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3.9 out of 5 stars
Old Man and the Sea
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on June 6, 2002
This is part of my -- required -- summer reading. And if I didn't have to I wouldn't have read it, so I'm not recommending it. It is part of the required summer reading list for English Honors, and this, among other classics, makes the rest of this required summer reading not look good.
Yes, nice story, nice characters ... yada yada. About a simple man who goes out to sea to catch a fish that ends up dragging him out ... everyone has heard the story. But still everyone has to read it anyway. Why do they call this a classic? I have yet to understand classics, why they call them classics, and why the heck we have to read them. Classics novels are just one of the reasons high school is overrated.
A large percentage of people think this book is incredibly boring, (and oh they have reason!), and I think I have an answer to why ... (as if they are not clear enough). There IS NO CONFLICT. Oh yes, you could say that the problem is the fish dragging him out to sea, but that is nothing. Most books, (or shall I say "most GOOD books") have a conflict in which the characters and grow and change around the problem. By the end of the book they have different personality traits and they've had vast character changes. But in this book, (just as in THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, another boring classic I had to read this summer), the main character doesn't change at all throughout the entire story.
This gets two stars, because I am sure there is some hidden meaning or emotion or purpose to this book that I have missed. Maybe everyone loves this book and it is called a classic and we are forced to read it for a reason ... or, most likely, not.
If you would like to hear a character, (surrounded by simple and bland characters just like him), reflect upon simple things as a fish drags him out to sea, please read this book. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ SOMETHING WITH DEPTH AND MEANING, PLEASE READ ANY OTHER BOOK. Thank you and enjoy your reading experience.
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on March 13, 2002
... Isn't it great to be swept away into the thrill of the adventure in a story? I love that too, but that's not the experience I had when reading The Old Man and the Sea. Even this story's title lacks excitement! But the title really says it all. It's about an old man ... on the sea. I was expecting a little more from a book that won an award. It's not what I had anticipated. I was hoping to feel the sensation of the open sea snatch me away from the real world and drop me into a wet wonderland, but instead I ended up being taken to the land of slumber. The Old Man and the Sea needs more action.
From reading this book, I have come to find that The Old Man and the Sea has no point. For instance, half the book's dialogue is Santiago, the main character, talking to himself or the fish. A one sided conversation is like talking to a wall or in this case, it's talking to a fish. Conversations are interesting because people get to express their opinions; it's boring to read about an old man rambling on about his problems. What makes a story exciting is the adventure the main character has. Additionally, while having those '' fish conversations'' Santiago is just sitting in a boat. While he bobs up and down on the waves like a log on the sea, not much action is taking place. This book lacks the intensity that is essential to keep readers hooked.
Because I did not see the point of this story, I was not satisfied with The Old Man and the Sea. There is no stimulation when reading this book. The thrill of a book is like frosting on a cake, it's what makes it so good! For example, when I got to the middle of the story, I almost fell asleep! Additionally, I never felt a connection with any of the characters. It's important to know the characters to understand how they feel in different situations. If the readers can't make a connection then it's like being excluded from a group.
I wouldn't recommend this book to any one who likes to actually stay awake when reading. This book was very bland and boring. The reason for reading is to experience things you can't otherwise do in your own life. People know what it's like to be board. The Old Man and the Sea just isn't anything new.
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on March 13, 2002
Agonizing. This describes my emotions while reading Ernest Hemmingway's The Old Man and the Sea. Although it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, it reeks with dreadful writing. The protagonist is Santiago, an old, unlucky fisherman. After suffering through over 80 days without a catch, he captures the largest fish on record. It becomes a great struggle to make it home with the fish and his life. A simple story it is, but not nearly as simple as Santiago's character. Not to mention the dreadful manner in which the book was written. The Old Man and the Sea is a plain book, especially with the old man as the main character.

Hemmingway didn't invent any complex characters; nor did he create an original one. Most men have several attributes and flaws that make them who they are, but this isn't evident in the Hemmingway tale. For instance, Santiago spends the majority of his time fishing and he does this near flawlessly. A character needs to be more complex. No man is perfect and no man spends all of his time doing one thing. Likewise, Ernest Hemmingway was a fisherman himself. He didn't produce his own unique character. He only borrowed some aspects of his own life and threw them upon Santiago. Therefore, Santiago is a basic version of Hemmingway. His writing demonstrates the same simplicity.
The so-called style of The Old Man and the Sea is merely a poor model of exceptional literature. Through the words of Hemmingway, I am left uninspired and my imagination is not satisfied. For example, a sentence from his book reads, "It is strange" (84). Believe it or not, this is an entire sentence from the book. Reading this is like staring at a blank wall. There is no creativity present and it leaves a person feeling like the wall...empty. On top of that lackluster sentence, the book uses little figurative language. All decent works are coated with artistic similes, metaphors, hyperboles, and personifications. In Hemmingway's novel, finding such writing is like looking for Waldo in a sea of red and white stripes. All in all, nothing inventive was used when composing The Old Man and the Sea.
One would expect a Pulitzer Prize winning story to be a fascinating account, bursting with creativity. However, The Old Man and the Sea is better suited as an inadequate example of literature. Considering a horrible lead character and the dull manner of the book, Hemmingway does not deserve such a great honor for such a bad book. On the next visit to the library, make sure The Old Man and the Sea is as far away as possible.
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on March 13, 2002
The review of The Old Man and the Sea
Ernest Hemmingway is a great author but he is a little slow. He used his characters quite a bit, almost too much; it made the book drag on and on and on. But he also showed his emotions very well, you could tell that he had experienced fishing before. The Old Man and the Sea is a vivid yet boring book that has a good story.
I didn't like this book because of how Hemmingway had Santiago talk so much, and the book had no action. For example, the entire book was Santiago talking to himself, this kept me from getting into the book. If he explained more about the conflict or added action, the book could have been a great one. I don't think Hemmingway could have written a more boring story. In addition, there was no action up until the end, before it's just Santiago speaking to himself. If Hemmingway had a good rising action in this book it could have been a more exciting book because you anticipate the ending. It also seemed like Santiago kept repeating the same exact schedule making me want to put the book down. Because the book was fairly boring not too many people would get into the book and know what they read 5 minutes ago.
Hemmingway also used a lot of detail making you feel inside the book along with a lot of info. For instance, every fact Santiago states Hemmingway gave you a descriptive and good explanation to it. I think this may have helped the book out by creating a good picture in your head. Along with giving you a lot of information so you can predict what will happen next. Additionally, Hemmingway made you feel you could feel what Santiago feels. With all of the detail and descriptive wording it gave you a touch of emotion and a feeling that Santiago may be feeling. Also Ernest let you know he knew what he was talking about by giving you so much information. For these reasons I would recommend this book to adults and not children.
If Hemmingway didn't use Santiago as a source of speaking so much this book could have been great. Because he did and I wouldn't recommend this book to many people except for adults. Though, I did like how he showed his emotions through his writing making the reader feel involved. All in all this entire book isn't for kids and it isn't for someone who wants action or a good story to pump them up, it's for someone who is very emotional and likes slow stories.
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on March 13, 2002
The Old Man and the Sea
An old man goes on an exciting adventure of catching a marlin. The book, The Old Man and the Sea had a good plot but didn't have any good details to keep you interested in the story. I found myself dozing off while trying to read this book. Hemingway does do a good job at connecting the main character (Santiago) to himself.
Overall the book is a good story but lacking in interesting details which would have made the book a lot better.
Hemingway's writing style is good for adults and old people, but most kids would not find this book enjoyable. However, he uses simple words to make his book easy to read (about a 6th grade reading level). It also seems like hes got massive run on sentences that go on forever. His word choice is boring and puts me to sleep, for example: When Santiago attacks the sharks; he should have referred to them as something like blood-thirsty beast like mutants, instead of the plain boring "sharks." On the on the other hand, story has a good plot and his story is sort of based upon his own life. The character Santiago is similar to Ernest Hemingway in that their both old fishermen and have similar personality traits. Santiago is faced with his biggest enemy, "bad luck" (which reflects upon his own life) and that he must over come it by catching a giant marlin in order to feel that he has succeeded in his goal. book is nothing without exciting details.
The plot in the book starts out where Santiago is in a fishing slump and is desperate for a big fish. Although, he has bad luck, Santiago is determined to catch a giant marlin in the struggle between man vs. fate. Santiago is very persistent in pursuing his goal but has mental problems. Since he has no friends he talks to the sea. He faces many hardships when at sea like the ferocious sharks which almost kill him. In addition, Santiago finds and hooks a giant marlin but it is very strong and
puts up a good fight. Since he has problems, Santiago talks to fish and I even think he became friends with the marlin as he was struggling to capture it. Santiago did not have to go on a possible suicidal mission to catch a dumb fish. Throughout this book, Hemingway had great ideas but no interesting details to add which made this boring
And hard to read.
If I were to rate this book out of 10 it would get a 2. It may be a good book for old people who like boring books, but I hated this book. It is trash, I don't know how this book won the Pulitzer Prize. Going on a fishing trip to catch a big fish, just doesn't catch my interest. I would not recommend this book to anyone under the age of 30.
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on March 13, 2002
Some people think of Ernest Hemingway as an outstanding writer of great imagination and creativity. But I think the exact opposite. I find his writing very dull and confusing. That's why I am simply puzzled at knowing that this book won the Pulitzer Prize.
Fishing is not what most people would like to read about, even though that is the plot of the book. The main character, Santiago, is considered an unlucky fisherman. His Salaoness (is what they call it) has made him not catch a fish for 84 straight days! He does not want to live life like that so he decides to set out on a journey. A journey that he will never forget and never give up on. That's why this brings me to something that I can relate to. Persistence is the main key word here. Santiago doesn't give up when he can't catch a fish. I can relate to that on many ways because I am also a very persistent person! If I give up at something I will regret it for a very long time!
Speaking of regretting, I regret reading this book! It wasn't a book that I enjoyed. Its dullness really made it hard to concentrate. It was hard to follow and confusing to read. I feel that the author should have made the plot more exciting and have some more adventure in it. That's why I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who has a lower level of reading. I would say that a person from the ages of 14 or above would do well reading this. It uses larger words which would make it a little hard for younger readers to comprehend.
The book The Old Man and the Sea was a very unusual book. It was many mysteries that you will have to find out when you read it. I am sure that anyone interested in this topic would enjoy it a lot! So get on your marks, get set, and read!
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on March 13, 2002
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA
For me and probably many other people, Ernest Hemmingway brings the thought of a great writer, one who won the Pulitzer Prize for his ability and talent to write stories. However, after reading his short story The Old Man and the Sea I have yet many doubts. The Old Man and the Sea is a simple worded short story that lacks in the ability to captivate its audience.
The plot of the story begins with a persistent man, who has one thing on his mind, fish, but in the end the persistence is replaced with defeat. For instance, Santiago had been fishing persistently for eighty-five days without catching a single fish. To me persistence means pushing on towards your goal and not giving up easily, Santiago took this to a new level. It ended up being the persistent attitude that defeated him in the end. Although, Santiago had persistence, many people believed he had bad luck. An example of this is when he came back from an eighty-five day fishing trip without a single fish. Many times during the book it seemed impossible that Santiago has bad luck, but in the end it prevailed. So although Santiago is a persistent man who knows the concept of never giving up, his bad luck catches up top him in the end.
This book is not a book that grabs hold of your attention, and leaves every word dripping with excitement. For example, Hemmingway's style is concise and uncluttered but not elaborate. This was not a book I enjoyed, not because it was simple, but because it wasn't exciting. I think someone who enjoys short stories, and the adventures of sea would enjoy this book more then someone like me who likes mysteries. In addition, to not being exciting, it is also choppy. There are many sentences that don't flow, or that don't grab your attention. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a good book. I might recommend it to a person who wants to study a concise, uncluttered, simple worded book. In conclusion, I think this book was written for style and not excitement. It was a simple book, which made it easy to read and understand, but was not a book that captured my attention.
After reading The Old Man and the Sea, it made me think why was this man known as a great writer? I also thought about the way Hemmingway described Santiago, and how well he portrayed the life of a fisherman, and all the different struggles that one might go through in order to make a living. I know now why Hemmingway won the Pulitzer Prize. It was because he had an amazing way of describing a life, much like Santiago's and though his books may be simple and not filled with as much excitement as other books, he has the amazing ability of taking someone like a fisherman, and making a story out of their simple, lives somewhat interesting. So even though I most likely would not read this book again, and I most certainty wouldn't recommend it to someone, I still have a great deal of respect for Hemmingway's ability to portray a life.
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on March 13, 2002
A Boring Book
Ernest Hemmingway has a very unique writing style. He has bland word choice and his stories move slowly, it almost seems like he is trying to make the reader fall asleep. These descriptions of his writing are shown quite a bit in The Old Man and The Sea. The Old Man and The Sea is a boring book!
Bland word choice fills the pages of The Old Man and The Sea. For example, "Eat them good now and then there is the tuna." Hemmingway lacks the words to catch the reader's attention. This causes the reader to get tired of the story and drift into other thoughts. For instance, "But I will kill you dead before this day ends." That sentence is filled with clutter. Hemmingway made that sentence complicated. Simplifying the sentence would make it easier to understand. If Hemmingway used less clutter in the book the number of pages would be cut in half.
The Old Man and The Sea is a highly predictable book. The Old Man and The Sea lets the reader always see what is going to happen next in the book. In addition, "The shark was not an accident." Throughout the entire story the readers have a sense that what is happening to Santiago is too good to be true. Don't watch the biography of Ernest Hemmingway before reading The Old Man and The Sea. The show gives away the ending of the story. That is no loss because there was no suspense in the book anyway. When you already know the ending of a story it ruins the rest of the book.
To sum it all up, "The old Man was dreaming about the lions." The ending was the same as what happened early in the book. Hemmingway's writing style in The Old Man and The Sea was very predictable and contained bland word choice and clutter. The Old Man and The Sea was a very boring book!
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on March 13, 2002
Old Man and The Sea Book Review
The book, Old Man and The Sea, is about a fisherman named Santiago, Who hasn't caught a fish in eighty-five days. When he comes upon the biggest marlin he has ever faced. Who will pull who in? Hemingway's book is good, but it is repetitive with boring topics, and needs to summarize. As a result it made the book slow moving.
Hemingway's way of writing slowed the book's movement down. For example, Hemmingway goes on about topics that don't entice the reader. Using topics that bore the reader doesn't move the story along, does it? Topics are important to readers and using boring and unwanted topics push readers away. In addition, the way Hemingway wrote of people talking, "the old man said", is to repetitive and thus slowing the story down. "The old man said" is ok if the writer uses other more descriptive words for the character's dialogue. Repetitiveness and boring topics are only half of what makes the story slow moving.
Hemingway spends too much time on topics that don't concern the story. For example, Hemingway spends takes forty-five pages on Santiago catching the same fish. There is no need to use forty-five pages to catch one fish. Who needs to know all the little details of what goes on in Santiago's head? In addition, he also took eight pages for Santiago to climb up to his shack, fall asleep, and then Mandolin to get him coffee. I could write that in at the most four pages, and deliver the same information. Eight pages are too much for what had happened. Summarizing is something Hemingway needs to learn.
Hemingway's book is good, don't get me wrong, but it is too slow. He takes too long to write something so simple. From what I read of Santiago, he needs to see a shrink (Santiago). Hemingway is a good writer, but still needs some work.
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on March 13, 2002
The Old Man and the Sea Book Review
ZZZZ....That was the sound I heard when my class read the book, The Old Man and the Sea. I found it to be boring and not suspenseful. Also, I think Ernest Hemingway intended his book for older readers and I feel the ending needs something more. All in all I did not like The Old Man and the Sea.
The book was not interesting and suspense is much needed. For example, "The myriad flecks of the plankton were annulled now by the high sun and it was only the great deep prisms in the blue water that the old man saw now with his lines going straight down into the water that was a mile deep." (40) This quote and many others like it made me yawn uncontrollably. Interesting books don't make readers yawn. In addition to being boring it didn't leave me wanting more. For instance, "It was quite light and any moment now the sun would rise." (32) Where is the suspense? All stories need suspense to keep the reader involved. A good book is a book a reader doesn't want to put down. Therefore the book is not one I would recommend to others.
The Old Man and the Sea was intended for older audiences and the ending needs to have some changes. For example, Santiago is at sea and then BAM he is home again, the end. The ending needs more content and it ought to explain what happens after Santiago returns. It leaves the reader wondering and lost. Also, the tone of this book wasn't written for junior high students to read. The book is sophisticated and most teenagers today are not into such sophisticated writing. I being a teenage reader makes me of all people understand this. In conclusion, most teenagers are not interested in this book and the ending needs to have some changes made.
Even though Ernest Hemingway is one of the great American writers of all time this book is not one of his best. I found The Old Man and the Sea to be boring, without suspense, written for an older audience, and the ending needs to be different. In my opinion I didn't like The Old Man and the Sea.
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