Islands in the Stream

Hemingway, Ernest

Book - 2004
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Islands in the Stream
First published in 1970, nine years after Ernest Hemingway's death, Islands in the Stream is the story of an artist and adventurer -- a man much like Hemingway himself. Rich with the uncanny sense of life and action characteristic of his writing -- from his earliest stories (In Our Time) to his last novella (The Old Man and the Sea) -- this compelling novel contains both the warmth of recollection that inspired A Moveable Feast and a rare glimpse of Hemingway's rich and relaxed sense of humor, which enlivens scene after scene. Beginning in the 1930s, Islands in the Stream follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini, where his loneliness is broken by the vacation visit of his three young sons, to his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II. The greater part of the story takes place in a Havana bar, where a wildly diverse cast of characters -- including an aging prostitute who stands out as one of Hemingway's most vivid creations -- engages in incomparably rich dialogue. A brilliant portrait of the inner life of a complex and endlessly intriguing man, Islands in the Stream is Hemingway at his mature best.

Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Scribner, 2004, c1970
Edition: 1st Scribner trade paperback ed
ISBN: 9780684837871
Branch Call Number: FICTION HEMINGWAY 2004
Characteristics: 448 p. ;,21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 06, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Did you know that the Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers song is based on this book? Just kidding.
Can you judge a book that was released posthumously? Hemingway was maybe the brand name American writer of the 20th century writer and someone realized there was lots of money to be made by publishing more of his books, which also includes "A Moveable Feast" (my favorite of his), "The Dangerous Summer," and "The Garden of Eden."
Published in 1970, this three-part novel feels like a parody of Hemingway and you could enjoy yourself by playing a drinking game (I'd suggest rum) by drinking every time a stereotypically Hemingway thing happens: drinking, fishing, half-assed philosophizing, casual sexism, swearing, and manly men doing manly things. Coming in at over 400 pages, "Islands" is the opposite of his celebrated stripped down, blunt style. It's bloated, overwritten, and just plain bad in parts, like when he writes about the "rich whore smell." Ha! On the plus side, I discovered a new drink, the Tomini, which is gin, coconut water, bitters, and lime, although I'd sub rum for gin. Cheers.

Sep 01, 2013
  • FVReader rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Not sure if I got lucky or if Hemingway truly is a good writer. I no longer, though, have an aversion to Hemingway's works and will gladly read more in the future.

This story of Thomas Hudson had me glued to the pages. Hemingway has a way of blending his personal life with his fiction. He brings elements of his life into this story and builds around them. It's not all autobiographical but enough so that Hemingway is interwoven into his story in a real and lasting way.

The first part of this story is awesome. It's life at its best: family, love, good times.

At times this story is gritty, at times its light. Hemingway did a great job of balancing all the elements of a man finding his way through some good and some terrible personal times.

Hemingway could bring strong emotions to the page in few concise words, he manages to get right to the point of what he's trying to say.

After a bad Hemingway experience in high school, its taken me years to try again. I'm glad I did and I look forward to more Hemingway in my reading future.


Add a Quote

Jan 23, 2014



Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at MCL