East of the Mountains (2020)

East of the Mountains David Guterson East of the Mountains It is mid October harvest time in the Columbia Basin of central Washington state a rich apple and pear growing region Ben Givens recently widowed is a retired heart surgeon once admired for
  • Title: East of the Mountains
  • Author: David Guterson
  • ISBN: 9780151002290
  • Page: 133
  • Format: Hardcover
East of the Mountains David Guterson It is mid October, 1997, harvest time in the Columbia Basin of central Washington state, a rich apple and pear growing region Ben Givens, recently widowed, is a retired heart surgeon, once admired for his steadiness of hand, his precision, his endurance He has terminal colon cancer While Ben does not readily accept defeat, he is determined to avoid suffering rather thaIt is mid October, 1997, harvest time in the Columbia Basin of central Washington state, a rich apple and pear growing region Ben Givens, recently widowed, is a retired heart surgeon, once admired for his steadiness of hand, his precision, his endurance He has terminal colon cancer While Ben does not readily accept defeat, he is determined to avoid suffering rather than engage it And so, accompanied by his two hunting dogs, he sets out through the mythic American West sage deserts, yawning canyons, dusty ranches, vast orchards on his last hunt The main issues for Ben as a doctor had been tactical and so it would be with his death But he hadn t considered the persuasiveness of memory the promise he made to his wife Rachel, the love of his life, during World War II Or life s mystery On his journey he meets a young couple who are forever, a drifter offering left handed advice that might lessen the pain, a veterinarian with a touch only a heart surgeon would recognize, a rancher bent on destruction, a migrant worker who tests Ben s ability to understand And just when he thinks there is no turning back, nothing to lose that wasn t lost, his power of intervention is called upon and his very identity tested Full of humanity, passion, and moral honesty, East of the Mountains is a bold and beautiful novel of personal discovery.
East of the Mountains David Guterson

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    Published :2019-08-15T11:34:29+00:00

One thought on “East of the Mountains

  1. Mark

    The premise of a man dying of cancer but deciding, so as to spare his family heartache of a long drawn out death, to commit suicide in such a way that it would appear like a hunting accident didn t augur well I had loved Snow falling on cedars so thouight to give this a go Am I pleased I did Our hero s plans do not run smoothly and along the way he meets and interreacts with a whole horde of characters It is not simply a straightforward cliche d man learns the value of life through his encounter [...]

  2. Susan B.

    Guterson is an extraordinary writer and storyteller I read his first novel, Snow Falling on Cedars while spending one extremely snowy winter in Chicago with my dear Aunt Cassie as she fell ill with cancer and spent her last days in a hospice The staff was nice enough to let me stay overnight anytime I wanted, so I often stayed up late watching the snow fall reading this book, keeping my Aunt company as she rested I m in Chicago again this year, so I decided to mark the eighth anniversary of her [...]

  3. Steve

    Low 3 This novel has the strengths of an excellent premise and wonderful descriptive prose, but the plot feels contrived and the pace sluggish Guterson has unquestionable ability in painting a landscape so adroitly that it can attain as much attention as the main characters Moreover, the novel s intended focus is one which promised much, and which could blend with the setting seamlessly Ben Givens, a retired surgeon and widow, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and decides to save himself [...]

  4. Linda Boyd

    I was hesitant to start this book since it is about a man facing his mortality but I am oh so glad that I did This book is beautifully written about a man facing death but also realizing what life is about He is not an extraordinary man yet he is in the aspect that every person is and each person has their own unique experiences to make them so I loved this book so much, it made me feel good about life and also helped me realize somehow that facing death doesn t have to be so terrible, and being [...]

  5. Fred Forbes

    Had a meeting with a potential financial planning client and the conversation moved from finance to books He had this one in his car and was going to pass it on to a woman in hospice who, unfortunately, did not last long enough for him to do so So, he laid it on me.Interesting topic How to kill yourself and make it look like an accident rather than putting your family through the months of steady decline and pain from colon cancer Interesting that I read a recent article on how doctors die a bet [...]

  6. Carla

    Being a huge fan of David Guterson, I recognized his writing as soon as I opened the book It was like coming home Descriptive landscapes lend themselves to being there You can almost smell the northwest forest The characterizations are always individuals that I can relate to quite easily because they are anyone, everyone The story takes place, except for some flashbacks, in perhaps a two day span This book is about a dying man, and his internal journey while taking a physical journey Evocative a [...]

  7. Maciek

    Similarly to Cold Mountain, this novel takes up the odyssey theme Ben Givens, a retired surgeon is dying of cancer He decides to kill himself, and decides to go to over the mountains and do it However, along the way he ll meet other people who ll affect him than he could ever have thought.This is a pretty simple story, though through its simplicity it actually works Guterson obviously knows his way around the areas he describes, and even though his dialogue is extremely wooden in places and the [...]

  8. Andy Miller

    I first read this novel of Ben,a 73 year old man facing death from cancer ,when it was first published I just finished reading it a second time seventeen years later and noticed that my perspective had changed, during the first reading I identified with the narrator s forty something daughter and viewed the narrator, a recently widowed retired heart surgeon, with detachment, now of course the retired doctor s musings on his current and past life are relevant The novel starts with Ben leaving hi [...]

  9. Michael Twist

    One wonders what Wolfe would have thought of David Guterson s dying, but determined, doctor doing what Wolfe had suggested was impossible Unwilling to subject his family to the agony they had endured with his wife s death, Dr Ben goes on something of a pilgrimage back to the Washington apple orchards of his youth The journey s itinerary involves a final hunt with his beloved dogs before culminating in a suicide that is intended to look like an accident thereby leaving his daughter in the dark re [...]

  10. Mommalibrarian

    Story of an old man who is dying of colon cancer and his decisions over less than a week of time The author seemed to know a lot about the place and work of the orchards east of the mountains in Washington state The description was very interesting.Here is a bit of text I particularly like to give you a flavor of the book It was not all as good as this as his thoughts wandered widely over his life And why couldn t he detach himself from this earthly, mad desire Why did he go on wanting a woman w [...]

  11. Andrea

    I loved this book I would have given it 4.5 stars Maybe I loved it because I was reading it while I was in Orchard Country in Washington when I read it I loved the main character and I loved the story It makes me think that I want to read Snow Falling On Cedars again

  12. Chuck

    I have only read two of Guterson s books, but have been impressed with both This novel reads like a memoir except that it is fiction The story is about the life of a doctor that served in World War II, had a great romance and life until his wife s recent death The story centers on the fact that he is now diagnosed with terminal cancer and how he deals with this final blow He escapes into the wilds of eastern Washington, where he was raised and commences to hunt, hike, hitchhike and make a differ [...]

  13. Fiona

    I was really keen to read this having loved Snow Falling on Cedars I found it hard to put down At one point I thought, I don t like hunting or guns or even hiking much but here I am reading all about it and being really engrossed.The plot takes some twists and turns and the way it s written you just have to keep reading to find out what happens Even the parts where Ben is reminiscing about his past fit in perfectly with what is happening in the present.Great writing.

  14. Robert

    Have read this book twice, not something I normally do, and now listened to it again in audio format.It remains an extraordinarily well written story about a man s journey, of literally and figuratively coming to terms with his dying, through the physical journey he takes through the landscape of his youth and the people he encounters there.This narrator truly does justice to the story, with Guterson s descriptive language of the landscapes the man has traveled and is traveling through.

  15. Sharon Huether

    A retired doctor with terminal cancer, traveled the country side with his two hunting dogs to shoot a few birds He meets a number of people along the way The help he gives them are returned to him in spades This story is so beautifully written that the reader feels in step with the characters.

  16. Gale

    The story was good and Dr Ben was given hope again from total strangers which is always an uplifting feeling but I first read Snow Falling on Cedars and there is no comparison Snow is much better.

  17. Linda Hart

    Eloquent, beautiful prose, but boring, slow story Put it this way if I were in the middle of a chapter and the phone rang it wouldn t bother me to put the book down and forget about it until I dusted the table it was sitting on.

  18. Oscar

    Esta es la segunda novela que leo de David Guterson, tras la estupenda Mientras nieva sobre los cedros , que tan buena fama le otorgo a su autor, sobre todo tras la versi n cinematogr fica Al este de las monta as narra el viaje del septuagenario doctor Ben Givens por ese m tico oeste americano A Ben, que ha enviudado recientemente, se le ha diagnosticado c ncer terminal de col n, y se propone realizar un ltimo viaje a su tierra de origen, en su vieja camioneta y acompa ado de sus dos perros, don [...]

  19. Joanna

    Other than the middle section describing his time in the war, this is an excellent book It sits firmly in the old narrator reflects on his life as he faces death niche, and breaks little new ground But still, a well written account with interesting characters along the way and enough present day activity to keep the plot interesting The book focuses on the life of Ben Givens, born to an apple orchard family in Washington State Diagnosed with colon cancer, he decides at the beginning of the story [...]

  20. Lori L (She Treads Softly)

    David Guterson, also author of Snow Falling on Cedars, is a wonderful, elegant writer This is a far personal story of one man, Dr Ben Givens, a retired heart surgeon who, after learning he has colon cancer, decides to plan a hunting trip as a ruse to cover up his planned suicide His wife had passed away 19 months earlier and he wanted to spare their daughter the pain of his decline and death He is a man on a quest, facing his mortality, overcoming challenges, all while remembering his past The [...]

  21. Nancy

    I m definitely a Guterson fan I like the slow layers of description on top of deeply moving life experiences The last third of the book was the easiest part to read because things momentous things were happening continuously Ben s remembered war experiences, the action packed end of his journey, the resolution of his desire to end his life Occasionally, Guterson s readers have to wade through endless detail, and this book was no exception There s a lot about apple growing, the war in northern It [...]

  22. Jerry

    I enjoyed and was moved by this book I was hesitant about it at first, thinking it might be too depressing, but oddly I didn t find it to be so A successful retired heart surgeon,with a recent diagnosis of terminal Colon Cancer,just a few years after losing his wife of 50 years He embarks on one last journey through central Washington, hunting fowl with his dogs Along the way, he has some significant encounters We also learn about his life as a teen growing up on an orchard, and the story of ho [...]

  23. Audrey Stephens

    Excellent book by the author of Snow Falling on Cedars While not an easy topic, the main character has terminal cancer this book is in no way a downer and in many ways is a real celebration on life There are many flashbacks to earlier times, some set in Eastern Washington and some in Europe during WWII Our protagonist meets many interesting characters along the way and the author does a good job of fleshing out these little vignettes For those of us familiar with Washington State, this book hold [...]

  24. Terri

    With the first sentence I was captivated On the night he had appointed his last among the living, Dr Ben Givens did not dream, for his sleep was restless and visited by phantoms who guarded the portal to the world of dreams by speaking relentlessly of this world I read this book because I loved reading Snow Falling on Cedars and wanted to read another book by this author Guterson weaves a story of love between a husband and wife into a story about dying and does it well He writes of the value of [...]

  25. Caprice

    The war gore put me off and the ending was a disappointment just like in Snow Falling On Cedars Otherwise, I throughly enjoy the eloqunt descriptive nature settings.

  26. Samantha Tanner

    Rarely do I finish a book in a day This was solid story telling, easy to read, but not without substance A man with terminal cancer goes off to stage his suicide in order to spare himself the torment of a painful death and his family the suffering It s the kind of adventure you have when you have nothing to lose and life keeps presenting you with opportunities to reflect on the nature of relationships and memories He helps and is helped and being a Seattle surgeon, he seems so out of place most [...]

  27. Irene Waters

    What I found particularly interesting about East of the Mountains by David Guterson was that from the very beginning we knew that the character Dr Ben Givens, suffering from bowel cancer, was going home with his dogs to hunt birds for the last time and shoot himself A retired heart surgeon Givens wanted to have quality of life over quantity of life but he was determined that his suicide would look like an accident Despite the novels predictability it was compelling and a book that was difficult [...]

  28. Kathryn Mattern

    I just wrote a fairly complete review of Snow Falling on Cedars so I won t say much here about why I particularly like Guterson s fiction I actually listened to East of the Mountains many years ago on CD Books while driving through the desert, so it was just perfect.Again, I really appreciate the depth at which Guterson writes, yet he never fails to fill us in on all the sensory data as well place, weather, visuals, story, colorful characters or at least, if colorful is not quite the right word, [...]

  29. Rocco Carella

    Ci che inizialmente era una finta gita per porre fine alla sua esistenza segnata inesorabilmente da un cancro in fase avanzata, si tramuter per Ben Givens, cardiochirurgo settantenne, inaspettatamente, in un tuffo tra le distese di artemisia lungo il Columbia River e i frutteti dove il protagonista cresciuto e ha incontrato la sua Rachel In pochi giorni, a causa di una serie di eventi e circostanze, il protagonista sar in qualche modo indotto, a ripercorrere gli aspetti salienti della sua esiste [...]

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