Best Line in The Old Man and the Sea?

My friend, Sam, bought and gave me a copy of The Old Man and the Sea at the Hemingway House in Key West, and so I sat down and read the thing yet again.

The award-winning novel has a rather simple plot — the old man goes fishing, catches a big marlin, fights the thing for days, finally it dies, the old man returns only to have sharks tear the meat off the bones of the marlin — he collapses on his bed with nothing but a memory and the struggle and some bones to show for his heroic efforts.

What is your favorite line in the book?

This one struck me today:

It was an hour before the first shark hit him.

Out of nowhere, at least for a first time reader, that shark hits and the whole story takes on a new turn with that hit.

Hemingway’s prose is almost inimitable; yea, perhaps it is but no one mastered as he did. Spare, lean, straight.

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