East of the Mountains - David Guterson

Not for me.

The story of East of The Mountains is about a retired thoracic surgeon who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He hasn’t told his family. He doesn’t want to die from the illness, so he takes his dog and his shotgun and sets out on one last hunting trip. The trip is derailed pretty early on.

My main problem with the book was the writing. It was so boring, but what annoyed me more was the tone. It didn’t work for me. It was almost on the patronising side, tho that will probably give off a wrong impression. I was strongly reminded of the writing of Ann Patchett – especially in her book Run – because the characters all seemed to be either really naive or really so full of optimism that reading about their miraculous (i.e. “totally unbelievable”) story felt like being preached to.

And that I cannot stand. At all.

So, I found it hard to suspend my disbelief at some of the characters, events, interactions in East of the Mountain because it all played out being too twee, and which made me wonder at the end what the actual story of the book was. Whatever it was, it was not gripping, or all that thought-provoking.

Now, I’ll have to find a way to break to my library book club that yet another of our picks left me rather cold…


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