This is my favourite type of classic. It is an exciting and thoroughly believable story coupled with a great writing style and profound themes that really resonate. It`s full of action, suspense, hope, fear, love, caring, pride, humility, and insight. I was very impressed and my first thought when I finished the book was: `I have got to share this with my sons`.
I listened to this classic from start to finish uninterrupted on a long airplane flight. Doing that was a mistake, though. I was cheating myself. For a short book, there is a heck of a lot packed in and its messages are presented quite subtly. Without time to reflect on what I'd just read, I (rightly) suspected I'd missed quite a bit. So, the day after finishing it, I undertook a bit of research to see what themes I had missed. I`m glad I did and now have a much better appreciation of this fine novella. I suggest you do the same if you get a similar feeling when you finish it.
And --no surprise-- Donald Sutherland's narration is thoroughly enjoyable and worthy of this great book. At some points in the book it becomes mesmerizing.
Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.
A classic story brought to life by Sutherland's visceral tones. he does the book justice and I thoroughly enjoyed his skills as a story-teller. He actually became the old man!! Well done
This was my first time listening to a classic on audible and I really enjoyed it. Man vs the Sea. I loved hearing how much respect this old man had for the sea and the creatures in it. It was mostly a man thinking to himself, alone, out on the open sea, trying to catch the biggest fish of his life. I doubt I would have been able to get through this book but Donald Sutherland kept my interest. I was glad I listened to it.
No, I just didn't care for it. It's okay but there are so many good books out there I wouldn't bother with this.
Slouching towards Bethlehem.
Tired, Lacking emotion. As an actor, he has a great voice and is very easy to listen to. But his staccato delivery may be correct for the old man character, but I increasingly found it dull.
No. Just a sad story.
I have tried a few Hemingway books and I'm just not a fan. I always feel like I am missing something. His short choppy sentences distract me.
This is a modern classic I always wanted to experience. The stark language and biblical simplicity of the book is quite haunting. Some have criticized the book as being too obvious. However, I see this as Hemingway's tool for creating the overall tone. Some have speculated that the sharks Santiago faces in the book is Hemingway's metaphor of the relationship between himself and the literary critics. Who knows? In any case Donald Sutherland was a great narrator. I was very happy with this purchase
Moving further from work extended my daily commute... thank God for Audible.
This was the worst audiobook narration I’ve ever heard. I can only guess Sutherland was attempting to embody the exhaustion of the beaten-down, resilient old fisherman. But honestly, he sounded as bored and tired as I felt. There were entire passages I could barely understand because of the mumbly, comatose, fatigued delivery. It was so bad it was borderline comical.
The saving grace is that the story is mercifully short – knowing it was going to end quickly was the only thing that kept me listening.
As for the narrative itself, this was my first encounter with “The Old Man…”, and I’m so disappointed it was under these circumstances.
During the reading I couldn’t find anything in the story that captured me. It was sparse and repetitive and – I hate to say it – boring. The emotional punch doesn’t come until the very, very end. And at that moment I could barely muster any response other than relief (that it was over) and bafflement (that this is considered a classic).
But I like to allow a few days or a week before reviewing… to allow the text space to have its impact. I’ve found myself lingering on the mundane tragedy of the old man and the gentle broken heartedness of the young boy. And I’m ruminating on the old man’s tender acceptance of life’s harsh realities.
These post-reading thoughts are making this a terribly difficult book to review. How can I want to re-experience something I didn’t enjoy at all? So maybe that’s why this qualifies as a classic?!
I will most likely reread the book (as text not audio), and may possibly have a different opinion after Round 2. But in the meantime, I’m giving my honest response to a first-time exposure. My three-star review is intended to represent the awful experience during, and the delayed emotional punch that came after.
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
I read this years ago, and forgot much of it. I remembered the fight against the fish, but not that the story is also about man trying to make it in society, and understanding himself.
The brutality of Santiago fighting against the 18' marlin for his survival had a nobility to it. The detail was incredible - the tension when he first hooks the fish, how he physically and spiritually sustains himself during the battle only to be defeated by sharks.
I loved the old man's relationship with the boy, and was surprised and amused by their mutual love of DiMaggio and baseball.
Sutherland's narration was wonderful - it made me slow down and really feel the language and get caught up in it.
Perserverance, Strength, and Inspiration.
The Old Man is the focus of the story. You connect with his pain and struggle and want to be able to take over the ropes for him for a little bit if you could.
His voice was so lulling yet dramatic. He was so perfect for this book. I loved this book before listening to it, but after hearing Donald Sutherland read it, I love it even more.
It is definitely one you can listen to in one sitting, becasue of its length and interest. I would listen to it again as well for a quick yet powerful read.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Hemingway pretty much invented the technique of writing about one thing while the words are talking about something else. This is Hemingway at the peak of his ability and the height of his own experience of life. It comes about as close to perfection as any prose work has a right to in this world. Having Donald Sutherland read it is just an extra bonus.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
After all these decades, the story is still engaging and relevant. This was brought home to me because I listened to the re-telling with my 13 year old son whilst driving to our Easter vacation spot. He and I both enjoyed the tale and it provoked discussion and analysis in a very satisfying way. It's difficult to say much more about the content. Simply excellent!
As for the narration, I feel a bit of a Scrooge. I think Sutherland's accent enhanced the telling, but my son found it hard to hear. I think the cadence was not a common one for him and it probably detracted from the overall impact. For my part, I like Sutherland's accent so the Irish/Cuban discord did not jar with me. To be fair, I would have given it a 3.5 if I could have.