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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
People are complex and this novel, through an entertaining plot, demonstrates both noble and shameful acts of rich and poor alike. Read morePublished 6 days ago by John W.
This novel is an outstanding achievement and its unique qualities may not fit every reader’s taste. The novel is about an anti-hero, a man of courage and prowess, a murderer and... Read morePublished 19 days ago by C. Collins
Great story-very human perspective. Nothing like the movie.Published 26 days ago by Willie the Shoe
Although most readers will disagree, this is my favorite Hemingway novel. I rate it four stars as opposed to five only because the changes of narrative view will bother some... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ray Schrab
Love everything by Hemingway and this does not disappoint. It reads like a surprisingly modern novel, especially alongside his other work. Read morePublished 1 month ago by P. Doherty
This is one of his least critically acclaimed, but it's great fun. I picked it up for mindless summer reading by the pool.Published 1 month ago by A. Clevenstine
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 morePublished 2 months ago by Scrapple8