The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway is another one of those books that you’ve somehow managed to hear about because it’s a classic despite no one you know actually have read it. Ernest Hemingway actually won a prize for this particular short story but I’d mainly heard about it through references in Arrested Development!
Boyfriend waxes lyrical about it though, apparently it’s the book they give to wannabe proofreaders to ply their trade. According to boyfriend this is because every sentence ‘just flows’ into the next one and you ‘just want to keep reading’.
Well maybe boyfriend has read a different version than I had to struggle through because, frankly, I would rather see the ludicrous Young Man And The Sea remake from Arrested Development. Despite being less than 100 pages long this book took me a good few weeks to get through because I really couldn’t be bothered with it and it now replaces Star Trek The Next Generation: The Genesis Wave Book One as the worst book I’ve ever read. This is largely because it is sooooo boring.
It is entirely about an old trying to catch a fish- fair enough you may have assume this from the title, but my lack of interest in fishing left me a little cold. In fact the only bits not about fishing are about American baseball which I also have little interest in. I appreciate that other people might be interested in fishing and, if so, I suggest you read Bass Weekly* instead. The eponymous character is an old man who goes out fishing by himself and then rambles about how he wishes the young boy is has befriended was with him. Maybe it is my cynical modern eye but I don’t understand what their relationship was and it seemed a bit weird.
The language, imo, did not flow or seem to resemble natural speech patterns at all. The book in set in Havana yet obviously written in English but with odd words written in Spanish. This always irritates me. Like in Star Trek (well I’ve referenced it once already) when everyone speaks American because they have universal translators which automatically translate anything but the Klingons still say Qapla. IT MAKES NO SENSE! It also just raises the question for me of why not write the whole book in Spanish- presumably because you can’t speak Spanish, so why not write the whole thing in English and we can all pretend it’s been automatically translated by the universal translator?
Anyway, I won’t give away what happens in the book but it’s one of those literal and emotional journeys that you wish you’d never bought the ticket for.
*I made this up but I’m sure there are copious amounts of fishing mags