The Old Man and the Sea

I’ve been putting this one off for a while, for two reasons. 1) It was $12 for 100 pages. I really didn’t want to spend that much money… I finally found it at a used book sale for $2! 2) I had this weird psychosis stuck in my head that I hated Earnest Hemingway’s writing style.

Turns out, I was mixing Hemingway with Faulkner! Ah, college does tend to blur together when you’re reading 500+ pages a week from 8 different texts.

Anyway, I do like Hemingway’s style, especially in The Old Man and the Sea. It’s simplistic, but Hemingway obviously put a lot of thought into each and every word, however few there may be. It’s like reading the very opposite of Shakespeare; no “No Fear” or Sparknotes needed here! The lack of needing a roadmap to get through each sentence left me able to understand and digest the themes and story presented.

The plot is simple: an old fisherman named Santiago is down on his luck, and after 85 days of returning without a catch, heads out once more to attempt to reel in a marlin. He finally hooks one, and spends the next three days fighting first to defeat the fish, and second to bring it back to shore while avoiding hungry sharks.

The ending, though not what I had expected after the epic battle between fish and man, was realistic and believable. What Santiago learned, both about himself and life, was far more valuable than the marlin, which didn’t quite end up as whole as Santiago!

I give the book an 8/10. It’s short, but entertaining and even a bit heartwarming. I think it took me about two hours to finish it. Definitely one I’d recommend for some light reading, or if you’re between reading two massive tomes. I, for one, am about to tackle Jane Eyre for the second time, clocking in at about 600 pages. Wish me luck! Though I love it so much I’m sure it won’t feel like work at all. Luck is still nice though.

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