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Old Man and the Sea
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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews(2 star). See all 636 reviews
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
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 11, 2002
For many, the thought of Ernest Hemmingway brings to mind a great author and a great read. For me, it is another story. I find his writing extremely boring and predictable. To think that this book, The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize makes the thought of writing a great read very simple. The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemmingway is a very bland and boring read without enough excitement to keep the reader captivated.
The plot of the story begins with persistence and results in defeat. For example, Santiago is an old man, yet a very persistent one staying out at sea for over eighty-five days without the luck of catching a fish. From this, Santiago learns that only sometimes does persistence pay off. Going out to sea everyday with the hope of being lucky, I think Santiago deserves to catch an award winning fish. Furthermore, this man vs. fate conflict arises when Santiago goes out to sea to catch another fish. Excited by his success, he heads home reaching the only thing that unknowingly stands in his way-fate. Fate is very different for everyone, but cruel to Santiago. He must feel that his luck came back to haunt him as fate begins to set in. While Santiago tries so hard to accomplish his goal, he loses control of the fate that he regretfully must overcome.
Santiago is very persistent and I can relate in many ways, but I still see the book as a lack of originality in a short story. For instance, Santiago works so hard for those eighty-five days to catch a fish and never gives up, but is still let down. I have been in many situations where there was a need for persistence and I know how he felt when he was let down. Many people of every day life need persistence when competing against another as Santiago was with fate. Furthermore, this book is simple and without detail. The repetition left me bored and I did not want to turn the page because I knew it was only going to get worse. Toward the end of the book, I felt it was too predictable and I felt there was no need to read the ending; for I already knew what would happen. Being able to relate somewhat to parts of the story made it better, yet it still lacked the complex plot and intense detail that I would have expected, knowing that it won the Pulitzer Prize.
As Ernest Hemmingway's short story, The Old Man and the Sea leaves others excited and completely captivated, I sat there and as I turned the last page, I closed the book with enthusiasm; not the enthusiasm one would think when finished with a book. I was extremely relieved that at last, the end was here. I already knew how it would end and felt it was incredibly boring for a writer who has given himself such a great name. I would definitely not recommend this book to any readers who needs detail and enthusiasm to turn the page.
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on March 11, 2002
Spending four days at sea can be very boring; reading about it can be even worse. When I read The Old Man and the Sea I wasn't just completely bored I was also very confused and the story was unclear. The book The Old Man and the Sea is about an old man Santiago who is out at sea to catch a big fish. He hasn't caught a single fish in 84 days and he thinks today is the day. The young boy Manolin is Santiago's friend who he has known since he was five. They use to fish together but Manolin's parents said he had to go to a lucky boat. As the story gets going Santiago hooks a fish and struggles to keep it. Finally the fish jumps and he kills it. The plot was all right but it just didn't keep your interest.
Fishing, fishing, and more fishing, that is all The Old Man and the Sea is about. It doesn't keep your interest at all. For example, it rambles on and on about nothing when Santiago is talking. If the story didn't ramble on about a couple things the book would be more interesting and easier to read. It seems like Ernest Hemingway didn't have anything else to say when he keeps rambling on! Besides, the story is to slow to make you want to read more. The main point of writing a book is to make people want to read it. Well, this book does none of that. Not only do you not want to finish The Old Man and the Sea you want to throw it away while you're at it. When the reader is finished with this book they will ask themselves one question, why did I read this book? If the book isn't interesting there is no need to read it.
The worst parts of The Old Man and the Sea are the beginning and the end. For instance, the reader doesn't get any information about Santiago except he is old, poor, and friends with a young boy Manolin. If the reader knew how he became poor or how he became friends with Manolin the story may make more sense. Not knowing about the beginning of Santiago's fishing makes you wonder how he even became a fisherman. In addition, the ending makes you wonder even more than the beginning does. The ending just stops, you have a little bit of an ending but you don't know what else happens. It just leaves you clueless, you don't know what happens. In the book The Old Man and the Sea the two most important parts are missing, the beginning and the end.
The Old Man and the Sea is very confusing, unclear, and boring. It isn't interesting and the beginning and end are practically missing. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who hates fishing or anyone who gets confused very easily because that is exactly what The Old Man and the Sea is about.
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on April 22, 1999
I read the old man at the sea. It wasn't a bad book; it was about this oldman at sea. He hasn't caught a fish in eighty-seven days. Then one day he goes out to sea, but he decides to go farther then usually. So he is fishing and he caught a good size fish but it's not good to eat. So he put that on the line and after awhile he gets a bit. Then finally the fish take the bate. It a big fish because it is pulling the boat. this goes on for days. It been about three days and old man is getting and he knows that the fish is getting tried because it going with the current. He finally caught the fish it is bigger then the boat. Then when he is taking it home the fish is bleeding and it starts to be attracted by sharks. The old man fought them off but they end up getting a bit. Then on the way home keep saying that he shouldn't have gone so far out. He also apologizes to the fish for that. Then when he gets home is nothing left of the fish. The old man is disoponeted and goes to bed. The other Fishermen are amazed of the size of the fish, and the old man lets them have of the bones they want.
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on May 30, 1999
I just have a brief comment on this so-called "legendary" American novel. It has been a while since i read the fun little book, so it might deserve a second glance. Nonetheless, i'd like to say that in my opinion, one should be able to remain awake during a "good" book. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case with Old Man And the Sea. Though it's symbolic references may be partially interesting, what is the use of a book if it can't even keep you awake or inspired. Simplicity may be able to be used to an advantage in some cases, but i found that in Old Man and the Sea, the attempt was a flailing and defeated one. I won't criticize Hemingway himself because i have yet to read his other novels, but i must say this was a particularly big dissapointment. Authors hitting closer to home to being "legendary" american novels would be Kerouac or even Fitzgerald.
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on March 29, 1999
Philip Pullman, my favorite author, once said that a lot of novels get so wrapped up in showing off beautiful writing that there's no story, and the story really should be the most important thing. I agree with him. This book seems like just an excuse for the author to explain his view of the world, and life, &c, &c., and the author forgets to put an interesting story in it. Luckily it doesn't get too boring because it's short. I also hate fishing, and I hated the author's writing style, which sounds like it's trying so hard to be simple and profound. The author also sounds snobbish and superior at times, and at other times like he's trying to show you, look at this character I've created, isn't he wonderful. For a novel with deep things to say and beautiful writing AND a great story, try Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.
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on July 23, 2002
This book is meaningless. It's pointless. It doesn't say anything about society, it doesn't bring up thoughts or opinions, it doesn't take a stand on any issue. It's a story about an old guy in a boat. This book was assigned to me, and I am now wondering why. Literature should have direction and goals it aims to accomplish when people read it. This is a randomly composed book about some old guy who goes fishing. Maybe if this book was set over the mans lifetime, and it described the trials and tribulations of his fishing as he ages, then it might be good. But the whole book was about one fishing trip. I don't suggest it unless you enjoy books that are essentially pointless. If you don't want to think, if you don't want to be inspired, if you are looking for something to read that won't give you any new opinions on anything, please read this book.
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on August 29, 1999
This is the first Hemingway I've read and I have to say that I was disapointed. I did like the scenes with the boy and the old man but that was about it! But when he is at sea for five days I got tired of reading it and wanted to stop the book. As one reviewer said, "The story line was dragged on...". That sums up exactly how I felt about the book. When I learned it won a Pulizer I was even more surpirsed. When I talked to other people they felt that he deserved a Pulizer for his other books and maybe they just gave him the Prize because they felt they needed to. I'm not sure and I'm probably wrong. To me, it seems that you either loved it, or hated it. I've talked to people who think this is the best book ever and I've talk to people who didn't like it at all.
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on June 27, 2002
Hemingway... Fish... Personally, when I read this book, I felt a bit seasick. I love novels of colors and flavors, novels with variety and awkward sentences. The Old Man and the Sea would certainly get an 800 on the SAT II, but, well, Shakespeare would've barely gotten the 200 for his name. Still not comprehending? Once upon a time, in all of our lives, we have had to take a course titled "grammar." If you enjoy simple sentences that get the point across quickly and bluntly, this book will by far exceed your greatest expectations. Hemingway is for the impatient readers. However, if you, like myself, love writing that is more poetic than 8th-grade-english-class, I would highly recommend reading a brief summary of the book and getting on with life.
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