In language of great simplicity and power, Hemingway tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck--he hasn't caught a fish in 84 days--who goes out in his small skiff one more time. This time he hooks a huge marlin. During his relentless ordeal, a long and agonizing battle with the marlin far out in the Gulf Stream, the old man faces long days of hunger and exhaustion, his courage and his respect for his adversary never flagging. The man is old and tired and at the end of his life, but he remains the archetypical Hemingway hero who refuses to accept defeat. THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, considered one of Hemingway's best novels, is also his shortest, a mere 27,000 words. It originally appeared in Life magazine in August, 1952, two weeks before it was published in book form. In a statement, Hemingway commented that, with this book, "It's as though I had gotten finally what I had been working for all my life," and claimed that he wanted to make it accessible to people who might not ordinarily be able to afford to buy a book: the Life version was 20 cents, the hardcover book three dollars.