My Rating: If you are looking for something
Level: Short, easy
An old fisherman who has not caught anything in days so farther out than usual to catch a fish. He catches a large one that drags him for days even farther out to sea.
Spoiler (for a 70 year old book), while the fish doesn’t get away, he was unable to get it back to shore as sharks pick off all the meat before he gets home.
This is a classic book, that many people probably had to read in middle school and probably didn’t pay much attention to. The book is at its best when it is the old man and his inner dialogue of not wanting to quite and being stubborn. End the end, it doesn’t work, the incident is a perfect example of sunk cost fallacy. The old man believes himself to be resilient and tough, but he is actually a fool who loses almost every thing and gains nothing. Though as I get old (and continue to be an unsuccessful fisherman), I do gain more empathy for him.
Spoiler again – I knew this was a classically tragic story, but for whatever reason, I didn’t even think of sharks. I just assumed the line would break before he could get him to shore.
I detest the lack of chapters or page breaks. I find it annoying and think books or authors that employ this ‘style’ are often overrated for doing something different.
However, overall it is a pretty good book. A somewhat unique twist on an old story. There are cool historical notes about how poor fisherman actually worked back then, which was surprisingly interesting to me and probably a few dozen other people. If you are looking for a short book or an American classic, it is good one for the job.