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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
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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.

19 people found this helpful

  • 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.

70 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!

56 people found this helpful

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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.

17 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.

13 people found this helpful

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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.

12 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.

13 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.

13 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

11 people found this helpful

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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

3 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.

2 people found this helpful

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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.

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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

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  • Fraser
  • 11-27-21

So much in such a short book

This book tells us so much about how people try, and often fail, to reconcile their desire for status and recognition with their need to follow their better instincts and do the right thing. A short book that makes a big contribution to our understanding of what it means to be human.

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty
  • 12-05-16

story is OK but Sutherland lacks

I liked the story, but Sutherland seemed to be reading like a robot a lot of the time. I don't know if it's just Hemingway's writing style, but it's a shame, because Sutherland has such a wonderful reading voice.

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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  • 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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-21

incredibly gripping. give it 10 minutes to warm up

Such an exquisite book. Hemingway has a gift for describing things sussinctly. He cut the fat out and made an amazing story that I could see in my mind. I'm sad it's over.
I'm not usually a fan of fiction. but this got me. so many lessons within too.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-14-21

Awesome in every way!

Great story, perfect narration, fantastic characters- even the ‘fish’ and sharks. Never imagined a book could create such emotion! Thanks

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian Messig
  • 06-09-21

Well Read Classic

Classic that I have read a few times. Sutherland made it all the better.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Cassandra
  • 03-14-21

High hopes were dashed

I am sure I was made to read this as part of a school curriculum. I have always loved Donald Sutherland as an actor and his recognisable voice. This was dismal, I don’t know how it went so wrong, was he directed to read it a certain way? Did he phone it in because he didn’t really want to do it? I’m not sure, but if you want a book to put you to sleep, this will do it. Very disappointed.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William Harrison
  • 01-13-21

Wish it was longer.

Great narration and a great short story.

left me wanting to know more about the old man and the boy.