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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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