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Across the River and into the Trees

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  4,343 ratings  ·  272 reviews
In the fall of 1948, Ernest Hemingway made his first extended visit to Italy in thirty years. His reacquaintance with Venice, a city he loved, provided the inspiration for Across the River and into the Trees, the story of Richard Cantwell, a war-ravaged American colonel stationed in Italy at the close of the Second World War, and his love for a young Italian countess. A po ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 15th 1998 by Scribner (first published 1950)
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Community Reviews

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Remember for me a three star book IS definitely worth reading.

I know Hemingway is not for everyone, but I like his writing style. I don't read his books for plot; I read them for the lines, for his ability to express complicated things simply and for his ability to capture the inherent differences between the sexes. Differences there are.

There are two principle characters in this novel - Colonel Richard Cantwell and his lover Renata. He is fifty-one. She is nineteen. He is masculine. He is bru
David Lentz
When Hemingway wrote this novel, he may have known that his materpieces were behind him. Although this novel is a lesser work, there are moments of tenderness, poignancy and power crafted in his trademark miminalist style that linger. The novel concerns a retired Army Colonel, who has fought in brutal combat, near the end of his life and is desperately in love with a much younger woman. To me the woman signified the Colonel's lost youth and the relationship may take on new meaning if one views i ...more
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K.M. Weiland
There's something about this book. On the one hand, it definitely suffers from all the problems that other reviewers have mentioned. It's pretty lightweight in the plot department, the dialogue is droningly repetitious at times (as Hemingway's dialogue often is), and you can't help but feel (as one often does while reading Hemingway) that the author is up on his personal soapbox, foaming away. But there's still a lot of "stuff" in this book. Aside from the obvious portraits of May/December roman ...more
Luís Blue Yorkie
He's so sentimental that it almost seems that brings honey ... there are times when it ressemblies strange to be a book of Hemingway. But it is deep as all the things he wrote. Very nice!
the worst hemingway i have ever read.
Luke Marsden
This is a novel full of beauty laced with melancholy. It is, fittingly, set in Venice, itself an ancient and beautiful city that is slowly sinking into the sea. In part, it is a lament about the impossibility of going back to your youth once it is gone, but it is also a lesson in savouring what you have, a tribute to experience, and about knowing how to appreciate life in all its infinite subtlety. Cantwell is a WWII veteran who, knowing that he has not long left to live, has made his peace with ...more
Daniel Villines
Second Reading: December 2014

Yes, this book is not very good: probably two stars at best. And within the context of itself, that is all it's worth. But I found more to this book within the context of what I've come to know about Hemingway, which is just enough to be a danger to my own integrity.

By 1950, at the time of Across the River's publication, Hemingway had lived a hard life. He sustained injuries during his participation in three wars and he routinely abused himself through his excessive
I was disappointed. I am a Hemingway fan, but not of this book. The book is set in post-WWII Italy and the main character is a 50+ year-old US Army Colonel in love with an almost 19 year-old girl. They lament about their age difference since they know it is insurmountable which is understandable, but the dialog is horrible. She: "Don't speak rough." He: "I will try to be gentle." She: "It is so much better when you are nice" He: "I will try hard to be nice ... How long has it been since I said I ...more
'What did you do in the war, Daddy?'
'I was a pervy old man who wanted to sleep with young girls.'

I suppose if I were a man having a midlife crisis, I might have enjoyed this book. I don't know who else would. Jeremy Clarkson, perhaps?

It's after the war. An American soldier in his fifties checks in to a hotel in Venice. He goes out to dinner with a nineteen-year-old girl. Next morning they have breakfast and go shopping. He checks out of the hotel. He goes and shoots a few ducks. He dies.

That's i
mai ahmd
الرواية تدور حول كولونيل عائد من الحرب إلى مدينته الصغيرة يحاول أن يشغل نفسه بصيد البط , يلاحظ أن المراكبي يتعامل معه بعدائية , يقيم علاقة مع فتاة صغيرة السن بينما هو تعدى الخمسين عاما الرواية يغلب عليها الطابع الحواري بين الكولونيل مع المراكبي , سائق التاكسي , الفتاة العاشقة , اصدقاءه الذين بقوا على قيد الحياة
ورفاقه في منظمة وهمية
همنغواي كتب آراءه السياسية ونظرته تجاه الحرب والحياة والحب من خلال هذا الكولونيل
طوال الرواية وأنا أشعر بالملل من الحديث عن الحرب والسياسة والألمان والنمساويين
لم أحب
I loved this book. But then again I read it in Verona Porta Nuova station after visiting Venice, waiting for a night train to Paris, in the rain, and I think this may well be the best book to read in Verona Porta Nuova station after visiting Venice, waiting for a night train to Paris, in the rain.
Probably Hemingways's weakest novel.
Robert Lashley
Across The River and Through The Trees, Ernest Hemingway’s fifth novel, was published to a perfect storm of critical derision ( and Justly so). To a generation haunted by war, Hemingway created a colonel who bragged of killing 122. To an era still traumatized by Hiroshima and Dresden, he wrote of war in scenery flowery enough to be obscene. To a culture grappling with the experiences of blacks and Jews, he name checked a confederate general and forgot one of the most significant reasons World Wa ...more
Tony Taylor
Jan 13, 2010 Tony Taylor rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Don't bother
I read most of this fictional story about an American colonel in Venice shortly after WWII, but after a time the dialog was too boring, so I decided to read the last two pages and put it down. As it turned out upon reading the end, the story concluded on a very predictable path.

I would not say that this was one of Hemingway's better novels. By the way, this book was published in 1950, not in 1920 as is shown on the goodreads resource site.
Francesco Fantuzzi
Leggere è come fare l'esperienza del viaggio, e il viaggio è spesso rivivere attraverso il ricordo. Ecco, l'esperienza della lettura di questo romanzo è stata per me l'esperienza del rivivere un ricordo. Non saprei spiegare il perché. Forse il fatto che si citino così spesso i luoghi della mia infanzia e adolescenza, i luoghi che tuttora sento più miei, paesi, fiumi... ma anche senzazioni, profumi, immagini che sono impresse nella mia anima con i colori più indelebili. Forse sarà quello sfondo p ...more
Tim Miller
Hemingway masterfully uses dialog and character interaction to tell this story. 'Across the River and Into the Trees' is about a somewhat estranged US Army Colonel who spends the last three days of his life in Venice, Italy. The aging veteran of two World Wars knows his end is very near, so he visits his 19-year-old paramour and his friends in the city of canals, gondolas, and such. The Colonel's interactions with other characters, ghostly memories of his demotion from the rank of General, and a ...more
Célia Loureiro
Opinião: Há aquela lista de escritores incontornável para qualquer pessoa que goste de ler. E o Hemingway encontra-se entre eles. Só lendo ficamos a conhecer os motivos pelos quais algum autor é elogiado, mas de vez em quando também se dá o caso de não compreender de todo o frufru em torno de determinada obra literária/criador literário. Li-o como se jamais alguém tivesse dito que ele é um dos maiores escritores do nosso tempo, o que por vezes pode confundir-se com procurar-lhe defeitos. De iníc ...more
ACROSS THE RIVER AND INTO THE TREES is a love story, Hemingway style. A battered old Colonel, dying from heart disease, and a nineteen year old Venetian Countess.The story is written in Hemingway's trademark style - sparse dialogue, with much left unspoken, and deceptively simple, yet labyrinthine, sentences. The book begins with the main character - fifty year old Colonel Richard Cantwell - duck hunting on a cold winter morning in Trieste. I mention the Colonel's age here as mortality and the r ...more
Much like Islands in the Stream, Across the River and into the Trees is one of Hemingway’s later books that just doesn’t quite pass muster. There are kernels of quality sporadically peppered throughout the story but it just cannot compare with his earlier works. The story itself centers around an old soldier named Richard Cantwell right after (or possibly during) the capitulation of Germany near the end of World War II. Richard’s fighting days are over, and with a failing heart he returns to his ...more
Estermann Meyer
"Death is a lot of shit, he thought. It comes to you in
small fragments that hardly show where it has entered. It
comes, sometimes, atrociously. It can come from unboiled
water; an un-pulled-up mosquito boot, or it can come with
the great, white-hot, clanging roar we have lived with. It
comes in small cracking whispers that precede the noise of
the automatic weapon. It can come with the smoke-emitting
arc of the grenade, or the sharp, cracking drop of the
I have seen it come, loosening itself
Richard Wise

Hemingway began writing this book after he returned from WW II. He was 48 years old. He should have been at the height, as the reviewers say, of his literary powers, but he was not. By this time, his alcoholism, a problem that he had once had under control, now controlled him.To use his own phrase, he was "all washed up."

In the preceding 25 or so years he had done battle with some of the giants of literature and bested them all. He wrote three great books---the third surely his best---and had be
Daniel Traner
Far from the best of Hemingway. This book may represent in an even greater fashion than that of 'A Farewell to Arms' Hems atrocious ability to write a female character. As usual, only the compulsive repetition of limited key words are capable to escaping his ladies, in this case the words being true, truly, and rough. How two people could have a love supposed to seem so pure, so complete that is based only around Hemingway acknowledging his boredom with self throughout the story and misogynistic ...more
Rick Johnson
I think this is a fine work. So many people seem to dislike it and I, like Hemingway himself, do not understand this. I found it subtle and moving. Perhaps it's because Cantwell refers to her as 'daughter' much of the time and maybe many readers find this lurid?

Renata's attentions expose a gentle and loving side to this battle hardened, typically hard boiled Hemingway character that is in complete opposition to how he has chosen to conduct himself throughout the rest of his life. This taking pla
There was something about this one that reeked of an inferior version of A Farewell to Arms. Definitely not his best work.
Fidel Sánchez Buergo
Si usted ha llegado hasta aquí, es probable que padezca problemas de insomnio. La dificultad para conciliar el sueño es uno de los mayores males de nuestro tiempo, ya que existe un aparato demoniaco llamado televisor, que rezuma basura a altas horas de la madrugada, y que puede hacer que el insomnio -aparentemente inofensivo- se transforme en adicción a la compra de patrañas de teletienda, a las predicciones del tarot, o a programas de Mario Vaquerizo.
No se preocupe. Esto pretende ser un mensaje
Ali Garawi
باسم الله القدير

هذه أول محاولة لقراءة هيمينغواي ولعلي لم أوفّق للاختيار الصحيح!

لطالما شدّتني الاقتباسات المتداولة لهيمينغواي وشجّعتني لأقرأ له وهذا ما فعلته مع كتاب عبر النهر ونحو الأشجار، وشجعني كثيرا ترجمة منير البعلبكي كذلك والصادرة عن دار العلم للملايين والمركز الثقافي العربي، هذه الرواية من القطع المتوسط بغلاف كرتوني متواضع التصميم ككل الروايات العالمية الصادرة عن الدارين.

تقع هذه الرواية في صفحة، تجرّعتها تجرّعا حتى أتممتها! لم يدفعني لإكمالها إلا اسم الكاتب، ليس فيها فكرة ولا فلسلفة ولا
في عزلة وهدوء وعبر جسور البندقية وأشجارها السمراء المتراصة و ساحاتها حيث تسرح أسراب الحمام يلتقي جمال الطبيعة الصامت بجمالها الناطق " ريناتا" التي تفصلها مسافة أكثر من ثلاثين عام عن الكولونيل ريتشارد، بينما يقربهما الحب مسافة قبلة أو أدني من ذلك قليلًا.

استعان همنغواي بعدد قليل من الشخصيات، وسيل عارم من الذكريات التي تسكن ذاكرة الكولونيل حول الحروب الطويلة التي خاضها والذي لم يكن يتوانى في إخبارها لكل من يُلقي إليه سمعه بمن فيهم الإيطالية الجميلة "ريناتا" والتي تُبدي إهتمامًا ملحوظًا وشغفا لمعرفة
I should begin by saying that I am a big fan of Hemingway, because I know this is not one of his best acclaimed books. I picked this particular novel up because I was visiting Italy, and, specifically, Venice, where the novel is set and also written. The Colonel had me at hello. He has lived a rough life fighting in WWII, and much of his perspective on life is based on things he learned in war and in the military. He struggles at times to not be such a harsh person. And his love, a 19 year old I ...more
I love Hemingway, so it pains me to write this. I had a hard time getting into this book, and I didn't think the plot was believable. It does have all of the elements that I appreciate about Hemingway, and it also is written as the consciousness of the main character: we get to read his thought process, which makes him a more realistic character. The story itself focuses upon an American colonel in Italy at the end of WWII. He is dying of a heart condition and is spending his final time with the ...more
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Ernest Miller Hemingway was an American author and journalist. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image influenced later generations. Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collec ...more
More about Ernest Hemingway...
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“He saw the girl watching him and he smiled at her. It was an old smile that he had been using for fifty years, ever since he first smiled...” 25 likes
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