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The Old Man and the Sea Audiobook

The Old Man and the Sea

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Hemingway's short, evocative sentences have never worked better than in this novella written at the twilight of his career. Donald Sutherland achieves an astonishing performance as old man Santiago, in this story of failure, reckless determination, and victory. –Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal, a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss.

Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed Hemingway's power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

©1952 Ernest Hemingway; (P)2006 Simon and Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Audio Division, Simon and Schuster Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2007

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (3289 )
5 star
 (2101)
4 star
 (825)
3 star
 (266)
2 star
 (54)
1 star
 (43)
Overall
4.5 (2491 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (2494 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (30)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dave Canton, MI, USA 07-01-08
    Dave Canton, MI, USA 07-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Truly a Classic"

    Even though this is such a famous title, I had never read it before and really didn't know much about it. What a treat this audiobook was. For such a short story, it is surprising how strong the character development is. In no time, you feel a strong affinity for the 2 main non-finned characters. Donald Sutherland does an excellent job of narrating, with just the right amount of drama and accent. For much of the story, he was NOT the narrator, he WAS the "old man". One of my top 3 audiobooks, and I have a couple hundred.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-13-07
    Ian Farnborough, United Kingdom 08-13-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "Buy it!"

    If you care at all about the English language you must use 2 1/2 hours of your time on the planet listening to this work. It is possibly the simplest scenario imaginable for a novel but is completed with style and economy which is what made Hemingway unique. The icing on the cake is that Sutherland's narration is nearly as exceptional as the book itself. Buy it!

    25 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Milford, MA, USA 01-07-09
    Sam Milford, MA, USA 01-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "The Old Man & the Sea"

    A must buy! Narrated by Donald Sutherland, need I say more.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-31-14
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 07-31-14 Member Since 2016

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Lots of story in a small package"

    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-18-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Pain of life and beauty of life."

    I try to avoid sad books, but I’m glad for the experience. I cried.

    The old man is a fisherman, lives in a shack. He’s had bad fishing luck for many days. Most the story is his fishing trip alone on a small boat. He struggles and faces obstacles without complaint. There is a dignity to him. I cried in the scenes with the boy. The boy knows the old man has no food. The old man says he will eat later. He does not ask for help. The boy brings food and they quietly eat it. The boy loved and cared for the old man with such respect and esteem. That really pushed my buttons. I’ve never been loved like that. It’s the way an ideal parent would love a child.

    My two emotional reactions. I was sad to experience the old man’s struggles and pain, yet I was inspired and admired his determination and actions. Then I cried as I watched the love from the boy. A slight comfort came in the way one feels after crying.

    This book was the catalyst for Hemingway winning the Nobel Prize which probably influenced me to give it 5 stars.

    NARRATOR:
    Donald Sutherland was wonderful.

    Genre: fiction.
    Ending: Some comfort, but also sad.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristen Lebanon, OR, USA 08-14-07
    Kristen Lebanon, OR, USA 08-14-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great"

    I love Hemingway and hadn't taken the time to read this. Donald Sutherland's naration is wonderful and the story is too.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-13-13
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-13-13 Member Since 2015

    54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NARRATION KILLED IT"

    I know-but its Donald Sutherland you say- I thought he would do it justice too but it just didn't work at all for me, I read the book years ago and loved it,so I was really disappointed.- I even ended up listening to it twice because my son needed to read it. He just didn't fit the material-( as far as I'm concerned).As for the story, its great.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 02-10-08
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 02-10-08 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did not want it to end"

    Best book I have listened to in years. Narrator was awesome and fit the book perfectly. Should be required listening or reading for all students in school. To be able to write a story like this is a true gift and makes you appreciate what incredible author Hemmingway was.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 04-13-12
    Gary 04-13-12 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to audio books whilst mountain biking.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    "Superbly read"

    Donald Sutherland's tired, smokey voice is perfect for this reading. You can almost feel the tired, aching old body. Loved it.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09
    Ron Sydney, Australia 04-22-09 Member Since 2012

    Literary graduate and published columnist turned glorified grease monkey.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant narration"

    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

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Joseph
    United Kingdom
    9/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love Hemingway"
    Where does The Old Man and the Sea rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've only recently started getting into Hemingway, but this is my favourite book of his to date.
    I struggle paying attention to literature with audiobooks, but the length and pace of the book made this idea for me.


    What about Donald Sutherland’s performance did you like?

    Really well read, he really engaged me in the journey.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and I would have if I had known in advance and picked a suitable time. Instead I was forced to put it down at several points and I found that I was always slowly approaching my final destination to hear a bit more.


    Any additional comments?

    Great story, but then it is Hemingway, so you knew that already.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Keighley, United Kingdom
    9/22/12
    Overall
    "A classic and it's clear why"

    I struggle to find time to read with two small children around but I listened to this in one sitting. Fantastic storytelling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. Mcdermott
    10/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "essential."

    incredible and compelling, heartbreaking and beautiful. Sutherland is magnificent in telling the classic the of an old man facing his beloved foe

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniele Di Carlo
    9/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story but..."

    The story is marvellous, I like the way how Hemingway described every important details, it was like I was fishing with the old man.
    I like Sutherland the actor, but not the narrator. Too slow and sometimes I had problem to understand what he was saying.
    I don't think is Sutherland fault but often the audio was loud and than normal, very annoying!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • jimmmy
    8/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spread as a curtain"

    Age experience resignation hope acceptance brotherhood are all masterfully crafted together by this genius author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Obi 1
    7/6/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Put simply..."

    overall it was boring and a chore to finish. The message that make it a 'classic' is that in the words of Denzel Washington in the film equaliser the old man's gotta be the old man and the fish has gotta be the fish. It is a long way of telling a story of how each have there own lives but can't let go of what they have been despite it not really benefiting them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ray
    5/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ernest Hemingway keeping it real."

    plenty of killing. I won't be going fishing anytime soon. Not without a speed boat, a fishing rod and a load of help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs S Maure
    1/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just wonderful...."

    The endurance and persistence of the human spirit, the injustice and brutality of life, facing mortality, take your pick! A classic, economically written and melodically and soothingly narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oksana Dubovik
    1/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Concise Moby Dick"

    This book is beautifully read by Donald Sutherland. It's quite short, so you can listen to it over and over again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sass
    10/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing and beautiful"

    I always wanted to read 'The Old Man and the Sea' by Hemingway, but I could never get into it. However, this audio book really brings it to life and helped me appreciate the beauty of Hemingway's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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