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Islands in the Stream Paperback – Dec 10 1997

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Scribner PB Fic ed. edition (Dec 10 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684837870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684837871
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 971 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

9 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Ernest Hemingway did more to influence the style of English prose than any other writer of his time. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He died in 1961.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ernest Hemingway is my favorite author. It began by reading "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in a high school English class. The way he writes is his own. I have not read another that uses the same style Hemingway does. He is able to portray the lives of others in a way the allows the reader to understand them. I find his words to be quite similar to actual human experience. They are not romanticized or unreal.
This novel has three parts about Thomas Hudson. The first is the one I like the most. It starts out slow, but a fight and a deep fishing scene create excitement, and I couldn't put the novel down. Hemingway, a master of tragedy, creates another tragic ending. The second part is not the great, but not that bad. It deals with his life during the war and a reunion with his first wife. The third part reminds me off "For Whom the Bells Toll" because it seems more action packed than the rest of the novel. The first two parts are based on human interaction, while the third is a chase at sea for a German U-boat crew.
This is a great novel and I highly recommend it if you like Hemingway.
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Format: Paperback
The story is beautifully written, and it has a slow but steady pace. This story is composed of three short stories. It starts on the island of Bimini and progresses to Cuba and ends up chasing a U boat crew through the mangrove swamps off the coast of that island. The setting is very well developed and it was easy to picture the natural beauty depicted. The author probably wrote, in part, from his own experience. The story is slow but it has some action and adventure. The shark attack and fighting a thousand pound Marlin Swordfish are high points. I also liked the chasing of the U boat crew story.

The literal islands are allegories for the protagonist Thomas Hudson’s personal islands. In the case of Bimini the island is his family of four sons who come to visit and a couple of friends. On Cuba the island is Hudson’s family of cats. He is known as a man who loves cats. The literal stream is the gulfstream. It is a current in the ocean that brings danger in the form of sharks, a Marlin Swordfish and U boats. Fighting happens there and it is both beautiful and dangerous. It is an allegory for life, something akin to the river of life. It takes Hudson’s life. In the end the last words reveal that Hudson is an island onto himself. An introverted self focused man who likes to be alone. He misses the fact that he is loved by others. He doesn’t like women to be close, but he can’t live without them. He is the kind of man who entertains himself while alone.

This story was published after the author’s death so he didn’t have any input on the last draft. Given that, I didn’t really notice his pared down style or his economical use of words. I did notice his ability to say things without writing them as in the case of the death of Peters.
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Format: Paperback
_Islands in the Stream_ is my favorite novel by Ernest Hemingway. Like most of his works, the prose is relatively sparse but very readable and very entertaining. It is also one of his most definitive novels in terms of revealing his true thoughts on the subject of life, death, and tragedy. Some of this may not be obvious at the onset of the book; the most important events establishing the theme of this novel do not occur until later, culminating in a surprising and disturbing ending. Of course I will not reveal this ending, so I will give you a brief rundown of the initial setting and cast: The novel takes place on the Bimini Islands off the coast of Florida. The main character is a hard-drinking, hard-partying, womanizing landscape painter, the ideal Hemingway character. Also in typical Hemingway fashion, his seemingly idyllic and glamorous existence is marred by heartbreak and tragedy. There is action and suspense when the protagonist embarks on his WW-II era, anti-nazi submarine hunting missions off the coast of Cuba. But the ending is the definitive part of this work. It has much to say about Hemingway's spiritual beliefs, which is rare because much of his mysterious prose is very reserved in this regard. I highly recommend this book to both Hemingway fans and fans of literature in general.
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Format: Paperback
Before this book, my two favorite Hemingway novels of fiction were The Old Man And The Sea (in my top three of all time!) and The Sun Also Rises.
Not any longer. Let me tell you why.
Taken as a whole, Islands In The Stream is very good, but not great. Why? Because there are three different sections to the book. The first is what makes this novel shine. At around 200 pages, the first section is a novel within the novel, and, like others have said, it DOES contain the most exciting section concerning deep sea fishing ever written. That, along with a wonderful cast of characters, makes the first section one of the greatest pieces of fiction of all time.
The second section is good, but not great, and continues the trend of bad things happening to Thomas Hudson. The third section is even more of a downer, but is exciting because of the thrill of the hunt, as Hudson chases after a damaged German U-boat.
Again, I rate book one, Bimini, better than anything Hemingway has ever written, and book two and three mearly good Hemingway, which is good enough for me!
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