The cadence, the style, the detail is Hemingway but alas something is missing from this cake and it fails to rise. I imagine that Hemingway wrote some of this to blow off steam or something. You just get the feeling that something is missing, or something isn't quite right.
The book isn't really a novel either. It's more like two weeks in this guys life followed by twenty years of nothing and then a lengthy discussion about a cat that some old guy has and finally I realize that it is the same man. At that point I quit the book which is something I rarely do, but cats? I can live without that torture.
Only the most ardent fans will find this worthwhile, and then not for it's quality but for its curiosity.
To be perfectly blunt, this is a turd.
I have read this book several times. And I have diminished eyesight, so I started listening.
The narration of this book couldn't be done any better....
Retired and loving every minute!
First time to read Hemingway. most enjoyable. If you get a chance you must visit his home in Key West. Having been there you so much more enjoyable his books.
I have to say that I am not too fond of audio books. I was a little hesitant to purchase this due to the price, but upon listening to it during a long spring break drive I found myself won over by Mr. Greenwood's voice and Hemingways simple, but profound dialogue. Ya the whole conch thing was a tad annoying, but that didn't take away from what I thought was money well spent. CD
Yes, it is so nuanced I am sure I missed a lot the first time.
I listened to this while I was sailing around Cuba. I literally felt like I was on the boat with Hemingway searching the tiny surrounding islands for the German sailors. The story felt so authentic and un apologetic for the way Hemingway lead his life. It made me feel sympathetic for him as a person and want to revisit his other lesser known works. It is written pretty raw, one gets a sense that Hemingway would have maybe edited down some of the chapters but it is this sense of rawness that make you feel like you are peaking at Hemingway's notes and glean a deeper appreciation of the way he thought about a story.
Greenwood does great job doing the different voices. It is very well produced and delightful to listen to.
I immediately made 4 people in my life listen to it and discuss it with me. They all loved it just as much as me and couldn't believe it isn't more well known.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Hemingway.
Bruce Greenwood delivers an amazing performance on an odd book. I struggled to finish this one, but couldn't give up on it. Every time I'd listen, I'd get drawn in by his brilliant descriptions and dialogue, and then get bored after an hour because it never seemed to go anywhere. That being said, I would still recommend it to anyone. There are several moments that invoked a deep emotional response in me, and isn't that what it's all about?
Islands in the Stream is a perfectly good novel, though no one would claim that is Hemingway's best. Bruce Greenwood's performance, however, made it hands down the best book I have listened to and brought it to life in a way that made it much more enjoyable than reading the book could have been. His ability to create different accents and voices for the various characters was impressive. I am disappointed that there are no other books he has read. If there is any slim chance that he might see this: Bruce Greenwood, audiobooks are your superpower and I implore you to do more!