East of the Mountains Audiobook | David Guterson | Audible.com
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East of the Mountains | [David Guterson]

East of the Mountains

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 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.

©1999 David Guterson; (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"When Guterson is at his best, the story and the landscape nearly become one." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

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    Dee Austin, TX, USA 01-17-05
    Dee Austin, TX, USA 01-17-05 Member Since 2004
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    "Very beautiful"

    Sad but very beautiful. A bit slow moving, but well-narrated enough to get you through the less compelling parts. David Guterson uses gorgeous language, even when the subject matter is hard-going.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kloss Gdynia, N/A, Poland 11-18-03
    Kloss Gdynia, N/A, Poland 11-18-03
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    "Masterpiece"

    A full-bodied novel, haunting and true. A very emotional and memorable literature.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    J Tim The Sea Ranch, CA, USA 10-15-03
    J Tim The Sea Ranch, CA, USA 10-15-03 Member Since 2002
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    "East of the Mountains"

    Contempletive.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Anne
    tarbertUnited Kingdom
    1/11/10
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    "Wonderful story, beautifully read"

    Story and narrator are made for each other. I have read this book in print but the narration, especially listening in the dark hours of night, brought it alive. Highly recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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