Hemingway's Boat

Everything He Loved in Life, and Lost, 1934 - 1961
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Length: 22 hrs and 2 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $41.99

Buy for $41.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An award-winning historian and author, Paul Hendrickson here turns his attention to one of America’s most cherished literary icons, Ernest Hemingway. Drawing on previously unpublished material, Hendrickson focuses on Hemingway’s life in its twilight, just prior to his suicide, and the seemingly singular constant in the man’s life: his boat, Pilar. On this vessel, Hemingway would entertain and travel, but it would also be the scene of some of his greatest tragedies.

©2011 Paul Hendrickson (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

“A lyrical and expansive search for the essence of a famous writer—heart, soul, and hull.” (Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune Top Picks of 2011)
“The author, an accomplished storyteller, interprets myriad tiny details of Ernest Hemingway’s life, and through them says something new about a writer everyone thinks they know.” ( The Economist Books of the Year 2011)
“Hendrickson’s engrossing book offers a fresh slant on the rise and fall of a father figure of American literature.” ( San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2011)

What listeners say about Hemingway's Boat

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    6
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    48
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    41
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Hemingway biography for the 21st Century

Would you listen to Hemingway's Boat again? Why?

No. So many books. So little time.

What other book might you compare Hemingway's Boat to and why?

I don't know of a good comparison because it is such a novel contemporary approach. A lot has been written about EH and his story is well documented in many books. Hendrickson's approach is different and fresh. The most moving parts of Hemingway's Boat are those that focus not on EH, the ostensible subject, but on three rather unknown men and on how their lives were impacted, for better and for worse, by their association with the great writer.

What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

Magnificent. Davis' pace is deliberate. Slower than most. It is crystal clear. I found it nuanced and not flat. A five star performance. I will look for other books performed by Davis.

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

It neither made me laugh out loud or cry. It is a very sad story, especially the penultimate chapter about Hemingway's son Gigi.

Any additional comments?

This is a biography of a deeply flawed man who was a great artist. EH lived an outsized macho life and was the kind of man that the "air guitarists" relish in taking down. His current literary reputation is still not fully recovered. He was a wonderful writer whose best work (and there is a lot of it) is among the very best that an American writer has ever produced. The blurbs suggest that this is a more sympathetic biography. I didn't find it particularly sympathetic. Nor did I find EH particularly likeable. I had intended to read only a portion of this book about Cuba and fishing in the 1930s. It is so well written and performed that I ended up listening to, reading and enjoying the entire book. Highly recommended.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story focused on his boat

Where does Hemingway's Boat rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I'm a big Hemingway fan so this sounded like a good choice to listen to on some road trips for work.

Its not really a Hemingway Bio, but it uses his famous fishing boat (now exiled in Cuba) to tell the stories of some of the people who came into his life and also offer insight into his life.

The narrator has an easy to listen to voice and I found this book a quick listen even at its length.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding

The book and the performance are superb. They compliment each other for a truly satisfying experience. Often listened to sections a second or third time and read parts in the book subsequent to the audio. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

He manges to make Hemmingway boring

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Book would be best read abridged. He fell in love with every fact he found and filled the pages with them. He needed a good editor to prune it back.

Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Hendrickson? Why or why not?

Not at this point.

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

A fine reader, stuck with a too-long book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Made me sea-sick

I am a life-long Hemingway fan, but this author, in the words of an earlier reviewer, 'manages to make Hemingway boring.' Descibes every meaningless detail of any person who ran into Hemingway - that's irrelevant... e-n-d-l-e-s-s ... soooooo long

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not so clever biography.

I somewhat feel like I was sold a bill of goods. Toward the end the author (assuming not knowing where else to take the story) ventured into three additional biographies including Walter Houk, Arnold Samuelson, and Greg Hemingway. This book is nothing more than an additional Hemingway biography using Pilar (sparely and, at times, unreasonably) as the center piece of the story. Tell a piece of Hemingway history... insert Pilar at the end.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Thought it would never end

This book took me for ever to listen to it is extremely long and this author writes about everything even stuff you don’t want to know about he writes about he jumps around from Ernest to his children from his children to Ernest it’s very hard to follow him even when listening I tried to quit this book several times but after egg while it became a quest to finish this long drawn out Sauga finally I have finished this horrible book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

one of my all time favorites.

one of my all time favorites. I have listened to this around 10 times. great every time!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

To much boring other people info.

Not enough about Hemingway on his boat . Way too much about people that aren’t interesting . Half the book should be cut out.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

boring

What would have made Hemingway's Boat better?


On and on and on, the most boring book ever.

What was most disappointing about Paul Hendrickson’s story?

It was to long and it jumped around.

What character would you cut from Hemingway's Boat?

The boat

2 people found this helpful