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Three generations of men hunt for deer on Goat Mountain. One hot autumn day, grandfather, son and grandson discover a poacher on their land. The eleven-year-old studies the poacher through the scope of his father's rifle—and pulls the trigger.
Goat Mountain is an intensely powerful novel about how these men, and their boy, deal with the poacher's death, and with his body. In prose devastating and beautiful in its precision, David Vann explores our most primal urges, the ties that bind us, and the consequences of our actions—what we owe for what we've done.
In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy, this is a dark, brutal but magnificent book, the best Vann has written.

Reviews

'Dirt is unputdownable, thundering at breathtaking speed towards the shocking climactic act. Brilliantly chilling.' Evening Standard

PRH, PRH

'Vann's gift – his quest, almost – is a willingness to explore the unimaginable, the unthinkable, onthe page. He is the real thing – a mature, risk-taking and fantastically adept fiction writer whodares go to the darkest places, explore their most appalling corners. I haven't read a novel asrough and shocking or, importantly, as wise and warm as this one in a long time. It's not safe andit doesn't seek our approval – and I've certainly no idea what Vann wants us to think or feelabout it. But isn't that a plausible definition of truly great writing: a piece of work that leaves ourheads and hearts in flux – rolling, churning and, if we're lucky, changing?' Observer

PRH, PRH

'The last hundred pages of Dirt are as audacious and uncompromising a piece of writing as I've read in a long time. Vann is a brave writer, daring to write about and depict things that most other authors would baulk at, but that's what makes him so good – that unflinching eye for the darkness you could potentially find in any of us, given the wrong chain of events. If you want to feel good about the human condition, go elsewhere. If you want the naked, awful truth, then dive in.' Independent

PRH, PRH

'What Vann does so well is to take recognisably ordinary characters and put them in critical situations, where tiny decisions or actions have life-altering outcomes. This is what gives his books their nightmarish quality -- the feeling that these events could happen to anyone.' Irish Independent

PRH, PRH

'David Vann's Dirt will not be to everyone's taste – a family horror story that grabs you by the throat and keeps hold till the very last page. But it's the kind of novel you surface from with a real sense of excitement about what fiction can do – and it reaffirms Vann as one of the most darkly talented and unsettling writers working today.' Guardian Books of the Year

PRH, PRH

'By far the most intense experience I had as a reader this year was with David Vann's Dirt. Words and ideas seem almost dangerous in his hands and yet his work is full of heart. For me that's probably the definition of perfection in fiction.' New Statesman Books of the Year

PRH, PRH

'With the 2008 publication of Legend of a Suicide, David Vann established himself as one of the most exciting young American novelists at work...There and in his novel Caribou Island, published last year, Vann has proved himself a writer with an unflinching gaze...In Dirt, Vann once again combines a brooding narrative intensity with highly stylised prose. As in his earlier work, Dirt exhibits a raw quality that often causes the reader to squirm. Vann lets his prose appear intentionally unvarnished, sometimes unfinished. Doing so gives this novel an immediacy that propels the reader into the troubled and claustrophobic mind of his 22-year-old protaganist, Galen.' Listener

PRH, PRH

'David Vann stunned the world with his debut novel, Legend of a Suicide. His second, Caribou Island, was equally impressive. Dirt, his third major novel, will not disappoint. He is now a major new voice in American fiction. The same trademark features are on vivid display here. The brooding intensity, the convincing, metaphorical use of landscape, the cumulative effect of detail and the apparent ordinariness of the characters all combine to inject real power into this dark and offbeat tale. To Vann, hell is not other people, but your own family. As in Caribou Island, family members barely control their anger, frustration and jealousy until they explode with awesome firepower. In Dirt, the explosion, when it comes, is devastating and utterly unexpected...After a long and deliberate buildup, tension is suddenly ratcheted up to full. The last 100 pages are breathtaking...Dirt cements Vann's place as a key American talent.' Sunday Star Times

PRH, PRH

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781921922909

    September 25, 2013

    Text

    256 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by David Vann

Bright Air Black
Aquarium
A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea
Dirt
Caribou Island
Legend Of A Suicide

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
Best Laid Plans
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Girl on the Train
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Golden Age
The Golden House
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
The Mistress
The Girls
Tiger Men
Fifty Shades Darker
The Secret Vineyard
Ready Player One