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am 14. Juli 2000
islands in the stream became one of the handbooks for the conduct of my early years: adventures in the caribbean, adventures in europe, serious drinking and questions of existence. deep blue water and clear skies ruled my days, and this book was a welcome companion on many lonely nights spent at sea. i can only count myself as lucky that i haven't had to live through the events of part 3. hemingway expresses the dilemma that many people face as they go through life, and touched the inner stuff that makes up my soul with this work. oh yeah-i just love the sheer adventure of the story as well.
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am 13. Juli 1998
This book was beautifully bitersweet to me. Thomas Hudson's life (the main character) is a story of tradgedy we've all experienced to one degree or another -- and the flicker of hope that remains when bitterness or despair sets in. As usual, the backdrop for the plot is classic Hemingway: romantic locales, adventure, insight and excellent observations on human character. I'd also like to point out that this is one of the most moving descriptions of fathers and sons (Hudson and his boys) that I've ever read in a novel. In addition there is an incredible sport fishing scene on the Gulf Stream that is the most vivid and exciting fishing account I've read. It will engross the reader totally. Without giving the story away, my only complaint was the second act of the book -- the bitter and nearly defeated Hudson living in Cuba during World War Two. Not to take away from the skill of the storytelling, but Hudson's bitterness during this part of the story is hard to ! ! witness. It left me feeling depressed at times myself. On the other hand it can be argued though that if a story has that sort of emotional effect, then it is successful. And who says stories must always be uplifiting anyways. As Hemingway experienced, as well as the rest of us -- life can be a downer at times. The dark mood of the second half is refreshed though by a dramatic, emotional and introspective ending that left a tear in my eye. I highly recommend this to the fans of Hemingway as well as anyone else -- a well done emotional journey.
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am 27. April 2000
(Actually, I would give this book 6 stars.) With all the controversy about "True at First Light" and the validity of posthumous works this book this is a clear, strong and memorable work. If it not exactly as Hemingway would have finished it I feel no remorse in loving this book. I think about it almost every day since I read it years ago. In the movie version Thomas Hudson was played by George C. Scott , but would have been better suited with Bill Holden. The Thomas Hudson character works off of strong contradictions, just as Holden's characters in "Sunset Boulevard" and "Stalag 17". As in "Sunset Boulevard" the main character falls, unwittingly, into a situation to which he is extremely ambivalent. Thomas Hudson is attracted and repulsed by his involvement in the war in the same way that the Bill Holden Character is attracted and repulsed by his involvement with Norma Desmond. It strikes me that this ambivalence is a very American trait, making "Islands in The Stream" and "Sunset Boulevard" two very American works of Art.
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am 14. Oktober 1998
I really wanted it to be a good, great book, but when I finished it, I was left flat. The Bimini section had some wonderful parts; the struggle with the fish, for example, or some of the old, amazing Thomas Hudson thinking to himself narrative. Just for those two things, the Bimini section is worth reading, but for God's sake, avoid the Cuba section like the plague--it is simply terrible. I for one do not want to hear about the adolescent ramblings of a writer with an imbalance who is using his thinly veiled fiction to bemoan and give a romantic glaze to his own life. The at sea section was not as good as the Bimini section, but worth reading for the adventurous part. I wouldn't grant it any literary merit, though.
All in all, if you are a great Hemingway fan, read it for the silly facts about his life and because it is one of the last books of his which you haven't read three times already (like myself). Otherwise, I'd recommend re-reading Farewell to Arms, his true masterpiece.
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am 14. September 1998
For those aquainted with Hemingway's work, it is easily seen that "Islands" represents the culmination of his talent. Those familiar with his work will find threads of thought similar to his other books, complete with the emotional conflict so authentic that it infects the reader.Hemingway draws from the entire breadth of his writing career, from the simple happiness of the "Nick Adams Stories," to the fatalistic bravery of "For Whom the Bell Tolls." Also to be found in this story are the barren souls of "The Sun Also Rises" and the intense zest for life inherent in all his writings. I believe that because Mr. Hemingway chose to write "Islands in the Stream" without reserve in this manner is why it became his most autobiographical story. "Islands" provides a singularly complete look into how he experienced life. A fitting end to his work.
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am 29. Mai 1998
Being a posthumously published novel, and not one of HEMINGWAY'S most famous ones, I wasn't expecting to like ISLANDS IN THE STREAM as much as I did. But I think it is an absolutely brilliant novel; probably Hemingway's third best (After THE SUN ALSO RISES and A FAREWELL TO ARMS). Thomas Hudson is an interesting protagonist, and his relationship with his sons is moving, and without the cynicism that colors most of the affectionate relationships in Hemingway's work. The writing is brilliant (among the best I've ever read), and the action scenes done with artistry. I believe ISLANDS is an under-appreciated novel in Hemingway's oeuvre.
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am 20. September 1998
ABsolutely among his best works. From his starry eyed descriptions of the carribean, to hunting u-boats in the Keys, and his stories of other modernist writers (such as joyce and fitzgerald) this is a beautifully written and near-epic tale. A must read for any fan of Hemingway, modernism, or the tropics. An in-close look at the meaning of life and death, this challenges "For Whom The Bell Tolls" for hisa greatest worrk on the subject. A true classic, please, for yourself, read it.
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am 6. November 1998
We can only hope that this was the form Hemingway would have wanted Islands in the Stream to take, as it was published posthumously. However it is, in my opinion, one of his best.The subtlety he employs is matched only in his short stories like "Hills Like White Elephants". If nothing else, read this book for the scene about drinking "daquiris, blended, no sugar" and a drunken argument with a beloved cat. BRILLIANT!!!!
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am 27. März 2000
I love Hemingway, enjoyed this book, but found myself getting lost a few times, finding myself reading a few pages and not remembering what I read. The first section of this book is great, I found though, it slowly falls apart from there. But, this book is a must for any Hemingway reader, but not a good starting point for a new Hemingway fan. I liked it, but was not draw in like I was with his other books.
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am 22. April 2000
Full of beauty and pain, this book is powerful. I found the imagery, dialogue and layout of this book breathtaking. Three stories, three facets of a man's life all interwoven to form a lush and stunning journey. Very mature compared to his earlier works. Perhaps alluding to, and expounding on himself in "For Whom the Bell Tolls", where he cites Donne's poem "No Man is an Island".
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