East of the Mountains

Narrated by: Edward Herrmann
Length: 5 hrs and 52 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the author of Snow Falling on Cedars comes this best-selling novel about a dying man’s final journey through a landscape that has always sustained him and provided him with hope and challenges. 

When he discovers that he has terminal cancer, retired heart surgeon Ben Givens refuses to simply sit back and wait. Instead he takes his two beloved dogs and goes on a last hunt, determined to end his life on his own terms. But as the people he meets and the memories over which he lingers remind him of the mystery of life’s endurance, his trek into the American West becomes much more than a final journey. 

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2000 Audie Award, Fiction, Abridged 
©1999 David Guterson (P)1999 Random House, Inc., Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A compassionate and masterful achievement.” (San Francisco Chronicle

”A strikingly joyful book and a monumental achievement.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“Profound and ambitious. . . . Guterson depicts . . . moral and spiritual struggle with a clear-eyed intensity and intelligence that gives East of the Mountains its essential authority.” (Chicago Tribune)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Well written and beautifully read.

Although I was a bit put off by the premise of a dying man going off to commit suicide in the mountains (sounds depressing, doesn't it?) I continued listening because the writing and reading were so good. I am very glad that I stuck with it. The story spirals marvelously from despair to redemption, and Herrmann's voice enhances the richness of the writing.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book - very moving story.

I don't read (or listen to) many works of fiction. Non-fiction is usually my first choice. But I love this narrator and this book was just wonderful. The references to WWII and the way the story moved back and forth with ease between present day and the main character's memories as a young man made it such an interesting and heart warming story. Clearly well-researched, the book kept me up late at night because I didn't want to stop listening. As a daughter, I was often left thinking about how my own dad might react to a diagnosis of cancer. This story has some sad moments but I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Pleasant story

Life doesn't always go the way you plan. This entertained us on a road trip. Our father was in the 10th Mountain Division and learned to ski at Camp Hale outside of Leadville, Colorado. Skiing was a life-long passion. I didn't realize that that would be part of the story of this doctor but it added something for me. It goes back and forth from present day to WWII for the backstory. It's nothing special but friends who read it in their book group liked it so I decided to give it a listen.