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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

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 2 people found this review 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

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 of 1 people found this review 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

essential.

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

1 of 1 people found this review 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

Spread as a curtain

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vera
  • Manchester, United Kingdom
  • 18-04-12

Sutherland is very monotonous

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Expected so much more

I was expecting great things from this book, it’s an understated storyline but to be honest I don’t really understand what the fuss was about. I’d been interested to read a range of reviews. I feel like I’ve missed something!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • 01-07-08

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.

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • 13-08-07

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!

38 of 41 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nothing really matters
  • 31-07-14

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.

6 of 6 people found this review 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
  • Jane
  • 18-06-12

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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kristen
  • 14-08-07

great

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

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • 13-09-13

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.

8 of 9 people found this review 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
  • Gary
  • 13-04-12

Superbly read

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

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ian C Robertson
  • 13-04-12

Still a Classic Tale

After all these decades, the story is still engaging and relevant. This was brought home to me because I listened to the re-telling with my 13 year old son whilst driving to our Easter vacation spot. He and I both enjoyed the tale and it provoked discussion and analysis in a very satisfying way. It's difficult to say much more about the content. Simply excellent!
As for the narration, I feel a bit of a Scrooge. I think Sutherland's accent enhanced the telling, but my son found it hard to hear. I think the cadence was not a common one for him and it probably detracted from the overall impact. For my part, I like Sutherland's accent so the Irish/Cuban discord did not jar with me. To be fair, I would have given it a 3.5 if I could have.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ron
  • 22-04-09

Brilliant narration

A classic story brought to life by Sutherland's visceral tones. he does the book justice and I thoroughly enjoyed his skills as a story-teller. He actually became the old man!! Well done

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sam
  • 07-01-09

The Old Man & the Sea

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

10 of 12 people found this review helpful