The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway is a classic that I somehow missed reading. It was just never given me as an assignment in any class. With a constant torrent of new books available, many truly great reads are sure to be missed…. this was one such book for me.

I listened to the audiobook version of The Old Man narrated by Donald Sutherland. What at great way to be introduced to the work. It is a very short work. I listened to the entire thing on a drive down to visit my mother. The parallels of the old man and my own mother (soon to celebrate her 79th birthday)  were strong and I am guessing lent more emotion to my experience.

This is a melancholy story of growing old, but more than that, it is a story of triumph, will power and a sheer tenacity. It is about much more than landing a fish. It is about the human spirit. It is about not quitting and escaping into a world of celebrity gossip and video games. It is about what makes mankind so great.

I teared up a couple times during toward the end, but just as life causes a tear or two… it is worth the struggle.

It is fitting that this is the last published work of “Papa” Hemingway made during his lifetime. What a great curtain call.

by Chris Doelle


Also published on Medium.