Monday, May 11, 2015

Teen review: Classic


The Old Man and the Sea is a 1952 novel by the Nobel winner Ernest Hemingway, and speaks of the dedication and commitment that is necessary for success. Hemingway’s novel has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and has been widely acclaimed as Hemingway’s "most vivid and iconic novel." Although it has only 127 pages, Hemingway’s mastery of the written word allows him to fit a riveting plot and story line into a limited format.

In The Old Man and the Sea, the experienced master fisherman Santiago of Cuba has been on a “salao,” which is considered to be the worst form of bad luck: Santiago hasn’t caught a fish in 84 days. His luck keeps getting worse, to the point that Santiago’s apprentice, Manolin, has been forbidden by his parents to sail with Santiago. But Manolin goes to Santiago’s hut every night to prepare food and to talk about American Football. Feeling his luck changing, Santiago sails north the next day without telling anyone where he will go. During his sailing on the vast blue ocean, Santiago often thinks about how unprepared he was for the journey. He also often dreams about his childhood of watching magnificent lions on an African beach.


The Old Man and the Sea was originally published in Life magazine, and within two days of its publication, five million copies of the magazine were sold. The novel deals with such themes as determination, failure, bad luck, and destiny in such an interesting way that instead of reading like fiction, it feels like a private diary. I would recommend the reading of this novel to those in grades 7 to 12, because it is a story that will no doubt inspire people to work hard and to never let negativity overpower them.

Reviewed by Basil, grade 9


Editor's note: We typically do not publish reviews of books that are required reading in the high school curriculum, because we want you to submit reviews of books you read by choice; but since Basil is in grade 9--before this becomes required reading--he chose to read this on his own, so it meets the criteria!


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