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Islands in the Stream Audiobook

Islands in the Stream

First published in 1970, nine years after Hemingway's death, this is the story of an artist and adventurer, a man much like Hemingway himself. Beginning in the 1930s, Islands in the Stream follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson, from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini through his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II. Hemingway is at his mature best in this beguiling tale.
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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1970, nine years after Hemingway's death, this is the story of an artist and adventurer, a man much like Hemingway himself. Beginning in the 1930s, Islands in the Stream follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson, from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini through his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II. Hemingway is at his mature best in this beguiling tale.

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the 20th century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Ernest Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century.

As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that lead to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in fiction in his brilliant novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he subsequently covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. He died in 1961.

©1970 Mary Hemingway; ©1970 Charles Scribner's Sons. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form; (P)2006 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (345 )
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4.5 (228 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Renton, WA, USA 05-05-10
    Paul Renton, WA, USA 05-05-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best presentation of any audiobook ever."

    Bruce Greenwood's reading of this classic Hemingway novel is incredible. I have been listening audio-books for nearly twenty years and this is the best audio presentation I've ever heard. Greenwood's acting talent definitely pays off.

    As for the book, its Hemingway, of course its good. I highly recommend listening to this one.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-04-06
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-04-06 Member Since 2015
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    "Hemingway was a Genius"

    This work is really three books in one, dealing with different phases in the main proponents life. Hemingway takes us effortlessly into this world where manliness is the most important characteristic of any of the participants. The writing is outstanding. There are passages which appear to deal with elements of Hemingways own life. I constantly felt that every word that was needed had been used but that not one of them was spare. Every Hemingway title that I listen to leaves me more in awe of the man's abilities and this is one of the strongest so far. If you have any regard for the english language at any level you owe it to yourself to listen to this.

    The narration is excellent. Clear, crisp with enough characterisation to aid with discriminating the parts without veering into caricature.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Nightingale Florida 04-11-13
    B. Nightingale Florida 04-11-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bruce Greenwood's Narration was Amazing!"
    What did you love best about Islands in the Stream?

    I am so amazed how Bruce Greenwood could change his characterizations and accents for each of the so many characters and so seamlessly. I agree with one reader that I have never heard a narrator do such a wonderful reading! The performance is the best part of this book.

    The book is good, but quite sad. I liked the first parts best, but found the WWII section rather drawn out. Overall, if you like Hemmingway, you will like this.


    What about Bruce Greenwood’s performance did you like?

    Everything!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 08-20-06
    Michael East Peoria, IL, United States 08-20-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love Hemmingway, well then."

    In some places the story was a little distorted, broken, and slightly obscure, but all and all this is an absolutely endearing listening experience. I say absolutely endearing because no matter where you pick up in the story you can feel the tradgedy and loving intoxication of Hemmingway's writing. You can imagine yourself in the Bahama's during the depresion or in Cuba during WW2. No other author can quite give the expericence that any Hemmingway book delivers so ominously, and all of this despite the discontinuity. I would recommend this to anyone, but if you even remotely like Ernest Hemmingway then check this one out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Palm City, FL, United States 12-16-11
    Karen Palm City, FL, United States 12-16-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Probably not published for a reason"

    I read this because, one, I love Hemingway and, two, I was very interested in reading what the Bahamas and Cuba was like in his day. But here's the deal: this book is not good. And I'm not being rude, Hemingway wrote hundreds of short stories that were never published and nobody can be great all the time. Here's what happened: The work was written originally as a short story trilogy, however, the third part was published on its own as "The Old Man of the Sea" - which is outstanding. After Hemingway's death, his wife and editor found another unpublished short story known as "The Chase" and decided it would be a great replacement third chapter to the trilogy since it involved the same character involved in the first two. That became "Islands in the Stream" - three short stories about the same guy in different stages of life. It's a good idea, except for the fact that the stories are not very good on their own.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skip 08-13-12
    Skip 08-13-12
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    "Like listening to an old friend."

    I think I first read this story 45 years ago. I loved it then and listening to it now was like listening to an old friend tell the story again. It was as good now as it was when I was in high school. The narrated was excellent!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ohad 03-11-12
    Ohad 03-11-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful book"

    I first tried to read this book in high school and couldn't get through it. Now, in my mid-thirties, Hemingway's pace seems right.
    It is a very strong story - and as a parent, it is not always an easy ride.
    Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 10-22-07
    Luis Miami, Fl, United States 10-22-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    I went in thing the book would be good but it was great, especially the second half. I thought the chase was excellently written and as a WWII buff very believable. I felt like I was in the book. Don't miss it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ziya 01-27-16
    Ziya 01-27-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Hidden Hemingway Gem"
    Would you listen to Islands in the Stream again? Why?

    Yes, it is so nuanced I am sure I missed a lot the first time.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What does Bruce Greenwood bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Greenwood does great job doing the different voices. It is very well produced and delightful to listen to.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Hemingway.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 12-11-15
    Sean 12-11-15
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    "Beautifully Written, Lacking a Solid Plot"

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mercadier
    Plymouth, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Paradise."

    This audiobook was very long and all through it I felt I was getting real value for my money. I love it when an excellent book is so look and when it provides so many memorable moments and this book gave me both.

    There were moments that made me laugh and I laughed again when I thought about them later on and there were moments when I was taken aback by the sheer impact of shock and tragedy. A remarkable book. Don't die without hearing it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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