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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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
This is a book that you can dislike or even hate at one period of your life, love in another.
It's gritty, realistic, and the characters are consistent in their characterizations and actions throughout.
The latter half of the novella has very little to do with the first half or the other two short sections.
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 morePublished 28 days ago by M. G Watson
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 morePublished 2 months ago by pl
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 morePublished 4 months ago by Banjo Baba
Somewhat fragmented overall, but the phraseology and pacing of the author is masterful. You' swear you were there and knew the people. It is Hemingway, after all.Published 4 months ago by John T. Kramer
I read this book and could hardly believe it was written so long ago. I do get the staging on occasion, but really good. I am looking forward to reading more books by Hemingway.Published 5 months ago by Dawn M.
I haven't read it yet; however, my roommate has and she says it a really good book.Published 6 months ago by Kat