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The Eight Mountains
by Paolo Cognetti


Overview - For fans of Elena Ferrante, Fredrik Backman, and Paulo Coelho comes the international sensation about the friendship between two young Italian boys from different backgrounds and how their incredibly strong connection evolves, changes, and challenges them throughout their lives.  Read more...

 
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More About The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti
 
 
 
Overview
For fans of Elena Ferrante, Fredrik Backman, and Paulo Coelho comes the international sensation about the friendship between two young Italian boys from different backgrounds and how their incredibly strong connection evolves, changes, and challenges them throughout their lives.

Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the Dolomites, the mountains that hug the northeastern border of Italy.

While on vacation at the foot of the mountains, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountain's meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their backgrounds, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life-- Bruno's in the mountains, Pietro's in cosmopolitan cities across the world--test the strength and meaning of their connection.

A modern Italian masterpiece, The Eight Mountains is a lyrical coming-of-age story about the power of male friendships and the enduring bond between fathers and sons. "There are no more universal themes than those of the landscape, friendship, and becoming adults, and Cognetti's writing becomes classical (and elegant) to best tell this story...a true novel by a great writer" (Rolling Stone Italia).

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501169885
  • ISBN-10: 1501169882
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Publish Date: March 2018
  • Page Count: 224
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Coming of Age

 
BookPage Reviews

A lush, absorbing coming-of-age novel

Considering its wealth of details and the intimacy of its first-person voice, it’s hard to believe that The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti is a work of fiction and not a memoir.

The novel’s narrator, Pietro, is from a middle-class family that holidays in the foothills of the Dolomites along Italy’s northeastern border. Here he meets Bruno, a cow herder from a poor family, and the two boys form a tight bond. Like Pietro, the author divides his time between Milan and his cabin in the Italian Alps. Because of this, mountaineering, the outdoors and homebuilding are described throughout The Eight Mountains with such specificity that these sections are part instruction manual, part diary: “Four screws were necessary for each bracket, which meant thirty-two holes in all. According to Bruno these numbers were crucial: the whole viability of the roof depended on them.” Descriptions of nature are especially delightful: “I startled roe deer foraging in the abandoned pastures; bolt upright with their ears at attention, they would look at me in alarm for an instant, then flee to the woods like thieves.”

The Eight Mountains evokes a hunger and passion for the outdoors that is entwined with the boys’ enduring friendship and their bond with Pietro’s father. (Pietro often feels that rugged Bruno is the son his aloof, intense father always longed for.) This is juxtaposed with an aching sense of melancholy when Pietro’s and Bruno’s lives unspool in adulthood, as money concerns and failed relationships take hold.

A literary sensation in Italy, this isn’t so much a page-turner as a novel that draws you in, gets into your soul and never leaves.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
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