This is my first Hemingway book. I do not recollect reading him in school. I was aware of his writing style from the book Family Life by Akhil Sharma. It is simple and amazing. This book won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. This book also helped Hemingway win the 1954 Nobel Prize for literature.
Hemingway’s simple style hide emotions. They wait like a predator. The emotions sprang up on me when I least expected. This book is widely accepted as a classic. To me, its a thriller. Having read family drama, science-fiction etc., I expected thrillers to have plot twists and a plethora of characters. But Hemingway does it with only an old man, the sea and a fish. That’s it.
The rare dialogue is the old man talking aloud to himself. He drifts in and out of concentration. He is Cuban and loves baseball. There is a desperation in the old man. He wants to turn his luck. His respect and love for the fish is admirable.
The old man hooks a large fish on the line. He is bracing for a long fight. Hemingway mentions that four hours pass. Just like that. I imagine my body aching.
The old man’s body fights him. The old man’s left arm cramps and there is an urgency to fix it. He begs it. Pleads. Feeds it by eating raw fish. I imagine my hand cramping. He fights his body, mind and heart.
Hemingway transported me into the old man’s body. My spirit became one with the old man. I felt his shame, pain, agony, tiredness and desperation. This book is 127 pages of thrill. You will not regret reading this.