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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.
So, I wouldn't label To Have and Have Not as a total failure.
The first half of this book was easy for me to follow, but when other characters started getting introduced I started getting confused.
It's gritty, realistic, and the characters are consistent in their characterizations and actions throughout.
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 26 days 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 3 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 3 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 4 months ago by Dawn M.
One of Hemingway 's easiest books to get into, dramatic action commences the book, follows throughout [the book], and teaches a meaningful lesson about life in its end, I'd... Read morePublished 6 months ago by big time
Compelling story by a master , beautiful writing . A must for Hemingway fans. Set in the days of Key West to Cuba boat runs. Read morePublished 6 months ago by James Sawyer