1. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway

To kick off my “1 Year and a 100 Books” challenge I decided to start out by reading an adventure of sorts. I picked up Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize winner “The Old Man and the Sea” and finished it the same day. Now, I have gone fishing only once in my life and it was by no means what I consider fun. Knowing this I was afraid that a story about an old fisherman and the sea would not be my cup of tea. However, I could not put the book down. Hemingway used very simple language to showcase one man’s struggle and defeat.

The story is about a fisherman named Santiago and his struggle to catch a large fish. He has gone 84 days without catching any fish and is considered very unlucky at this point. His apprentice Manolin can no longer fish with him because his parents want him to train with someone that actually catches fish. However, the young boy has a special bond with Santiago and visits him every night to bring him food and talk about baseball. In the very beginning Santiago lets the boy know he is going out into the Gulf Stream the next day to end his unlucky streak. The boy begs to go with him but the old man does not let him. Here, the love between these two characters is extremely apparent and that’s what made me love this story at first. But then things get even more interesting once Santiago goes out to fish. He hooks a very large fish but struggles to get it on the boat. This struggle goes on for two days and things get out of hand. I don’t wish to spoil the book for anyone but some strange things occur. At one point Santiago eats a dolphin among other raw fish in order to keep his strength up and this old man is anything but weak because he also ends up killing a number of sharks.

Towards the end of the book I was concerned that the ending would not meet my expectations but I was not disappointed.  The ending definitely brings the tale of the fisherman together. I feel that I will most likely reread this book at some point because it reminds me of the small fishing villages in Croatia that I have spent much time at. Every time I would get up early the fishermen would be going out and it always made me wonder what their work day was like…I hope it is not as difficult as Santiago’s and has a happier ending.

Here is a picture from last year that I took. It’s what I pictured as I read “The Old Man and the Sea”.

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