About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Simply Powerful

The Old Man And The Sea
Ernest Hemingway
Publisher: Scribner (May, 1995)
Paperback: 128 pages
Rating: 4 stars of 5 possible

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 his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Synopsis of this novella is from the back cover of the Scribner trade paperback edition and is copyright Simon and Schuster,1995

The first time I read Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea, I was an 8th grade student looking for adventure. The second time I read this book - much more recently - I read it to study Hemingway's style which, I must say, I greatly admire.  Hemingway provides plenty of adventure, characterized by short, declarative sentences that, in the wrong hands, could be deadly to a written piece.  Yet, Hemingway uses that base to build strong characters and an action-filled story every bit as well developed as some 400 page novels in a much smaller space. The key to a good story is to let the characters and their actions carry the main load of telling the story. Hemingway knew this well. He provided just enough clear and concise description to allow his characters to come alive in your mind and then lets those characters do the job he created them to do.

If you are a female who prefers to read about female protagonists, then Hemingway's stories might not be your cup of tea. However, if you sample this one, don't forget to appreciate the strength of the characters and the brevity of the writing before you move on to something more feminine. If you are a wanna-be writer, you could do far worse than to study this masterful storytelling style; clear, concise prose is an asset to any writing. If you're looking for adventure, you can find it in this novella, which I recommend to readers ages 14 and up.