Author: David Guterson –
Publisher: HarperCollins –
Genre: Novel –
Overall rating: 5/5 –
Writing: 5/5 –
Duration: 3:04 (very short, abridged) –
Narrator: William Hootkins –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 5/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 3/5 –
I usually avoid abridged audiobooks, on the premise that there is no need to read a short version if I can read the full creation. I would worry that I am missing something from the message. This audiobook is so wholesome, however, that my worries were probably unfounded.
Similarly to the “Snow Falling on Cedars”, the story in “East of the Mountains” is intricate and well thought through. Everything else stems from that frame. The reader may enjoy a strong pull of the plot not knowing where it leads or even why it leads. The narration is frugal to the point that one can only follow and ask questions later.
The story here slightly reminds of Cormac McCarthy but only slightly. The environment is unruly. Anything can happen. The sky is impossible to reach and the road is endless. The main character is taken from his self-control and comfort to be thrown unto other people. People he would normally avoid but who, without exception, help him to transition, without even knowing it.
The book is read expertly, intelligently, calmly, with a mix of American accents and a little bit of Spanish. There is a lot of interesting voice acting. There are also throaty sounds which usually are more difficult to hear though not in this recording. The performance adds a lot of quality to an already good text. A true pleasure to listen.
“East of the Mountains” is also a story about physicians, dogs and hunting. It uplifted me though it is not a happy story. This is usually a sign of good literary works. It would be a strong contender for my personal Book of the Year 2003 listing if only it was unabridged…
The classic cover, nothing wrong with it.