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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depression Era Perils in The Florida Straits
This short novel was written when Hemingway was living in Key West and paying regular visits to Cuba, before moving, lock, stock, and barrel, to Havana in 1939. The author was a keen deep-sea fisherman himself, who craved a laid-back tropical lifestyle between bouts of high adventure. To Have and Have Not draws heavily on his intimate knowledge of early nineteen-thirties...
Published on 11 Jun 2001

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3.0 out of 5 stars Harry Morgan is a tough guy but is an unhappy loser
This is a dark tale, chiefly about a tough working class guy named Harry Morgan. It takes place in Key West, Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico.

Harry is tough and thinks he can beat the system, but we find out that he (like so many others) is just another loser. Hemingway contrasts Harry with some other losers, including Cubans, Chinese, Blacks, and a large...
Published on 17 May 1996


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Depression Era Perils in The Florida Straits, 11 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
This short novel was written when Hemingway was living in Key West and paying regular visits to Cuba, before moving, lock, stock, and barrel, to Havana in 1939. The author was a keen deep-sea fisherman himself, who craved a laid-back tropical lifestyle between bouts of high adventure. To Have and Have Not draws heavily on his intimate knowledge of early nineteen-thirties life in the Florida Keys, the north coast of Cuba, the Gulf Stream in between, the fishing boats that worked these waters, and the men who owned and manned them.
This was the time of the Great Depression. Harry Morgan has been bilked of his dues for a fishing charter out of Havana. Broke, he turns to smuggling with its inevitable risks, in order to support his family, while the author treats the reader to a simply told, suspenseful, and sometimes poignant morality tale. A tale with a rich share of characters ranging from down-and-out "rummies", Cuban revolutionaries, bar-owners, drunken authors, customs men, and an inevitably crooked lawyer, to wealthy owners of luxury steam-yachts.
Interestingly, if a little quirkily structured, the book is divided into three parts. The first is told in the first person, most of the remainder in the third. To Have and Have Not should be viewed as a product - as well as a story - of its time, particularly in respect of terminologyy that would today be seen as highly racist and derogatory. Not "Papa's" best work, but most assuredly a yarn that held this reader's attention throughout.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not waste your time reading these reviews BUY THE BOOK, 10 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have and Have Not (Paperback)
This book is incredibly written. I have read all of Hemingways work and have found this book to be the most exicing. It may be a little rough but I think that is how he wanted it. Parts of this book refer to Hemingway's own thoughts own sucide and after reading you will have a lot better grasp of why he did kill himself. You can not call yourself a true Hemingway fan unless you have read this book!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Ink on Paper, 3 Oct 2003
By 
Patrick Shepherd "hyperpat" (San Jose, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
Rough. Hard. Dirty. Physical. Tough. And also lyrical, simple, emotional, indelible. All characteristics of Hemingway's writing, all present in this book. A simple story of Harry Morgan, sometime fisherman forced into smuggling and illegal immigration just to feed his family, a man who spirals down the slippery road of 'the end justifying the means' till there is nothing left but survive at any cost.
The story is told as three separate time-segments in Harry's life, which forces a certain disjointedness to the tale. But it also allows Hemingway to illuminate Harry's story with different segments of the Cuban and Key West societies at different times with changing social conditions. There are many character vignettes, people captured sometimes in only a few paragraphs, people who are desperate, silly, egotistical, idealistic, cynical, worn-out, greedy, dissolute, resigned, driven, and just coping. Albert, a man doing relief work for less than subsistence wages, is one of the clearest and most poignant images, hiring on as mate to Henry even though he knows the voyage is supremely dangerous. Within this short portrait of this man, we see not only the extremes that desperation will drive a man to, but also Hemingway's commentary on social/political organizations and economic structures that give rise to such desperation. This was quite typical of Hemingway, as he never beat his reader's over the head with his political philosophy, but showed the underpinnings of his reasoning through the circumstances of his characters.
Throughout this work, there is the sense that there is more here than what the words on the page delineate, a theme of people from all walks of life and all economic circumstances who are caught in the implacability of fate. All of these people have their own dreams, their own methods of dealing with the vagaries of life, and each is limned by the ultimate depression of life limited to only a short span.
Morgan's wife, though relegated to only a small part on these pages, shines through as one of the most engaging and durable people here, supportive of her husband's dreams, willing to forgo anything more than minimal material wealth, able to put aside her husband's foibles, and having the inner strength to continue when all her world collapses around her. The contrast between her and many of the other characters here is striking, a fine illustration of what really compromises the 'haves' and the 'have nots'.
This book is not as powerful as For Whom the Bell Tolls, mainly due to its fragmented story structure and lack of any clear objective for its main characters, but is still a fine book with many nuances hiding within its simple story. This is not a book for those who like happy, uplifting stories, but it does much to illuminate both the best and the worst of humanity's fight with the curse of living and the insurmountable wall of dying.
--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pulp Fiction, 16 Jan 2009
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
If you ever have wondered where Quentin Tarantino or the Cohen Brothers get their inspiration you should read this book. Written in 1937 it anticipates many of the themes and techniques we have come to associate with these film-makers. The narrative from a range of different perspectives, the exploration of the lives of multiple characters from multiple social, ethnic and economic backgrounds and perhaps most significantly of all the presentation and exploration of violence, stark brutal often shocking violence, and the effect it has on perpetrators, their victims and those connected to both. It is a very visual book and crying out to be filmed. There have been three attempts but all have wandered so far from the text, both in terms of story and theme, that they can hardly be considered worthy of Hemingway. I would advise you to read this quickly if you can. Immerse yourself in Harry Morgan's depression-era Florida and Cuba. It will leave you moved, stunned and reaching for more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Harry Morgan is a tough guy but is an unhappy loser, 17 May 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have and Have Not (Paperback)
This is a dark tale, chiefly about a tough working class guy named Harry Morgan. It takes place in Key West, Cuba and the Gulf of Mexico.

Harry is tough and thinks he can beat the system, but we find out that he (like so many others) is just another loser. Hemingway contrasts Harry with some other losers, including Cubans, Chinese, Blacks, and a large assortment of Americans from several class and ethnic backgrounds.

There are a few bright moments in the book between Harry and his wife Marie, as well as between Harry and his shipmates.

Many of Hemingway's favorite themes are here -- what does it mean to be a tough man, an artist, a lover. Unlike some of his other works, his answers to these questions are mostly bleak and depressing.

The 1944 movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is nothing like the book. If you've seen the movie be prepared for a big shock.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved It, 5 July 2013
By 
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
I read this on the train to work for a week or so and it made the tube journey disappear in a miasma of rum and bulletholes.

There is a social conscience at work here but it is forsworn in the name of telling a good story. Not a huge Hemmingway fan but this really hit the nail on the head for me in an otherwise uneventful time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heart rending, 21 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
Harry is a man just trying to make a living wage, to support his once beautiful wife and three daughters. He does what he has to do and has no pity. Here I feel Hemmingway has shown us the man that all men hope that they could be, yet are glad they are not. Also thrown in on top of this there are stunning descriptions of writers, bar owners and all the characters and characterisations that there are to love about Hemmingway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Deep, 20 Nov 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have and Have Not (Paperback)
Hemingway's genius as the greatest American writer of the century is evident from the first chapter. His action narrative skills are first rate, but get beneath that level and find his wonderful insight into the shallowness of the rich in contrast to the depth of the protaganist, a poor fisherman, and adventurer. And, if you think Hemingway is all machismo, read chapter 21 for its gut wrenching sensitivity from the female perspective. Enjoy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, 9 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: To Have and Have Not (Paperback)
An excellent book with some of the most complex and interesting character deveopments I have ever read. If you like Hemingway you will love this book. Even if you normally don't care for Hemingway, you will more than likely appreciate this work. I think that it is one of his best. A wonderful must read for all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast and gritty, 17 Mar 2008
By 
Rusty (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: To Have & Have Not (Paperback)
The pace of this novel was probably it's chief selling point - it moves like lightning across the Gulf Stream and is easily Hemingway's swiftest piece of storytelling. The experimental nature of the first and third-person perspective keeps things fresh, although it doesn't quite work all the time and is used almost too often for such a slim piece of work.

There are some effective stream-of-consciousness moments - stylistically very much of its time - and a very interesting page dealing with thoughts of suicide by pistol (knowing as we do that Hemingway would eventually shoot himself, this passage becomes all the more chilling).

Around the halfway mark, we stray from the gritty story of Harry Morgan and focus on a cast of wealthy characters vacationing in Key West. Although this provides a necessary contrast between rich and poor - and provides Hemingway with his central theme - I found that I simply wanted to return to Harry Morgan's plight rather than read about the marital problems of a troubled writer...or the infidelities of spoilt American yachtsmen.

This is perhaps one of the least structured novels in Hemingway's entire collection. You get the feeling it's almost two different novels clumsily fused into one - but it's consistently buoyed up by some masterful storytelling...and that's why it gets three stars.
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To Have & Have Not
To Have & Have Not by Ernest Hemingway (Paperback - 18 Aug 1994)
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