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The prizewinning author of Dirt, Caribou Island, and Legend of a Suicide returns with a searing, morally complex novel about families, violence, regret, and shattered faith.
In the fall of 1978, on a 640-acre family ranch on Goat Mountain in Northern California, an eleven-year-old boy joins his grandfather, his father, and his father's best friend on the family's annual deer hunt.
Every fall they return to this dry, yellowed landscape dotted with oak, buckbrush, and the occasional stand of pine trees. Goat Mountain is what this family owns and where they belong. It is where their history is kept, where their memories and stories are shared. And for the first time, the boy's story will become part of their narrative, if he can find a buck. Itching to shoot, he is ready.
When the men arrive at the gate to their land, the father discovers a poacher and sights him through the scope of his gun. He offers his son a look--a simple act that will explode in tragedy, transforming these men and this family, forcing them to question themselves and everything they thought they knew.
David Vann creates a haunting and provocative novel, in prose devastating and beautiful in its precision, that explores our most primal urges and beliefs, the bonds of blood and religion that define and secure us, and the consequences of our actions--what we owe for what we've done.