Stern Men Audio CD – Audiobook, 23 Dec 2009
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
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 -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.
'Finding an Austen heroine in a lobster boat - an irreverent and observant young woman, reeking of bait - is one of many delights delivered by Elizabeth Gilbert in Stern Men, her beautifully wrought and very funny novel' Mirabella 'Ruth loves her island with a heroine's passionate wisdom, but she falls in love with a boy from the enemy island, the enemy clan... There's Romeo and Juliet in the drama of the young lovers' Los Angeles Times 'Elizabeth Gilbert has been described by Annie Proulx as a "writer of incandescent talent". She justifies this assessment in Stern Men... Gilbert's poise in constructing a plot and her feeling for her characters make it a worthy successor to Pilgrims which won a series of first-fiction awards' Glasgow Herald -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Sadly Stern Men has none of these attributes. I've managed to get through half of it but have just stopped as I just can't justify wasting my time on trudging through it. It's a big disappointment to be sure.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as good as Eat, Pray Love, or The Signature of All Things. A bit to rambling and detailed where it wasn't necessary.Published 13 months ago by Wimbledonian
I enjoy reading Elizabeth Gilbert's books, and was looking forward to starting this one, but unfortunately this edition, (Bloomsbury), has really small lettering and so I haven't... Read morePublished on 1 July 2014 by Ivy