HEMINGWAY, ERNEST: The Old Man and the Sea. London: Arrow Books, 2004.
“In a perfectly crafted story, which won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements in which he lives.”
This is one of the few books I didn’t buy myself, but a friend gave it to me [hidden message: if you ever want to give me a present, make it a book]. Strongly as she tried, she couldn’t go past the first pages. My brother is reading it now in Spanish and he’s hating it.
The thing about this book is that it’s a 100-page description of a man fishing a big swordfish. The old fisherman goes into the sea on his own longing for some great fish to appear after weeks without fishing anything. He’s lucky and that fish appears and he struggles against it for scores of pages. The good part is that I learned a lot of sea and fishing words in English.
I must admit that what the old man does is not believable at all; some days barely eating or sleeping, holding a fish able to drag his boat with his hands… And the part with the sharks is just plain unrealistic. Let’s be honest, I only read it as part of my English training. I know it’s difficult to write a book like this, hence the Nobel Prize, but…