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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,555 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ernest Hemingway Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780743565172
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HEMINGWAY'S POIGNANT TALE OF A LOVE FOUND TOO LATE

Set in Venice at the close of World War II, Across the River and into the Trees is the bittersweet story of a middle-aged American colonel, scarred by war and in failing health, who finds love with a young Italian countess at the very moment when his life is becoming a physical hardship to him. It is a love so overpowering and spontaneous that it revitalizes the man's spirit and encourages him to dream of a future, even though he knows that there can be no hope for long. Spanning a matter of hours, Across the River and into the Trees is tender and moving, yet tragic in the inexorable shadow of what must come.

Ernest Hemingway did more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century, and for his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954. Hemingway wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established Ernest Hemingway as one of the greatest literary lights of the twentieth century. As part of the expatriate community in 1920s Paris, the former journalist and World War I ambulance driver began a career that lead to international fame. Hemingway was an aficionado of bullfighting and big-game hunting, and his main protagonists were always men and women of courage and conviction, who suffered unseen scars, both physical and emotional. He covered the Spanish Civil War, portraying it in fiction in his brilliant novel For Whom the Bell Tolls, and he subsequently covered World War II. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. He died in 1961. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Real class.”

    John O'Hara, New York Times Book Review

  • “[But] its hauntingly tired cadences are the direct speech of a man's heart who is speaking that directly for the first time, and that makes it, for me, the finest thing Hemingway has done.”

    Tennessee Williams, The New York Times

  • “He can perform prodigies. He can fascinate us by pure evocation, by the tensity of the situation.”

    Times Literary Supplement

  • Pulitzer Prize
  • Nobel Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer O'Connell | 2/12/2014

    " Not Hemingway's best book, in my opinion. I read it during a couple of days in Venice and found it atmospheric and wonderfully melancholic....if a bit meandering "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim Miller | 1/31/2014

    " 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 all the bloody battles he has fought, continually flit through his mind. The Colonel is a fighting officer in nearly every aspect of his life. To him, class and occupation seem to be mere euphemisms for rank. He treats servers and attendants as underling soldiers. The people who don't understand how he thinks suffer the wrath of his quick temper. Even his love life and friendships are subject to the war metaphors that run throughout this novel. Written in third-person limited narration, 'Across the River and Into the Trees' is an elegy of sorts, which verbose authors should study and emulate. Hemingway reveals an intricate plot of a man's last days, and he also painstakingly crafts his characters throughout this relatively fast-paced classic. I didn't have to constantly remind myself to be patient while reading this one. It moved along quickly, yet it also `gave me a chance to ponder the deep and multi-faceted symbolism exhibited through The Colonel's reflections and internal conflicts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dr. Michael Galvin | 1/23/2014

    " By far Hemingway's worst work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johnny Flora | 1/21/2014

    " I could not resist the oppurtunity to read another Hemingway classic, especially since I spend a great deal of time in the Venice,Italy area. The Dolomite mountains north of Venice has to be one of the most breathtaking natural treasures of the world. Visit Cortina and see for yourself. Hemingway takes the reader to one of the most charming and romantic locations in all the world as a backdrop to this haunting love story. I enjoyed this novel very much, the truth about the fraility of life and love was always about, never letting the reader break free from its grasp. JJF "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Neil | 1/9/2014

    " Not really my kind of thing. A middle-aged Colonel has an affair with a young girl and dies. Very slow moving in fact nothing happens. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 12/23/2013

    " His worst book, and one that really saddens me. Reading it now, it stands almost as a parody of the great writer and his style. No one wants to see that. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jordan | 9/27/2013

    " Read the first chapter or two about duck hunting in Venice, and then stop. The rest is not good, especially if you like Hemingway. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louis | 9/27/2013

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darren | 9/1/2013

    " pearl harbor day seemed an appropriate time to read a wwii-era hemingway novel. quick read although some passages dragged. helps to have a general knowledge of wwii (and even wwi) in order to grasp references and maintain the flow of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeff | 7/19/2013

    " Least favorite Hemingway book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 nikki | 5/14/2013

    " not the best hemingway i've read. it took me a while to get through it... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Susana | 3/11/2013

    " It was just dreadful. How did this book win a Nobel prize? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/8/2013

    " Not a "likeable" book, but it contains Hemingway's most interesting prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/1/2013

    " Hmmmmm, , . I was disappointed, and can't quite put my finger on it. The master of less is more seems to have forgotten about it. Liked it enough because I am a Hemingway fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jose | 10/23/2012

    " If you really like love stories, and like passionate characters I recommend it, but if not do not read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will McNeice | 4/14/2012

    " Not as good as Hemingway's other books, but still light years ahead of most anything else. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nina | 4/7/2012

    " DIALOGUE JUST TOO STILTED "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brenda Bindschatel | 10/22/2011

    " Sad story about the imminent end of a life and love. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allytemp | 9/7/2011

    " For whatever reason I could never get into this book. I might not have even finished the last ten pages. Normally I like Hemingway's style, but there was something about this story that I found bland. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keri Daskam | 6/16/2011

    " Though the love interest relationship threw me (a 30+ year gap is a lot), taken as a symbol of youth in the last days of an old Colonel I thought there was something very poignant about it. As always, I enjoyed Hemingway's writing voice, which is rich and sparse at the same time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debbie | 4/19/2011

    " too slow and not to good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Izak | 1/25/2011

    " Well written and full of excellent lines but drags at times. Whet my appitite for more Hemingway. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dsinglet | 12/8/2010

    " A beautiflly written account of an old soldier who falls in love with a young Venician girl. Venice makes a romantic backgroud and the War going on adds suspence. Hemmingway is a master at describing characters so they come alive "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rich | 11/28/2010

    " Hemingway is truly a master. This book definitely didn't hold the same water as a farewell to arms, sun also rises, for whom the bell tolls but still was a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louis | 10/28/2010

    " 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. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kmann | 9/29/2010

    " very common book which was neither interesting or boring. Yet, it is unforgettable. The Colonel Cantwell was very lonely, but knew his destiny. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ian | 8/3/2010

    " Good character creation, but there were too many references to obscure moments in long ago wars for me to deeply invest myself in it. True to Hemingway's other works, there's a beautiful but broken romance that leaves one aching somewhere deep inside. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ella | 7/15/2010

    " I did not enjoy this book at all and stopped reading it. I have no desire to find out what happens in the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Angie | 7/8/2010

    " It didn't make me love Venice the way "A Moveable Feast" made me love Paris. The war anecdotes were too long and frankly, confusing. It's the first Hemingway I haven't really loved reading.

    Also - the dialogue was excruciating. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steve | 4/18/2010

    " His worst book, and one that really saddens me. Reading it now, it stands almost as a parody of the great writer and his style. No one wants to see that. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cheryl in CC NV | 4/13/2010

    " I didn't understand any of the situation or the allusions. I didn't sympathize with the characters. I didn't understand the point of the story. Sorry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jarad | 2/21/2010

    " Interesting at a times but a little odd of a structure. The story of an again colonel nearing his death, coping with his affair with a younger woman and remembering his past. I never quite understood the character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Charles | 2/15/2010

    " A few bits and pieces that are good. It helps if your an Infantryman to understand the reminiscing banter that goes on throughout the book. If I weren't in the "trade" as the colonel says then I would have given it one star. "

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About the Author
Author Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), born in Oak Park, Illinois, started his career as a writer in a newspaper office in Kansas City at the age of seventeen. After the United States entered the First World War, he joined a volunteer ambulance unit in the Italian army. After his return to the United States, he became a reporter for Canadian and American newspapers. During the twenties, Hemingway became a member of the group of expatriate Americans in Paris, which he described in his first important work, The Sun Also Rises. He also wrote Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, the story of an old fisherman’s journey, his long and lonely struggle with a fish and the sea, and his victory in defeat. He also wrote short stories that are collected in Men Without Women and The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories. Hemingway died in Idaho in 1961.

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time.