Start reading Stern Men on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Stern Men
 
 

Stern Men [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Gilbert
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £4.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £3.87 (48%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.12  
Hardcover, Large Print --  
Paperback £7.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook --  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.


Product Description

Amazon.co.uk Review

Ruth Thomas's life is enriched by the eccentric islanders she lives with in Elizabeth Gilbert's rewarding debut novel Stern Men. The author describes the trials and tribulations in the lives of lobstermen on a remote island off the coast of Maine as seen through the eyes of Ruth, the young daughter of a "stern man". Daily life is tough and grinding; some sink while others swim. The hothouse atmosphere creates an environment of seeming contradictions in the struggle for survival: jealousy and compassion; love and hate; life and death.
Lobstermen fight over every cubic yard of the sea. Every lobster one man catches is a lobster another man has lost. It is a mean business, and it makes for mean men. As humans, after all, we become that which we seek.

Life is also suffocatingly dull and limited, especially for someone as feisty and intelligent as Ruth. But an oddball assortment of friends and neighbours help Ruth to reconcile her mixed feelings about island life and to decide her future (and, in turn, her decisions have a rippling impact on everyone). There is the troop of loveable but not-very-bright Pommeroy brothers who live next door; the water-fearing Senator Simon Addams who spends his summers organising searches for an elephant's tusks in the mudflats; and the handsome but uncommunicative Owmey Wishell who begins to capture her heart.

"Stern Men" is almost parable-like in its plotting and the writing is solid and so evocative that the sea air blows out from the pages. It is suffused throughout with believable dialogue and gentle humour and contains a wealth of historical and practical information--including timely observations on the behaviour of the lobsters themselves. "Stern Men" is a memorable and unusual novel. --Christina McLoughlin

Amazon Review

Ruth Thomas's life is enriched by the eccentric islanders she lives with in Elizabeth Gilbert's rewarding debut novel Stern Men. The author describes the trials and tribulations in the lives of lobstermen on a remote island off the coast of Maine as seen through the eyes of Ruth, the young daughter of a "stern man". Daily life is tough and grinding; some sink while others swim. The hothouse atmosphere creates an environment of seeming contradictions in the struggle for survival: jealousy and compassion; love and hate; life and death.
Lobstermen fight over every cubic yard of the sea. Every lobster one man catches is a lobster another man has lost. It is a mean business, and it makes for mean men. As humans, after all, we become that which we seek.

Life is also suffocatingly dull and limited, especially for someone as feisty and intelligent as Ruth. But an oddball assortment of friends and neighbours help Ruth to reconcile her mixed feelings about island life and to decide her future (and, in turn, her decisions have a rippling impact on everyone). There is the troop of loveable but not-very-bright Pommeroy brothers who live next door; the water-fearing Senator Simon Addams who spends his summers organising searches for an elephant's tusks in the mudflats; and the handsome but uncommunicative Owmey Wishell who begins to capture her heart.

"Stern Men" is almost parable-like in its plotting and the writing is solid and so evocative that the sea air blows out from the pages. It is suffused throughout with believable dialogue and gentle humour and contains a wealth of historical and practical information--including timely observations on the behaviour of the lobsters themselves. "Stern Men" is a memorable and unusual novel. --Christina McLoughlin


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 839 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 074759824X
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks; 1 edition (16 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003E20ZQK
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #190,299 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. In 2002, she published The Last American Man, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award. She is best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, which was published in over thirty languages and sold more than seven million copies worldwide. The film, released in 2010, stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage, a follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love, was published in 2010. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey, USA.

(Photo credit: Shea Hembrey)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Don't be put off by the fact that this book is about lobster fishing. No, seriously, don't! This is a wonderful novel about love, work and growing up.

Yes, I did learn more about lobsters than I could ever have imagined - but as part of the most delightful romp of a plot. It's an unusual but very readable story about feuding Maine islanders, focusing on the story of a very engaging protagonist, eighteen-year old Ruth Thomas, a headstrong young woman who has just returned from boarding school on the mainland.

Ruth is independent, blunt, straight-spoken and often hilariously direct. For all her wit and sarcasm, she's a very appealing character with fiercely-felt emotions and an interesting family background to deal with - as well as a struggle to decide what she should do with her future and of course a love interest...

I thought this was such a delightful, beautifully written book - funny, moving and fascinating - I just couldn't put it down. I was very glad that I hadn't gone with my initial impulse ('ugh, a book about lobsters and fishing') and put it back on the shelf. Instead, I'm definitely going to be looking out for Elizabeth Gilbert's other novels. A brilliant read: well-written, funny and moving.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stern Men 12 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I so loved Eat Pray Love, also written by Elizabeth Gilbert. They are, of course, completely different genres, one being an autobiography, and the other being a work of fiction. But I thought Gilbert's narrative voice in Eat Pray Love was so stunningly beautiful that I hoped it would be the same in Stern Men.

I was not disappointed. This is a unique story of two rivalling islands in the battlefield that is lobster fishing. It is about the small communities and the strange personalities born out of the isolation, the hardship, the weather and, of course, the lobster.

And in the midst of this is Ruth Thomas, the main character in the shape of an 18 year old girl. She virtually jumps off the page, caustic and cocky at the same time as being vulnerable and lost, which immediately endeared her to me. Her delightfully dirty language and her complete disregard for the norms of island society make her the perfect heroine - someone with gumption and edge and grit.

As we follow her through her young adulthood we meet her family and friends. All are characters perfectly drawn with such subtlety and clarity that each is an absolute pleasure to get to know. The stern men of the title are the hardened island residents, like Ruth's emotionally inadequate father, Stan Thomas, his hot-tempered friend Angus Addams, the lobstering demi-god Babe Wishnell, the out-of-town granite magnate Mr. Ellis, drunk and passionate Ira Pommeroy, creepy Cal Cooley. To complete the picture, all these men are surrounded by women, strong and beautiful in every way their men are not. And all the way through you can follow a red tread of delightfully outrageous inbreeding.

We watch as Ruth tries to find herself as an adult, and as she battles against the sinister hold the Ellis family has over her own.

This book is hilarious, charming, sweet and touching. It is thorough and slow, in all the good ways.
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A spot-on, Down East yarn. 25 Sep 2003
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Gilbert deftly captures Maine's wry, Down East humor and its flat, deadpan delivery in this seriocomic tale of lobstering and survival on twin islands, twenty miles off the Maine coast. Independent, cussed, and fiercely loyal to their own islands, the inhabitants are virtually a law unto themselves as they compete for the lobster market, the only commercial venue open to them.
In a deceptively simple style and the dry, straight talk of a native telling a tale which may or may not be a "tall one," Gilbert introduces Ruth Thomas, the feisty product of a rare interisland marriage. We come to know her relatives, the friends with whom she shares her challenging and sometimes monotonous life, and we watch her grow up and deal with the problems, conflicts, frustrations, and ultimate satisfactions of her isolation on the island. As the one person who really has access to the rival "players" on both islands, Ruth is also a reluctant beacon of hope for the future of the islands.
Gilbert's warm tale of this hard life perfectly captures the cadences and rhythms of the "down Maine" speaker. Her characters sound and act real--though not one of the says "ayuh" even once! Her story of the sternmen shows them to be stern, hard men, but the story has heart, and "it were a good'un." Mary Whipple
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read 17 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Both my husband and I read this book. He really liked it. I was not so gripped. I had read The Signature of All Things which was a real 5 star read. I think If I had read Stern Men first I may not have read another Elizabeth Gilbert book. Yes it's worth a read I enjoyed the Maine lobster - esquesness (!) but I found I did not really care what happened to the characters, especially the 'heroine'.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category