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.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.