The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Some books are wasted on the young. When I was at school, Hemingway was on the curriculum and we dutifully read this novel, read the critics, learned what we needed to learn, and produced it at the appropriate examination time. That said,The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics) hung around in my head in the intervening years and so, recently, I took it down from the shelves and re-read it. What a difference thirty years of experience brings to that second reading. Now I understand why this novel was on the curriculum. Now, indeed, I think it may well be the most perfectly crafted novel that I have ever read. Every word, every sentence moves this story forwards. The critics have not been universally kind to Hemingway. Some talk of ‘fakery’ in this novel but, to me, as an ordinary reader who loves books and literature, I was pleased to rediscover this work. The old man is a flawed hero but what hero is not? If you’ve lived a little, I think you’ll find a lot to relate to in The Old Man and the Sea (Vintage Classics) and for the pure craftsmanship of the writing, in my opinion there are few novels to touch this.

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