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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 listeners say about Islands in the Stream

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

31 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

22 people found this helpful

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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.

9 people found this helpful

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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!

8 people found this helpful

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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?

6 people found this helpful

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Good Read

First time to read Hemingway. most enjoyable. If you get a chance you must visit his home in Key West. Having been there you so much more enjoyable his books.

4 people found this helpful

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One of the best one man performance of straight literature I have listened to.

One of the best one man performance of straight literature I have listened to.

He captured mood. Inflection of the children and ESL groups well.

4 people found this helpful

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unexpected

After listening to the first story in this 2 part book, I was ready to delete it. The second story was classic Hemingway. Great action, great story - An artist hunting down a german sub crew in the carribean. I am going to listen to it again. I never did that before.

4 people found this helpful

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Had it all. Completely engrossing.

My favorite Hemingway and new favorite narrator. Super combination. Wish it was twice as long.

3 people found this helpful

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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!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mercadier
  • 04-07-13

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-21-22

a leaders challenges

this book was amazing . three stories in one. the last chapters the thinking of what the enemy might do was mind blowing. every angle of a cat and mouse manoeuvres was intriguing. The Cuban affair was a little bit hitting at the heart. The first few chapters were foreboding. A father with his sons fishing and leading teenagers. I never realized the manners of teenagers 70 years ago. Now with Television parents lack communication with their families. But also drink and drunkenness producing rummies...There is bad abuse towards alcohol. but this is war. All civil life is gone. People are trying the best way to survive. The chapter about the cat was upsetting. The speaker of the book did an excellent job

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  • Stephen Gott
  • 05-06-22

A Beautiful Life Of Regrets

I've read a fair selection of Hemingways novels and short stories and despite the machismo of his writing. Theres always an element of melancholy to be found. This to me, is more evident in his later works and none more so then here in "Islands In The Stream". This is clearly a novel, by an author towards the end of his life.
Who has lived life to the full, with its joys and anguish. There may be clues here to Hemingways eventual end, but that aside I thoroughly enjoyed this posthumous novel. Superbly read by Bruce Greenwood.

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  • Mr. Richard D. Gibbons
  • 06-29-20

Extraordinary book

Brilliant varied & unexpected. Superb reader giving every character life.
It will end too soon as the great ones do!

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  • Din
  • 01-11-19

"Thomas Hudson" is now buzzing in my ears

This is a very long book with a very thin storyline.
Hemingway is an incredible writer, as always; his descriptions transport you to the island, you feel part of the conversations, the story becomes alive. But , the characters don't have much more to offer past the 10th chapter.
Unfortunately for me the American custom of referring to people by their full name grinded "Thomas Hudson" to my ears. Hemingway has written beautiful books and this book feels like revisiting old themes , but not as elegantly.

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  • grant
  • 02-02-16

Great

A really great performance of a great book, I really enjoyed this audio book, highly recommended for

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sabo
  • 09-17-21

Outstanding

Amazing book. Perhaps Hemingway's finest work. Greenwood's narration matched perfectly. Sublime production. The different characters voices were great.