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To Have and Have Not [Kindle Edition]

Ernest Hemingway
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $12.99
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Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
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Book Description

To Have and Have Not is the dramatic, brutal story of Harry Morgan, an honest boat owner who is forced into running contraband between Cuba and Key West as a means of keeping his crumbling family financially afloat. His adventures lead him into the world of the wealthy and dissipated yachtsmen who swarm the region, and involve him in a strange and unlikely love affair.
In this harshly realistic, yet oddly tender and wise novel, Hemingway perceptively delineates the personal struggles of both the "haves" and the "have nots" and creates one of the most subtle and moving portraits of a love affair in his oeuvre. In turn funny and tragic, lively and poetic, remarkable in its emotional impact, To Have and Have Not takes literary high adventure to a new level. As the Times Literary Supplement observed, "Hemingway's gift for dialogue, for effective understatement, and for communicating such emotions the tough allow themselves, has never been more conspicuous."

Editorial Reviews Review

First things first: readers coming to To Have and Have Not after seeing the Bogart/Bacall film should be forewarned that about the only thing the two have in common is the title. The movie concerns a brave fishing-boat captain in World War II-era Martinique who aids the French Resistance, battles the Nazis, and gets the girl in the end. The novel concerns a broke fishing-boat captain who agrees to carry contraband between Cuba and Florida in order to feed his wife and daughters. Of the two, the novel is by far the darker, more complex work.

The first time we meet Harry Morgan, he is sitting in a Havana bar watching a gun battle raging out in the street. After seeing a Cuban get his head blown off with a Luger, Morgan reacts with typical Hemingway understatement: "I took a quick one out of the first bottle I saw open and I couldn't tell you yet what it was. The whole thing made me feel pretty bad." Still feeling bad, Harry heads out in his boat on a charter fishing expedition for which he is later stiffed by the client. With not even enough money to fill his gas tanks, he is forced to agree to smuggle some illegal Chinese for the mysterious Mr. Sing. From there it's just a small step to carrying liquor--a disastrous run that ends when Harry loses an arm and his boat. Once Harry gets mixed up in the brewing Cuban revolution, however, even those losses seem small compared to what's at stake now: his very life.

Hemingway tells most of this story in the third person, but, significantly, he brackets the whole with a section at the beginning told from Harry's perspective and a short, heart-wrenching chapter at the end narrated by his wife, Marie. In between there is adventure, danger, betrayal, and death, but this novel begins and ends with the tough and tender portrait of a man who plays the cards that are dealt him with courage and dignity, long after hope is gone. --Alix Wilber


Minor novel by Ernest Hemingway, published in 1937. Set in and near Key West, Florida, the novel is about a cynical boat owner whose concern for his rum-soaked sidekick and love for a reckless woman lead him to risk everything to aid gunrunners in a noble cause. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

Product Details

  • File Size: 305 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0099909006
  • Publisher: Scribner (July 25, 2002)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0VOS
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,515 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IF THIS IS HIS WORST, THEN NOBODY DOES IT BETTER!! October 1, 1999
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've always been a fan of Hemingway's The Sun also Rises and a Farewell to Arms. I wanted to read another of his books, and since I loved the Bogart and Bacall movie I purchased this despite the typical literary review that calls To Have and Have Not his worst novel. This book is great!! It's gritty, realistic, and the characters are consistent in their characterizations and actions throughout. The bar dialogue, Harry's actions as he delves into crime, they're all dead on. The plot-line really comes together with the juxtaposition of the rich and the poor (I dare you to not be disgusted by the "vital" concerns of the wealthy in the last few chapters). Hemingway's depiction of Harry's suffering wife is perhaps the *ONLY* completely believable female representation I have *EVER* read. This book is macho, poignantly sad, exciting, and full of heart wrenching loneliness throughout.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book. August 14, 2002
To Have And Have Not is too fragmentary to be Hemingway's best novel. It's divided into three episodes, which I think were written at completely different times, so Hemingway's objectives might have changed halfway through. The first episode was meant to stand on its own merits as a short story, but Hemingway liked it so much he came back to it later and added two more. That said, it's certainly a fine novel - gripping, moving and very well-written at every step of the way. It revolves around Harry Morgan, an honest man turned into a smuggler by necessity. In the context of the whole novel, the first episode serves mainly to establish his person and show what sort of man he is - his reluctance to get into illegal activities, his strength, his survival instinct and the cruelty that it sometimes results in, and his human qualities. This reads like a self-contained short story with no real point other than an action-filled scenario. The second and shortest episode is the weakest part of the novel - it's a cross-section of a day in Morgan's life after he already takes up smuggling. It certainly shows the risks he has to take, but doesn't serve to do much other than explain a certain point in the third episode.
The third episode, where the real meat of the story is, is the best. It shows the further developments and the conclusion of Morgan's criminal career. It is also where the book's title comes in - here we see the contrast between those who have and those who have not. This comparison makes it easier to understand by contrast just how inevitably Morgan was driven to the life he now leads.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Ink on Paper October 3, 2003
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rough. Hard. Dirty. Physical. Tough. And also lyrical, simple, emotional, indelible. All characteristics of Hemingway's writing, all present in this book. A simple story of Harry Morgan, sometime fisherman forced into smuggling and illegal immigration just to feed his family, a man who spirals down the slippery road of 'the end justifying the means' till there is nothing left but survive at any cost.

The story is told as three separate time-segments in Harry's life, which forces a certain disjointedness to the tale. But it also allows Hemingway to illuminate Harry's story with different segments of the Cuban and Key West societies at different times with changing social conditions. There are many character vignettes, people captured sometimes in only a few paragraphs, people who are desperate, silly, egotistical, idealistic, cynical, worn-out, greedy, dissolute, resigned, driven, and just coping. Albert, a man doing relief work for less than subsistence wages, is one of the clearest and most poignant images, hiring on as mate to Henry even though he knows the voyage is supremely dangerous. Within this short portrait of this man, we see not only the extremes that desperation will drive a man to, but also Hemingway's commentary on social/political organizations and economic structures that give rise to such desperation. This was quite typical of Hemingway, as he never beat his reader's over the head with his political philosophy, but showed the underpinnings of his reasoning through the circumstances of his characters.

Throughout this work, there is the sense that there is more here than what the words on the page delineate, a theme of people from all walks of life and all economic circumstances who are caught in the implacability of fate.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Adventure From The Master April 7, 2001
Masterworks like For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Sun Also Rises overshadow To Have And Have Not, but you should not overlook it. The novel is mainly about Harry Morgan, a depression-era fishing boat captain who has run out of luck. The book also has several of the trademark Hemingway stories within the story. Rather than a novel, I like to think of this as a bunch of short stories held together by one greater theme. When your reading, you feel as though Hemingway has let you in on a secret, and he is showing you his private world of Key West and Havana in the 1930's. I also believe that this book is the link between his early success from The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell To Arms to his later triumphs of For Whom The Bell Tolls and The Old Man And The Sea. Because of its high action and the constant sense of adventure, I would recommend this quick read to the first time Hemingway reader. This book is the perfect primer for For Whom The Bell Tolls. The only reason I gave this 4 stars is because of Hemingways other great works. Had another author written this, it would be a better known book for sure. Excellant book and a must read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars All I've got is my cojones to peddle
Ernest Hemingway is known for his terse, powerful narration but that is probably not what today’s audience will first notice about “To Have and Have Not,” the 1937 novel about... Read more
Published 16 days ago by Scrapple8
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Hemingway at his best and worst...
Published 1 month ago by Robert S. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough And Gritty As You Would Expect From Hemingway
Hemingway's strength's are displayed throughout this short novel about a fisherman turned smuggler during hard times. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. J. Marsella
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Hemingway
Great read, so true, the characters are so different but so colorful. Thought provoking story can,t wait to read the next one.
Published 2 months ago by marilyn m. keshock-rode
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 2 months ago by Dan K.
3.0 out of 5 stars "We are the desperate ones."
On the back of my copy of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT there is a blurb which reads; "This is the dramatic story of Harry Morgan, an honest man who is forced into running contraband... Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. G Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good! thank you...
Published 3 months ago by Eduardo Lander
5.0 out of 5 stars Is this the real Hemingway?
Seemed like an intimate peek into the tortured mind of Hemingway. Read it while I was in Key West. Make it more real. To the point that it gave me nightmares. Read more
Published 4 months ago by pl
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Was neither inspired, nor even cared for it .
Published 6 months ago by Barbara Dawson
3.0 out of 5 stars Read it to round off your Hemingway scholarship, but that's about the...
The book is written in the usual crisp and fast Hemingway style and is a quick read. But, he has several experimental chapters where he plays around with the narrative approach... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Banjo Baba
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More About the Author

Ernest Hemingway ranks as the most famous of twentieth-century American writers; like Mark Twain, Hemingway is one of those rare authors most people know about, whether they have read him or not. The difference is that Twain, with his white suit, ubiquitous cigar, and easy wit, survives in the public imagination as a basically, lovable figure, while the deeply imprinted image of Hemingway as rugged and macho has been much less universally admired, for all his fame. Hemingway has been regarded less as a writer dedicated to his craft than as a man of action who happened to be afflicted with genius. When he won the Nobel Prize in 1954, Time magazine reported the news under Heroes rather than Books and went on to describe the author as "a globe-trotting expert on bullfights, booze, women, wars, big game hunting, deep sea fishing, and courage." Hemingway did in fact address all those subjects in his books, and he acquired his expertise through well-reported acts of participation as well as of observation; by going to all the wars of his time, hunting and fishing for great beasts, marrying four times, occasionally getting into fistfights, drinking too much, and becoming, in the end, a worldwide celebrity recognizable for his signature beard and challenging physical pursuits.

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