Synopses & Reviews
The prizewinning author of Dirt
, Caribou Island
, and Legend of a Suicide
returns with a searing, morally complex novel about families, violence, regret, and shattered faith.
In the fall of 1978, on a 640-acre family ranch on Goat Mountain in Northern California, an eleven-year-old boy joins his grandfather, his father, and his fathers best friend on the familys annual deer hunt.
Every fall they return to this dry, yellowed landscape dotted with oak, buckbrush, and the occasional stand of pine trees. Goat Mountain is what this family owns and where they belong. It is where their history is kept, where their memories and stories are shared. And for the first time, the boys story will become part of their narrative, if he can find a buck. Itching to shoot, he is ready.
When the men arrive at the gate to their land, the father discovers a poacher and sights him through the scope of his gun. He offers his son a look—a simple act that will explode in tragedy, transforming these men and this family, forcing them to question themselves and everything they thought they knew.
David Vann creates a haunting and provocative novel, in prose devastating and beautiful in its precision, that explores our most primal urges and beliefs, the bonds of blood and religion that define and secure us, and the consequences of our actions—what we owe for what weve done.
“This book is written on the edge, a story of legacies, cruelty, the mysteries of DNA and blood, rewarding the reader sentence by sentence and scene by scene right to the astonishing and terrifying ending.” Robert Morgan, author of < i=""> Gap Creek <>
“David Vann is at once the most timely and timeless of writers . . . Goat Mountain is a ravishing example of his mastery. . . . This book will touch you to the depths of our shared, flawed humanity.” Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning < i=""> A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain <>
“Shocking. . . . The authors descriptions of the northern California landscape--the chaparral, woods, and mountains-are also masterly. . . . This beautifully realized novel is recommended for fans of literary fiction but is not for the faint of heart.” < i=""> Library Journal <> (starred review)
“Meet David Vann, one the most talented writers in the American West. Goat Mountain, with all its responsibility and recriminations, is the man at his absolute finest.” Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries
“[Goat Mountain] may just may be his finest, most contemplative work to date.” < i=""> Booklist <>
“Vanns third novel is his most visceral yet: a grinding examination of killing, God and theunnamable forces that create a dynasty of violence. . . . This book is as all of Vanns fiction: provocative and unforgiving.” < i=""> Kirkus Reviews <>
“The Story has the power of a bullet fired from a gun.” < i=""> The Economist <>
“Youve been waiting a long time for a novel thatll capture your attention like this does, which makes Goat Mountain the book to hunt for.” < i=""> The Clermont Sun <>
“Vann has crafted a gripping masterpiece” < i=""> Anchorage Daily News <>
“[A] deep meditation on death, religion and legacy.” < i=""> San Jose Mercury News <>
“Readers will devour Vanns masterful plotting.” < i=""> San Francisco Chronicle <>
“[M]asterful plotting.” < i=""> San Francisco Chronicle <>
In David Vanns searing novel Goat Mountain, an 11-year-old boy at his familys annual deer hunt is eager to make his first kill. His father discovers a poacher on the land, a 640-acre ranch in Northern California, and shows him to the boy through the scope of his rifle. With this simple gesture, tragedy erupts, shattering lives irrevocably.
In prose devastating and beautiful in its precision, David Vann creates a haunting and provocative novel that explores our most primal urges and beliefs, the bonds of blood and religion that define and secure us, and the consequences of our actions—what we owe for what weve done.
David Vann is the award-winning author of Legend of a Suicide, Caribou Island, A Mile Down, and Last Day on Earth.
About the Author
David Vann is an internationally bestselling author whose work has been translated into nineteen languages. He is the winner of fifteen prizes, including Frances Prix Médicis étranger, Spains Premi Llibreter, the Grace Paley Prize, a California Book Award, the AWP Nonfiction Prize, and Frances Prix des lecteurs de LExpress. His books—Legend of a Suicide, Caribou Island, Dirt, A Mile Down, and Last Day on Earth—have appeared on seventy best books of the year lists in a dozen countries. A former Guggenheim fellow, Wallace Stegner fellow, John LHeureux fellow, and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, he is a professor at the University of Warwick in England. He has written for the Atlantic, Esquire, Outside, Mens Journal, McSweeneys, the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Sunday Telegraph, and many others, and he has appeared in documentaries for the BBC, Nova, National Geographic, and CNN.