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The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea

Hardcover Published: 1st May 1995
ISBN: 9780812416329
Number Of Pages: 127

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The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works, the last piece of his fiction published while he was alive... 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 out 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 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Industry Reviews

'Hemingway has finally taken the decisive step in elevating what might be called his philosophy of Manhood to the level of a religion.' - Joseph Waldmeir

'The Old Man and the Sea is a beautiful tale, awash in the seasalt and sweat, bait and beer of the Havana coast. It tells a fundamental human truth: in a volatile world, from our first breath to our last wish, through triumphs and pitfalls both trivial and profound, what sustains us, ultimately, is hope.' - Russell Cunningham, Guardian

'His best. Time may show it to be the best single piece of any of us, I mean his and my contemporaries.' - William Faulkner

'Since they are admirable and Mr Hemingway admires them, the moral climate of The Old Man and the Sea is fresh and healthy and the old man's ordeal is moving.' - Orville Prescott, New York Times

He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. In the first forty days a boy had been with him. But after forty days without a fish the boy's parents had told him that the old man was now definitely and finally salao, which is the worst form of unlucky, and the boy had gone at their orders in another boat which caught three good fish the first week. It made the boy sad to see the old man come in each day with his skiff empty and he always went down to help him carry either the coiled lines or the gaff and harpoon and the sail that was furled around the mast. The sail was patched with flour sacks and, furled, it looked like the flag of permanent defeat.

The old man was thin and gaunt with deep wrinkles in the back of his neck. The brown blotches of the benevolent skin cancer the sun brings from its reflection on the tropic sea were on his cheeks. The blotches ran well down the sides of his face and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords. But none of these scars were fresh. They were as old as erosions in a fishless desert.

Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

"Santiago," the boy said to him as they climbed the bank from where the skiff was hauled up. "I could go with you again. We've made some money."

The old man had taught the boy to fish and the boy loved him.

ISBN: 9780812416329
ISBN-10: 0812416325
Audience: Teenager / Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 127
Published: 1st May 1995
Publisher: Perfection Learning
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 13.5  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.2

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Ernest Hemingway

About the Author


Ernest Hemingway was born in Chicago in 1899, the second of six children. In 1917, he joined the Kansas City Star as a cub reporter. The following year, he volunteered as an ambulance driver on the Italian front, where he was badly wounded but decorated for his services. He returned to America in 1919, and married in 1921.

In 1922, he reported on the Greco-Turkish war before resigning from journalism to devote himself to fiction. He settled in Paris, associating with other expatriates like Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein, a group Hemingway later dubbed the "Lost Generation". He was passionately involved with bullfighting, big-game hunting and deep-sea fishing. He covered the Spanish Civil War, inspiring his novel
For Whom The Bell Tolls, and was present during the liberation of Paris in 1945. Recognition of his position in contemporary literature came in 1954 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, following the publication of The Old Man and the Sea. He lived in Canada, Paris, Florida and Cuba before moving to Idaho where died in 1961.

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