The Old Man and The Sea | Book Review

The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

The Old Man and the Sea

Pages: 99

Buy it: BookDepositoryPublished: 1952


Put it on shelf: Goodreads

Synopsis: from Goodreads

Set in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Havana, Hemingway’s magnificent fable is the story of an old man, a young boy and a giant fish. In a perfectly crafted story, which won for Hemingway the Nobel Prize for Literature, is a unique and timeless vision of the beauty and grief of man’s challenge to the elements in which he lives.

My thought:

Before I read this book, I already heard a lot of things about this book, not many of people who read this and love this. I heard quite a lot of people said they don’t understand what this book want to talk about. After reading this, I have to confess that I didn’t understand what Hemingway wants to present thoroughly, but still, I have something that I want to share with all you guys.

When I’m reading classics, I always reminds myself that there must be something that makes it a classic. So, what so different is The Old man and The sea. I think of three things, the length of the book, the number of characters and the meaning behind.


Although I’m not a writer, but I know that it’s much difficult to write a short novel than a long novel. The author need to write a complete story even they can’t use too much words to do it, the writing must be concise and accurate to do so. There are some famous short novels I’ve read, Animal Farm by George Orwell and Of mice and Men by John Steinbeck, I think The Old Man and The Sea is quite similar to these two books in terms of the structure of the story.


In The Old Man and The Sea, there is only two characters and one big fish. Most of the time, there is only the old man and the fish which makes the story quite tedious to read. However, Hemingway did quite well to keep his reader to read by describing the fierce contest between the old man and the fish really well. It is quite exciting to imagine the story in my mind.


Maybe the story is written to be a little unnoticeable to realize the behind meaning of the story. I myself found it quite hard to figure out what Hemingway want to tell us, however, I heard a theory about the behind meaning of this book before. What the book trying to tell us is “Fishing is more important that the fish itself”. I’m not going to explain this here, I think you guys will be able to understand after reading the book.


Overall, I did enjoy reading this. I found myself really enjoy reading short books instead of the very long one. I give this book 4/5 stars.

3 reasons to read:

(1) It is short

(2) Huge behind meaning

(3) It’s a Nobel Prize-winning book

3 reasons not read:

(1) Quite hard to understand

(2) The old man is the only character

(3) Not very intriguing to read


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