Halloween Recap / #ABookAWeek: The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Reading is a key component of learning. I do my best to read a book each week. And I'm always looking for new titles! To share your own book suggestions, use #ABookAWeek on Twitter or Instagram and tag me @NicolasCole77. If I choose your book, I'll tag you in the blog post!
This year I went to two big Halloween parties, one at Untitled on Thursday night and one at Soho House Chicago on Saturday night.
Untitled's theme this year was based on the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and they had performers come and act out scenes from the legendary movie. There were also burlesque dancers, contortionists, palm readers, body painters, basically anything and everything you could think of—with minimal clothing. I went with a bunch of friends, and went as a mix between Magic Mike and Aladdin. (If you want to see the costume, click HERE.)
On Saturday night, I attended the big Soho House 1960s Playboy themed party. The whole place was decorated with old Playboy photos. They turned one of the rooms into a bowling alley where girls stripped based on how many pins you knocked down. They had the famous burlesque dancer Michelle L'amour perform on a stage. And they turned the rooftop pool into a heated Grotto (where clothes were *optional*). All in all, it was incredible, mostly because I dressed up like a Pimp and walked around with a Pimp Cane in red satin pajamas.
While I was recovering on Sunday (not from alcohol but from exhaustion—my Halloween night ended sometime around 7am), I spent all day relaxing and reading in bed. I had been working through this book off and on but this week I decided to finish it: Ernest Hemingway's novella, The Old Man And The Sea.
This is a short read, and I've read it twice before this, but every time I read it I seem to understand more and more the intention of the prose. When I first read it, I read it for the story: It is about the pursuit of an old, experienced fisherman and the prized Marlin fish he wishes to catch; as well as the relationship the old fisherman has with a younger fisherman, his apprentice, named Manolin.
It is a slow story and one that moves at the pace of a fisherman. It wasn't until this third time reading it that I began to see that this is the true essence of the story—not so much "what" happens but "how" it happens. The way the story is written, in a tranquil and flowing state that resembles a line waiting in the water, is more important than the details of the story themselves. Reading the book, you feel as though you too are on a boat and waiting. Hemingway then is asking you, as a reader, to do more than just understand the story. He is asking you to feel it.
My favorite book by Hemingway is A Moveable Feast, however The Old Man And The Sea is a close second. His writing is so painfully simple that you can't help but admire it—stripped of all its excess like a lean piece of meat. What I like most about this style is that it forces you to question the English language, confidently reminding you to question yourself whether every little "and," "to," "but," or any series of adjectives are necessary. He is a writer for writers.
If you don't have this book on your bookshelf, change that. There's a reason Hemingway received the Nobel Prize for it.
Want to join the #ABookAWeek club? Submit below! Every Sunday I give you a new book to read.