Saturday, June 14, 2014

Goat Mountain by David Vann

published by:  Harper
publish date:  September 10, 2013

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 father’s best friend on the family’s annual deer hunt.  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.

I listened to the audiobook for David Vann's Caribou Island and thought it was ok.  Not fantastic, but just ok.  So, I almost gave this one a pass, thank goodness I didn't.  This book was awesome!  In a blow-your-mind, did-that-just-really-happen kinda way, it was unbelievable!

I hate to say anything about the plot because that would totally give away what happens.  Needless to say, it was one of those "what the what?!?" moments.  The story is told from the viewpoint of the child, though now much older.  His inability to understand right from wrong was scary.  Initially, my thoughts were it was because he didn't have a mother growing up and his father just didn't know how to raise him.  However, I don't think that's the case.  The grandfather was just as frightening and cold hearted as the boy was so it must have been a genetic thing.

Goat Mountain was dark and disturbing.  David Vann seriously impressed me with this book.  He's now on my must read list.  I wholeheartedly recommend this one.  If you haven't read David Vann before, start with this book!

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