East of the Mountains

East of the Mountains

Book - 1999
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Ben Givens is a retired heart surgeon who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Deciding to take charge of his own demise, Ben travels into the wild country of Washington state with his two dogs and his father's Winchester, to hunt one last time and then to end his life on his own terms. But, as with all quests, the Fates intervene. A car wreck introduces him to various helpers and hindrances, and gradually Ben undertakes a journey back through his own past. As he nears the apple-growingcountry in which he grew up, he recalls the signal events of his youth and manhood-especially his wartime experiences and his profound love for his wife of fifty years. Ben is transformed into an American Odysseus as he confronts the many sides of his own nature in a novel that radiates with the glories of the natural world and the mysterious permutations of the human heart.
Publisher: New York : Harcourt Brace & Co., 1999.
ISBN: 9780156011044
Characteristics: 279 p. ;,24 cm.


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Jul 31, 2013

This book deals with some difficult subjects - end of life issues, the importance of place, the kindness and cruelty of humans, and much much more. I would not say I enjoyed the read, but I did find myself contemplating important questions and for me that is one hallmark of a good book.

Jun 19, 2012

An evocative tale of a dying man who takes a final hunting trip from Seattle to eastern Washington. Familiarity with the area (and with apples, and bird hunting) is helpful, but not required.

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