Author: Ernest Hemingway
Forgive us, Papa Hemingway, but even our greatest masters have made a few mistakes. Caravaggio surely has one or two shitty paintings in his oeuvre.
Across the River and Into the Trees isn't just Hemingway's worst book—that might not be so bad. It's just a bad book. The actual story is a 38-chapter-long flashback about a romantic trip to Venice, but in the present action the protagonist, a 50 year-old Colonel, is sitting in a duck blind having a heart attack.
Most people hated the book for it's static plot and overwrought emotion, including many of his closest friends and even his wife, Mary, who said, "I kept my mouth shut. Nobody had appointed me my husband's editor."
Hemingway was bummed, understandably, but two years later, in 1952, he sonned all the critics with The Old Man and the Sea, one of his greatest novels. —Noah Johnson