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Across the River and into the Trees


Ernest Miller Hemingway was the outstanding author, journalist, novelist, and short-story writer. His economical and understated style - which he termed the iceberg theory - had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction. Publication of The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms immediately established him as one of the greatest literary lights of the 20th century. His classic novella The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. John O'Hara in The New York Times Book Review called him "the most important author since Shakespeare." 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. Richard Cantwell is an American colonel living in Venice just after the Second World War. The novel opens on a cold Sunday morning with the protagonist travelling by boat to shoot ducks along a partially frozen lagoon near Venice. He assists the boatman in poling through the ice and offers to help place decoys, becoming somewhat angry at the surly boatman’s responses. In the second chapter, Hemingway takes Cantwell back in time by means of a stream of consciousness interior monologue, that presents an extended flashback which continues for 38 chapters. In the final six chapters, Cantwell is again presented in the frame story set in the time-present. You can listen online to free English audiobook “Across the River and into the Trees” by Ernest Hemingway on our website.

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