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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Donald Sutherland's & Old Man in the Sea create the ultimate audible experience. "It's poetry in motion.".
As a fan of Hemingway I had shied away from this story because I suspected that Hemingway was long past his prime when it was written and the Pulitzer a mercy prize.
I could not have been more wrong. The story is so compelling that later in the novella I often stopped the audio to absorb and visualize what had been said.
If you aren't sure that Hemingway is for you, Donald Sutherland's reading is perfection. He is an objective bystander with subtle nuance in his voice surrounding the Old Man's epic story. I have listend to many audibles and I can not envision a better voice or interpretation.
Hemingway is the old man, and the old man is Hemingway. There was nothing left for Hemingway to write after this story was complete. The sea was his writing and his struggle. Even if you have read the story, or read a lot of Hemingway listen as audible. Beautiful and perfect.
Donald Sutherland is perfect as the old man. His voice is soft and compelling. Hemingway builds into the boy and old man character and values that are so desirable, yet seem a thing of the past. I left the book wanting to be stronger (from the old man) and more compassionate (from the boy). I'm glad Audible put this on their Essential list!
You probably already know the story. Buy this one for the narration by Donald Sutherland. His tone of voice seems to me to be exactly the tone of the story. You will quickly be pulled into the story.