Goat Mountain by David Vann


It is early 1978, North Carolina.  An 11 year old boy, his father, grandfather, and a family friend are arriving at the families remote hunting property for a weekend of male pondering around the deer hunting season.  For the boy, this is his first year that he is allowed to hunt with the men.  He is ecstatic to be counted as one of them.  This is his year.


A poacher is seen on the property in the distance.  And the boy, even unknown to himself as to why, yet filled with the adrenaline of a hunt to begin aims his rifle and shoots. 

The poacher falls.

And the world for this group of hunters explodes into a whole new unknown world of accusations, fear, family loyalty, untrust, and for the boy….

A friend of mine had read Goat Mountain.  Her thoughts on this book brought it to my attention because it was different than anything I had read before.  So I found this one on audio and here are my thoughts.

Goat Mountain is a beautiful listen.  Yet it is also terrifying and disturbing.  As the events unravel over a weekends hunting trip, a fathers anguish, a grandfathers harsh words, the friends panic, but most disturbing – the young boys lack of…




Where this book may have been a win, I found it confusing that this story is being told by the boy many years later, although we are never given a glimpse of what happened between the accident weekend and the current time of the book.  Goat Mountain is about a hunting weekend, and I felt that if it was going to be about an event that happened years prior, it should have had something to bond the incident to the current time.  Perhaps to others this makes perfect sense, but when it ended it felt to me to be unfinished. 

I wish it would have left me with a better feeling but instead I felt as disjointed as the book came to be.

8 thoughts on “Goat Mountain by David Vann

  1. I’ve read several books, always dark, by this author, and although I have this one I just haven’t felt like reading it. I do finish 3 other pretty depressing books in Nov, so manybe that’s enough for 2013 LOL

    Happy Thanksgiving Sheila

  2. Darn! I was so excited for this book. Like you, I thought it looked completely different from other books out there and would have such potential. I still might read it…I don’t know…I’ll probably check out a few more reviews first.

  3. I read one of the author’s previous books and, like Diane said, it was dark. I can read dark books but I’m not a fan. Sorry this wasn’t a win for you.

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