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The Eight Mountains

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4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16,807 ratings  ·  1,756 reviews
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 mount
...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by Atria Books (first published November 2016)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  16,807 ratings  ·  1,756 reviews


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Angela M
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing


Quiet, introspective, first person narrative, things that I am always drawn to in a book, combined with beautiful writing that had me highlighting passages right from the start. This along with characters I cared about made for a five star book for me . The mountains, the Dolomites in northern Italy and later the Himalayas, the landscape that affects the landscape of the lives of the characters both individually and in their relationships with each other . Husband and wife, father and son , two
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Adina
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, italy
I will struggle with this review because the small novel did not say anything to me. I did not feel anything, only a bit of impatience to finish so I can read something else. I cannot fault the Paolo Cognetti, the novel felt well written and the story, of 2 friends who found themselves in the mountains, should have been endearing. Only that it wasn’t for me. Maybe if I loved mountains more and had warm memories of trekking, I would have enjoyed this more. I like the look of mountains and being o ...more
Cheri
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

“ Sometimes I forget what living's for
And I hear my life through my front door
And I'll breathe it in
Oh I'm home again

"All the empty disappears
I remember why I'm here
Just surrender and believe
I fall down on my knees
Oh hello world
Hello world
Hello world”

-- “Hello World” – Lyrics by Tom Douglas, Tony Lane, David Lee

Pietro’s father, an orphan of the war, would seem to never take in the world around him when he climbed the mountains, he was more concerned with achieving some u
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 stars to the enchanting and quietly-written, The Eight Mountains! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Pietro and his parents are from the metropolitan city of Milan, and they vacation in the Dolomites of Italy in a remote village. Pietro’s father is consumed with climbing the tallest peaks, which is difficult for Pietro to understand. While in the shadow of his father, he forms a friendship with Bruno, another child from the village.

Over time, the mountains and his friendship with the steadfast Bruno help to keep
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Peter
Harmony
Paolo Cognetti has written a pleasant story of family, lifelong friendship and an insight into the Alps region, particularly around Monte Rosa. The two aspects of friendship and landscape, are always present throughout the book in an enduring partnership.

The main storyline is the lifelong undiminished friendship between Pietro and Bruno. They first meet at the age of thirteen when Pietro’s family visit Grana village as summer residents. Bruno is a likeable teenager, open, respectful and
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Diane S ☔
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
A beautiful, contemplative toned novel, about the relationships between father's and sons, and the friendship between two very different boys. Piedro is even when his family takes a holiday cottage at the foot of Italy's Grand Rosa Mountain. His father has a love of mountains, their paths, hiking through different passages and seeing what he can find, experiencing nature. An experience Piedro does not cherish as much as his father, which will eventually become a fissure in their relationship. Pi ...more
Brenda - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
The Eight Mountains is a beautifully and simply written coming of age story that explores relationships and connections not only between the characters but with the mountains and a tiny Alpine Village. We were taken from our sheltered coulee and were emerged into the Foothills of Italy’s Monte Rosa Mountains. We were taken on a journey with our main character Pietro along at times with his father or best friend Bruno though the village, jumping from rock to rock, wading in the river, taking us t ...more
Katie
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You might say this is a novel about men who are rubbish with women. The narrator, his father and his childhood friend, the three main protagonists, all prefer mountains to women. There's something ruggedly masculine about mountains - the solitude and absence of domestic comforts, the demands they make on physical strength and endurance. It's perhaps one of the places men go to prove to themselves they are men.

The most poignant part of this book for me was the narrator's troubled relationship wi
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Marialyce
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 terrific writing stars

This was a wonderfully written story about friendship, that between two young boys Bruno and Pietro, who meet and develop their relationship over many years. They both share the love of the mountains, the Dolomites in Italy in this case. They bring their thrill and love for this area together as they explore the lush beautiful and often dangerous environs of this area. Their parents although not in what seems to be loving relationships do love the mountains as well.

As t
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Bkwmlee
This was a beautifully written story about the friendship of two young Italian boys, Pietro and Bruno – both of whom come from different backgrounds, yet from the moment they meet, they develop a closeness akin to two brothers. Their friendship is indeed a special one, as Pietro is from the city and though he shares an almost immediate love for the Dolomites – the mountains located in the northeastern border of Italy where his family travels for vacation – he does not fully understand the deep r ...more
Marc
"You cannot go back to the mountain that is the center of all others, and the beginning of your own history"
This is simply one of the best written stories I read in recent years. The tone of narrator Pietro, even though it is a bit restreined, is spot on from start to finish. His eye for details, especially in the descriptions of nature in the mountains, is phenomenal and not just random, but always with an underlying layer. The structure of the book is perfectly balanced, with first a coming of
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Arybo ✨
🇬🇧It was a journey, really.
I’ve never thought I would have liked it.
And instead, here I am, waiting impatiently for the paperback edition. I want to reread it, underline it, re-immerse myself immediately in the atmosphere of the mountains, in the story of Pietro and Bruno...
I turned the page and put an end to the adventure not even an hour ago, and I already miss everything.

Until 2009, I went to the mountains every summer and I always found those same people who for me meant freedom from school
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Cathrine ☯️
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
4 ★
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
John Muir
Such a satisfying read this was. As refreshing as putting your bare feet in a cool stream after a long hike.
—The complicated relationships between parents and sons.
—The treasure of friendship between two boys that will last a lifetime.
—The majestic Dolomites and Himalayas shadowing each page.
A most welcome change from my usual reading choices.

Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for this advance copy.
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Tara Rock
Apr 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this nostalgic, beautiful novel of two life-long friends and the mountains that forever called them home.
Faith
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the story of both a troubled father/son relationship and, primarily, a longstanding male friendship. Unfortunately, the book was too gentle and uneventful for me. However, I know that this sort of lyrical introspection appeals to a lot of people. For me, while I could recognize that the book was well written I found it uninvolving. Maybe if I loved mountain climbing, long walks in the mountains, stilted conversations in the mountains or cheese making in the mountains I would have liked t ...more
Bianca
This was both hard and easy going at the same time. It's not a long novel, but it sure felt like one.

I wanted to like The Eight Mountains much more than I did. But it was soooo slow going, which normally I don't have a problem with, it's just that the writing kept me from engaging and having any feelings, besides boredom.

I can easily do slow in literature if the writing is outstanding. While this was competently written, it didn't wow me. When I think of Italy and Italians I think of passion,
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Sharon Metcalf
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
The Eight Mountains was a gently moving story about the enduring friendship between two young Italian boys from age twelve.    Reserved initially,  it took them some time to relax into each others company but once they thawed out they created a bond that lasted a lifetime.    As young men and adults they lived vastly different lives - Pietro lived in cities and travelled the world whilst Bruno lived the life of a mountain man.       They could go for years at a time without any form of contact b ...more
Jan
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘De acht bergen’/ original Italian ‘Le otto montagne’/ in English ‘The eight mountains’ by Paolo Cognetti is a magnificent novel. It is a coming of age novel with emphasis on coping with the alpine nature. Even through quarrels in several relations the narrative hold a nucleus of respectfullness, towards people and especially towards nature in general and the nature that surrounds the main protagonists. And never a dull moment in this book, even if many scenes breath silence, mostly serene but s ...more
Philippe
A lovely story that kept me in thrall until the very end. How can the mountain world continue to provide a space for a distinct culture and an authentic way of life in an age that is swept up in an increasingly homogenised, urban, cosmopolitan and consumerist culture? Cognetti explores this foundational tension through the relationship between two men, a mountain dweller and an urbanite. The latter's father forms an uncomfortable bridge between these two worlds. These are fine psychological port ...more
Nigel
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
In brief - This had a real charm to it for me. It is a thoughtful and thought provoking book maybe.

This book follows part of the life of Pietro, an Italian boy. His parents live in the city, Milan during this period, however they both love the mountains. Pietro starts spending most of the Summer with his mother in a small village close to Monte Rosa. He meets a local boy there, Bruno, who is almost the same age as him, around 12. His father joins them there at weekends when he can and walks in
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Henk
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written but The Eight Mountains didn't hit the heart for me

The good...
I found the first part of this book really strong in conjuring the feeling of youth, the slow passing of time in relation to the uncertainty (and freedom) of not knowing where to go. It gave me a sense of melancholy to my own childhood.
The childhood of the main character, and in the end the life long friendship between Bruno and the narrator, is also beautifully told. In that sense the book reminds me of A Home at the En
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G.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have a lot to say about this one. The Eight Mountains (original Italian: Le otto montagne) is a fairly short novel about the relationships we have with our family members, friends, and even ourselves. It's about solitude. It's about nature. And solitude in nature. It's about our roots to places, and how people choose to maintain or neglect them. Et cetera. There's quite a bit of food for thought here. And it's actually things that are of interest to me. So I'm baffled by the fact I didn' ...more
acompassforbooks
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a bildungsroman – coming-of-age novel – with a traditional structure and first person narrative. Piero tells about his growth in a pithy and neat style. The setting is
determined. The time is that of a life, two families and two friends; the location is between Milan and Grana – a little country in the Apls in Italy, and later around Asia especially in Nepal. Cognetti’s clear writing is able to evoke subtleties and the magic atmosphere of the mountain, that is presented as a kind of
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Koen
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
English review below !

Beetje aan de late kant maar hier dan toch mijn recensie.

Ik lees over het algemeen erg weinig boeken in het Nederlands al ga ik dit jaar proberen om ook de Nederlandse literatuur (Ik weet dat dit boek door een italiaan geschreven is) een kans te geven. Dat terzijde, ik vond de Acht Bergen door Paolo Cognetti echt een prachtig boek. Zeker in de winter helpt dit boek om even te ontsnappen aan die eindeloze grijze dagen en het slechte weer.

Dit boek leest heerlijk weg, je waa
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Kasa Cotugno
As a young boy, Pietro vacations with his parents at a remote area that can barely be called a village in the Dolomites. With his father becoming more and more determined to scale the 4,000's (as the more challenging peaks are called), Pietro develops a friendship with Bruno, a local boy, largely through the encouragement of his mother. As the years progress and Pietro finds his way throughout the world, his connections to that village and Bruno remain a constant in his life. Cognetti's writing ...more
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
I loved this little novel. It is the story of a man and his love and fascination with the mountains. The tale opens with Pietro’s introduction to mountain climbing by his father, a solitary and unhappy man, with which the protagonist has a troubled connection from the beginning. Despite the resemblance of temperament between the two, they seem unable to communicate in a meaningful way, his mother the only bridge in between, as it often happens in a family with problematic father-son relationship ...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
This is going to be a short review because my right hand is broken. It didn’t get broken climbing the mountains in this book, but rather walking one of my dogs between reading it. This could have long, and rambling review filled with only positives about it because I like it so much.

All I’m going to say is that it deals with friendship between men, and relationship between fathers and sons, all in relation with harsh, and soft nature. It’s beautifully done, and I’m probably going to read this o
...more
Cody | CodysBookshelf
DNF @ 17%. This book isn’t *bad*, I’m just not into it right now. The writing is very pedestrian and not grabbing me. Boo.
Andy Weston
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Paolo Cognetti - Eight Mountains

This is a quite inspirational and beautifully written Italian novel, far more than a coming of age story, and destined to becomes a classic of mountain literature. It is rare for a piece of fiction to be able to be compared favourably to the best books about mountains, I think because the non-fiction itself can be so exciting ( Into Thin Air, The Living Mountain, Mountains of the Mind.....

Set initially in the Dolomites and then around the Monte Rosa massif in
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Heidi
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love atmospheric stories with remote settings, so when I came across The Eight Mountains, set in the beautiful Dolomite region in Italy, I had to read it! The book follows the lifelong friendship forged between two lonely Italian boys after a chance meeting one summer. Pietro is an only child, living in Milan with his parents. Every summer, his father takes the family into the mountains, where he climbs the rugged mountain peaks in the search of something he never quite manages to find. One su ...more
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le otto montagne 2 37 Apr 19, 2020 07:11AM  
GRhookii: Premio Strega 2017: Le otto montagne di Paolo Cognetti 1 10 Jul 07, 2017 02:36AM  

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“Da mio padre avevo imparato, molto tempo dopo avere smesso di seguirlo sui sentieri, che in certe vite esistono montagne a cui non è possibile tornare. Che nelle vite come la mia e la sua non si può tornare alla montagna che sta al centro di tutte le altre, e all'inizio della propria storia. E che non resta che vagare per le otto montagne per chi, come noi, sulla prima e più alta ha perso un amico.” 10 likes
“E diceva: siete voi di città che la chiamate natura. È così astratta nella vostra testa che è astratto pure il nome. Noi qui diciamo bosco, pascolo, torrente, roccia, cose che uno può indicare con il dito. Cose che si possono usare. Se non si possono usare, un nome non glielo diamo perché non serve a niente.” 8 likes
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