To Have and Have Not Paperback – Mar 20 1996
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First things first: readers coming to To Have and Have Not after seeing the Bogart/Bacall film should be forewarned that about the only thing the two have in common is the title. The movie concerns a brave fishing-boat captain in World War II-era Martinique who aids the French Resistance, battles the Nazis, and gets the girl in the end. The novel concerns a broke fishing-boat captain who agrees to carry contraband between Cuba and Florida in order to feed his wife and daughters. Of the two, the novel is by far the darker, more complex work.
The first time we meet Harry Morgan, he is sitting in a Havana bar watching a gun battle raging out in the street. After seeing a Cuban get his head blown off with a Luger, Morgan reacts with typical Hemingway understatement: "I took a quick one out of the first bottle I saw open and I couldn't tell you yet what it was. The whole thing made me feel pretty bad." Still feeling bad, Harry heads out in his boat on a charter fishing expedition for which he is later stiffed by the client. With not even enough money to fill his gas tanks, he is forced to agree to smuggle some illegal Chinese for the mysterious Mr. Sing. From there it's just a small step to carrying liquor--a disastrous run that ends when Harry loses an arm and his boat. Once Harry gets mixed up in the brewing Cuban revolution, however, even those losses seem small compared to what's at stake now: his very life.
Hemingway tells most of this story in the third person, but, significantly, he brackets the whole with a section at the beginning told from Harry's perspective and a short, heart-wrenching chapter at the end narrated by his wife, Marie. In between there is adventure, danger, betrayal, and death, but this novel begins and ends with the tough and tender portrait of a man who plays the cards that are dealt him with courage and dignity, long after hope is gone. --Alix Wilber
From Library Journal
It's not often that this column gets to cite something by a truly classic author, but here it is: Hemingway's last work, written after he returned from his 1953 safari and edited by his son, Patrick, in time for this July's centennial celebration. Hemingway even stars in this "fictional memoir," running the safari camp in the absence of friend and lead hunter Pop even as hostile tribes gather to attack. But he still has time to sneak in an affair with an African girl. Along with this work, Scribner will publish three new hardcover editions of Hemingway classics: The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories (ISBN 0-684-86221-2. $25), Death in the Afternoon (ISBN 0-684-85922-X. $35), and To Have and Have Not (ISBN 0-684-85923-8. $25).
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an amazing story about a many who does what is necessary for the well-being of his family. SURVIVAL is a main theme throughout this novel - Harry Morgan does what is necessary for his family's survival; Marie Morgan also learns to survive when she loses her lover and provider. There is also a vivid contrast made between the "Haves" and "Have Nots" when Hemingway discusses how the wealthy yachtsmen are unable to overcome their petty financial troubles while the struggling and often impoverished Conchs of Key West seem to endure against all odds.
Reading this story has whet my appetite for more Hemingway and I am looking forward to spending time with some of his six-toed cats in Key West :-)!
Harry seemingly detests this life in the beginning of the narrative, but is somewhat forced into doing it.
It is amazing to see Harry, a man bound by duty to a life he doesn't want to lead, go down the dark dark path of destruction. The most amazing factor is how Harry appears to lose all his sense of ethics in a heartbeat.
Hemingway discusses one of his favorite themes, duty of man. Harry has the duty of providing for his wife and daughters and will do whatever it takes to provide for them.
Hemingways narrative reads like a series of flashbacks. Each time we see Harry he is in a new place in his decent to the abyss. He gets lower and lower each time. It all reads with a strong sense of predestination. It almost seems Harry is destined to walk this path... even though he wouldn't have chosen it initially. He didn't want to go in this direction. But he finds himself there and will do what he needs to do.
Harry seems so full of integrity at the beginning then begins to do all he can to make this lifestyle work no matter the end result. He seems driven to provide no matter what he has to do. It is almost a Machiavellian story. You have to feel for Harry and his wife. But Harry makes his choices and lives with them.
Read this book. It seems to be one of the darker Hemingway novels but it deifinitely satisfies! A great stroy and a sad story.
This was the time of the Great Depression. Harry Morgan has been bilked of his dues for a fishing charter out of Havana. Broke, he turns to smuggling - with its inevitable risks - in order to support his family while the author treats the reader to a simply told, suspenseful, and sometimes poignant morality tale. A tale with a rich share of characters ranging from down-and-out "rummies", Cuban revolutionaries, bar-owners, customs men, and an inevitably crooked lawyer, to the wealthy owners of luxury steam-yachts.
Interestingly if a little quirkily structured, the book is divided into three parts. The first is told in the first person, most of the remainder in the third. To Have And Have Not should be viewed as a product - as well as a story - of its time, particulary in respect of terminology that would be seen today as highly racist and derogatory. Not "Papa's" best work, but most assuredly a yarn that held this reader's attention throughout.
The book is not very similar to the Bogart movie with the same title. The protagonist, however, is named Harry Morgan and as in the film Harry is a fishing boat captain. His wife is named Marie which is the same name as that of the Lauren Bacall character in the movie. The plot of the book is very different and the mood throughout is dark and sombre - except for a few humorous interludes while Harry is drinking in a bar with wealthy tourists.
Hemingway begins the story using the first person before switching to the third person after five chapters. The effect of this technique causes some confusion but it does add an extra dimension to both Harry and the plot.
As a protagonist Harry is courageous but not very likeable. He at times appears to be just a desparate man who does not mind killing in order to make a decent living for his family.
TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT never rises to the level of Hemingway's more successful novels but it is still worth reading as an example of the author's writing during his early years in Cuba.
Most recent customer reviews
After watching the movie numerous times, I have to congratulate the screenwriters cause it's waaaay better than the book.Published 5 months ago by jimmy
Hemingway meets with my contrarian set of values. Like the hero in this story, many of us try to bluff our way through life, believing that counterintuition and dare are what it... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Ian Gordon Malcomson
This book brought me to tears. I'm not sure what else to say. There is something about how this man writes that moves me.Published on Jan. 3 2014 by Rhea Darch
This is definitely not one of Hemingway's better novels. It just dragged on & on.Published on Feb. 23 2004
Rough. Hard. Dirty. Physical. Tough. And also lyrical, simple, emotional, indelible. All characteristics of Hemingway's writing, all present in this book. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2003 by Patrick Shepherd
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a big Hemingway fan.
I remember a college professor saying that Fitzgerald would agonize over every word of his novels. Read more
I found To Have and Have Not to be the roughest of the Hemingway's works that I have read to date. The narrative is choppy, and the reader never really gets into the protoganist's... Read morePublished on March 15 2003 by Omar Siddique
This is the first book I have read where I think my age impacts my ability to appreciate it's depth. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2003 by Steven D. Ward