words and sentences.

Coming to the story, it wasn't so great a story. Most of it was about Old Man going nuts and all. There was a couple of times when I fell asleep reading it.

Best of all, I completed the book in one read!!

"Even when he[Hemingway] was ass-drunk, he was a freaking genius," Stephen King said. Maybe he wasn't talking about Hemingway's most famous work of fiction - this book. Maybe he was talking about the simplicity in the narration. Or Maybe he was referring to some other work of Hemingway.

Overall, the thought me a few things. Story was a bit boring but the narration, like I was always telling, the best and simple.

About the edition:
With the ISBN I have provided at the start of the review, I doubt you could find any book on any famous online sites. This edition was by an Indian publishers, Abhi books, who didn't even mention the details like when this book was first pulished and all, anywhere in the whole book. One edition I've found to be similar to my edition is with the ISBN, 9780099908401.

I recommend it to those who want to experience narration as its simplest best. Others, read it because it has earned someone a Nobel Prize but be aware, the story is considerably boring...


  1. 2.5 ? Are you serious ? You don't seem to like this genre. :-P

    1. Hey. Tell me specifically which genre does this book belong to? I can't think one.


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