Mark R.'s Reviews > Across the River and into the Trees

Across the River and into the Trees by Ernest Hemingway
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's review
Jan 13, 2011

really liked it

A sad story about an army officer's last couple days on Earth, as he romances a woman thirty years his junior, shoots ducks from a boat, and reminisces about his years in the war. Most of his reminisces are rather bitter, and you get the idea that he hasn't enjoyed much in his life, at least in his army life. His lover asks him to "be nice" when talking about the wars, and to refrain from using "rough language," but he finds that he cannot help himself. He does as she asks, as best he can, and the girl shows a genuine interest in what he talks about, wanting to know as much as she can, but unable to hear it in all its truth, "nice" or not.

This is, I believe, the eighth Hemingway novel I've read, and is considerably sadder than his others, about a man heading downward faster than he's ready, but resigned to the fact of his imminent death, as he considers he's been dying all along, these past years, anyhow.

This one didn't receive great reviews on its initial release, and indeed it isn't as wonderful as "The Sun Also Rises" or "The Old Man and the Sea," or probably even "To Have and Have Not," but is still very good and certainly worth reading.

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