Review: 84 Days Aboard The Ship of Hemingway

This was my first book I’ve read by the renowned author Ernest Hemingway. I’m not sure how else to write this review than with my reactions of the book along the way, in 84 ways.

  1. I love the opening line so much! (Opening lines hold a lot of weight for me on the entirety of the book.)
  2. Ohhh the old man is alone, now? I’ll be with you old man!
  3. Cool! I can say I practiced Spanish at home now for my class!
  4. There’s the boy! He didn’t leave! I knew I would like that boy!
  5. Santiago… the name of a strong and handsome man.
  6. Oh just let the boy go with you again, old man!
  7. The fisherman is losing self-confidence in himself.
  8. I wonder how old the boy is…
  9. Well, he can buy beer and run around.
  10. But his parents still worry about him.
  11. The old man has nothing. Here comes the feels.
  12. I wonder if the old man looks like the one from Up!
  13. Baseball and Cuba… just like I learned in Spanish and history class!
  14. Thinking about imperialism and WWI in Cuba.
  15. The old man cares for the boy… that’s wonderful!
  16. I love their relationship so much.
  17. Perhaps Hemingway will throw in some interesting action here.
  18. Nope… just the same calming stuff.
  19. Why is he so renowned as an author?
  20. Am I a bad person because I’m not enjoying this book?
  21. It’s only 127 pages…
  22. It’s only 127 pages…
  23. It’s only 127 pages…
  24. Wait… what is going on?
  25. Why is the rope on the old man’s back?
  26. I really wish it had some illustrations so I could understand this better.
  27. Well, he’s doing stuff with the ropes.
  28. Why do the ropes have to stay up and down perfectly?
  29. How does the do all this stuff alone?
  30. The skiff is bigger than the fishing boat you went in when you were younger… (repeat a thousand times)
  31. I am finding this boring because I don’t understand the fishing terms.
  32. There should be a glossary in this book.
  33. And illustrations.
  34. This is only 127 pages but it’s dragging on.
  35. Did he get the fish finally?
  36. He did get the fish!
  37. Why is he talking about a dolphin?
  38. When did the dolphin come into the story?
  39. How could he fit the dolphin into the boat, but not the fish that’s on the rope?
  40. I don’t understand why he can’t just kill the fish already.
  41. It’s a marlin?
  42. I don’t know what that is.
  43. It wasn’t in Finding Nemo aka my fish dictionary.
  44. I’d starve…
  45. And probably die.
  46. Is this just him hallucinating?
  47. Nah… it’s a dream.
  48. Wait… it’s not a dream?
  49. Okay Hemingway let’s speed this baby up.
  50. You probably wrote this in like two hours time, tops.
  51. This is definitely a later work, because a publisher would not buy this if you were new to the industry.
  52. When was this published?
  53. Oh… 1952.
  54. What about Moby Dick?
  55. 1851… almost 100 years.
  56. I got it now. Hemingway read the special edition of Moby Dick and decided to write this novel.
  57. I do not like Herman Melville either.
  58. Similar writing styles I think.
  59. Is the fish circling supposed to be significant?
  60. Oh cool… it’s still circling.
  61. Hold up… the fish just jumped… okay got that… and he speared it?
  62. Definitely missed the spearing.
  63. (Reread the paragraph)
  64. Nope. Still didn’t get it. Whatever.
  65. I hope it gets a little more exciting so I can give it a good review after.
  66. Sharks!
  67. I can dig sharks.
  68. How does he have the strength for all the shark fighting?
  69. Oh it’s Hemingway’s code hero.
  70. Totally unrealistic Hemingway…
  71. And you say you right realistically so there’s no symbolism.
  72. Mmkay… you tell yourself that.
  73. No old man, no matter how strong, would be able to stay out in the boat for days and be able to fight off sharks like this.
  74. Not realistic at all. Sorry, Hemingway.
  75. Finally back to shore.
  76. Thank goodness the old man survived.
  77. The fish didn’t? Oh my goodness.
  78. All that build-up for nothing?
  79. This book has accomplished nothing at all.
  80. The old man is still sad because he lost the fish.
  81. There’s the boy!
  82. Why is he crying all the time?
  83. Perhaps Hemingway meant “tears of joy” because the old man is alive.
  84. This book really wan’t as great as people brought it out to be. Just one big build-up to a fish that is no longer there and a sleeping old man at the end. Great, thanks Hemingway.

While I didn’t particularly enjoy this book it did have a great meaning behind it. The writing was boring, and the sentences were not necessarily short. All declarative, yes. Short, not necessarily. I believe it should only get 2.5-3 stars on Goodreads because I personally did not enjoy it. Perhaps I’m being too harsh and critical, but this book did not give me reason to believe Hemingway is meant to be a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.

Have any recommendations for his other books that I might enjoy? Comment below, I’d love to hear them!


Much love, XOXO,

~A Writer Named Charley~


2 thoughts on “Review: 84 Days Aboard The Ship of Hemingway

  1. Pingback: Liebster Award | A Writer Named Charley

  2. Pingback: 2016 End of Year Book Survey (With a Writer Twist) | A Writer Named Charley

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