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October 13, 2013

A hunting trip gone terribly wrong

(Continued)

Through the scope, he could see rocks and dust. He could see everything: the clothes the poacher was wearing, his skin, his jeans as he stood up, having noticed the glint of something, maybe a rifle in the hands of an eleven-year-old boy.

Then that boy squeezed the trigger…

There you have a synopsis of the first chapter of this book. But could author David Vann sustain the heart-pounding drama here?

The answer is a resounding “yes.”

Told from the obvious point of an adult who was once that boy, “Goat Mountain” takes readers through incredible beauty, lush views, and breathtaking landscapes, down into a sharp cone of grieved madness and brutality. It’s easy to think the boy is a brat; easier to think he’s a monster, but Vann teases out his storyline until we’re not really sure where evil lies or where it came from. I like that in a novel, and I loved this one.

So pour yourself a cold one this week, settle into your easy chair, and be ready to miss a lot of sleep. You’ve been waiting a long time for a novel that’ll capture your attention like this does, which makes “Goat Mountain” the book to hunt for.

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