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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.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Finalist, Solo Narration - Male, 2007

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What listeners say about The Old Man and the Sea

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

63 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

49 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

great

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

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superbly read

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

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Old Man & the Sea

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

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Donald Sutherland Could Read Me The Dictionary!

What did you like best about The Old Man and the Sea? What did you like least?

This was my first time listening to a classic on audible and I really enjoyed it. Man vs the Sea. I loved hearing how much respect this old man had for the sea and the creatures in it. It was mostly a man thinking to himself, alone, out on the open sea, trying to catch the biggest fish of his life. I doubt I would have been able to get through this book but Donald Sutherland kept my interest. I was glad I listened to it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-05-17

great reading of greater work

loved the reading. it put me right there in the skiff with the old man. get this you will not regret it

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Vera
  • 04-18-12

Sutherland is very monotonous

The reading of narrator Donald Sutherland is very monotonous. It is difficult to listen to a longer periods of time.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew
  • 01-31-17

A truly beautiful story

Perfectly matched to the rich voice of Donald Sutherland, this is a wonderfully detailed and incredibly moving narration of the old man and the sea. Hemingway's descriptive style is memorising.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Mcdermott
  • 10-16-16

essential.

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jimmmy
  • 08-05-16

Spread as a curtain

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

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs S Maure
  • 01-31-16

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.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kieran McCormack
  • 01-04-15

Emotional

Narrator exactly captured what I felt on first reading 50 years ago.Looking forward to more from Mr.Sutherland.Death in the Afternoon?

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 09-27-14

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-22-12

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • joparkrd
  • 11-02-20

Beautiful

Someone wrote in a review ...." Just buy this story you won’t regret it".... I’m glad to say I didn’t regret buying it!!! It’s beautifully written....I particularly enjoyed the relationship between the fishermen and he’s young help .... who is not allowed to fish with him anymore due to the lack of catch each day.... the boy must work with boats that are catching a steady good amount so that the boy can contribute money to he’s family..... so he helps the old fisherman in between working ..... their story is warming to listen to ... when the fisherman goes alone one day to catch the biggest fish ever.... then the story turns into a mini Moby Dick story I feel..... I actually hate any cruelty but I’m not naive to the fact that this is about survival to these people .... and what I loved about this fisherman is that he did have a care for the fish and sharks ... he wasn’t just a mindless heartless killer of sea life he did have a fondness and respect for life ..... this makes one warm to him and explains why the boy showed such loyalty towards him... it’s a story you will love if you like the kinds of moby dick or enjoy everyday life if a sea village .... I have a mixed bag of different stories mainly short old funny stories from Chekhov ....Guy de M.... w Jacobs... Oscar W....... and I love just William so oh and R. L.Stevenson..... and the author that the latter was inspired to write treasure island and that was the writer of a book I love Coral Island by R. M. Ballantyne. But if you order that make sure it’s narrated by Peter Joyce......he gets the story and the voices of the three boys ..... In conclusion I would buy if not just to listen to ... then if you refund (email audible.. write: return .... name of book and it will be returned and your credit returned back on to your account ) it ... you not lost anything but a couple of good listening hours . We

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  • Jack Agius
  • 02-15-19

Phenomenally engaging

A moving tale, everything possible is covered from love to loss, hope abound to dreams dashed. Brilliant narration - a truly wonderful book.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Damien Carson
  • 10-16-18

Character building

Classic about persistence & integrity, about honour even when all you've worked for is lost.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robin
  • 01-03-17

Donald Sutherland as the Old Man

Would you listen to The Old Man and the Sea again? Why?

Yes, it's a classic for a good reason. Lots of detail that built imagery.

Who was your favorite character and why?

all

Which scene did you most enjoy?

all

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

I didn't laugh or cry but I was fully involved in the whole adventure

Any additional comments?

Donald Sutherland was perfect as the narrator for this story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gumnut
  • 04-05-16

A Story Where Hemingway Was Not the Main Character

Its said that most Hemingway students end up hating the author. Maybe he was not a nice man, but in this work he wrote like an angle. Clean sharp text and not a hint of ego in sight. Well read by Donald Sutherland, but best listened to without backround noise.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James Christian
  • 11-06-20

I wish I'd read or listened earlier

Narrator's tone and style really complements Hemingway's story. The detail, resilience and emotion are strong in this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James W. Matson
  • 07-25-20

Brilliant - understated

One of the all-time great novels. Brilliant story and clearly read. Have listened to it multiple times.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • 03-11-20

Life in its death

Hemingway's story of the greatest challenge coming at the weakest ebb sparkles like light on a clear wave. It roils like a soft cloud becoming a storm. It churns inside like the wake behind a boat. And it stays with you. It stays because the truth doesn't have to be fiction. It just needs to be true.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 02-11-20

Exquisite

Classic writing. Fabulous performance The journey with the old man in his adventure and the dialogue of his mind is unforgettable, gripping, and delightful.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-08-20

Award winning

The tones of Donald and the depth of characters from Mr Hemingway transports you to another world. Loved every word and the feeling delivered with each.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael H
  • 06-29-19

A classic with good reason

The epic battle of man vs nature is extremely thought provoking. The book is described in such careful detail that the reader can imagine everything.