“Most people are heartless about turtles because a turtle’s heart will beat for hours after he has been cut up and butchered. But the old man thought, I have such a heart too.” 

What is this book about?

An old fisherman from Havana with a fondness for turtles, sets out to catch the biggest fish of his life after hitting a fishing dry-spell for 84 days. The old man goes out to sea, completely alone, to face off with the cruel waters and its inhabitants.

Why is it boring?

I have to say that my description made the book sound rather interesting actually! However, most of the book is spent on the sea, with the old man, alone, talking about how pretty fish are. So expect a lot of thinking, barely any dialogue and very little action.

Who would you recommend it to?

Winners. This book is written for people who want to feel victorious, who crave to succeed in the eye of danger and need to feel manly while doing it. This book is so manly even Ron Swanson would be in awe of it. Ladies and other weak-willed folk should stay away from this one.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

It might be dehydration or the utter loneliness of the sea, but the old man is really likable. He talks to the fishies, shows respect for his work and the animals and he has a deep love for baseball. Sometimes the book feels like the manly version of The Little Mermaid in which Ariel is replaced by a man who loves the sea and everything in it with all his heart, but who also knows that he needs to kill to survive. You really want him to finally catch that damned marlin and succeed. When he loses it to five(!) mean sharks, you will find yourself screaming at the book and at God for making one man so insanely unlucky.

Rating 4 /5


Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

Comments are closed.