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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

Part of the experience of reading Vann (over time across his oeuvre, and within individual books) is a kind of uneasy curiosity about just how dark he’s going to get and where he’s going to go to find that darkness. This new excursion is as harrowing as anything he has written, as thrillingly desolate, in its way, as the traumatic hallucinations in Legend of a Suicide…One of the most intense and detailed examinations of an act of violence I have ever read in a work of fiction. Its unflinching realism eventually becomes a kind of nightmare surrealism. It is at once deeply disturbing and powerfully propulsive, a hallucinatory insight into what it means, and how it feels, to kill. The book is a vision of hell focused not on the supernatural, but on nature itself. Vann is a writer who hunts big game. He tracks the same wild territory as Joseph Conrad and Cormac McCarthy – the violence and perversity at the root of what we call human nature, the animal savagery that is our first inheritance…For all its unyielding darkness, Goat Mountain is, perhaps perversely, an exhilarating experience. It is, first of all, cathartic in the way of all good tragedies. But it is also exhilarating for the least perverse of reasons: the experience of reading a novelist of David Vann's rare artistry and vision.

Observer

The Cain imagery is powerful and the narrator’s psyche fascinating...Vann’s prose never lags. The novel is not just gripping: it tightens around its reader like a boa constrictor...Goat Mountain is a brilliant and wise interrogation of a world in which “We were always killing something, and it seemed we were put here to kill”.

The Times

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9781921922909

    September 25, 2013

    Text (Adult)

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

Recommendations

Into the Water
Best Laid Plans
Night School
The Traitorâ??s Girl
After You
Congo Dawn
Anything Is Possible
Dunstan
Outlander
Men Without Women
The Good Mother
The French Perfumer
The Mistress
The Course Of Love
Private Delhi
Nineteen Eighty-Four: Popular Penguins
Be My Baby
The Night Circus
Exit West
The Sense of an Ending