Lisa Vegan's Reviews > The Mount

The Mount by Carol Emshwiller
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's review
Jan 28, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, novel, speculative-fiction, groups-buddies, reviewed
Recommended for: anyone who likes speculative fiction, particularly thought provoking stories
Read from February 12 to 13, 2011

I read this for a Goodreads book club. I did not vote for it, but I’m so glad that it won. It’s a very, very fast read. I inhaled it over 2 days, and today, the day I finished it, is our last dry day for at least a week, but rather than enjoy the outdoors, I couldn’t tear myself away from this book.

It’s published as an adult book but I think it would be perfect for high school classroom reading too; it reads very much like a young adult book and its main protagonist is a young person.

This book may be perfect for my real world book club; most of us are vegans, and this book is appropriately thought provoking.

The premise and story is extremely inventive. I’m not going to say anything about the plot because I knew very little and I think my enjoyment was magnified because I came in ignorant. It was fun to discover what this book was about as I started reading it.

It’s a political fable and a unique coming of age book. There is a lot to think about and discuss including freedom vs. comfort; free will; bonding and friendship and love; innate capabilities vs. what can be learned; prejudice and bigotry and how we treat others who are different from ourselves and what we consider to be ideal; brainwashing and identifying with the aggressor; and I definitely thought about my perceptions of humans in this book; and the storyline is definitely food for thought about how we treat horses and dogs, and farmed animals, and all domesticated animals.

One of my favorite quotes (possibly not as meaningful without context) is found on page 122 of my paperback edition: “Isn’t it odd that solitary should make a person even more solitary?”

This is a wonderful book for book club discussion or discussion with friends and others also reading it. I can’t wait to discuss it with the group starting March 1st.

For me, this was potentially a 5 star book, but I’m going with 4. The ending (while very satisfying in some ways) was a tad weak, and I think even more could have been done with the story, but I did really, really enjoy it. It’s probably 4 ½ stars for me, just because of how I noticed my perceptions of certain characters because of the way they were presented; it was fascinating and brilliantly done. So, 4 ½ stars.
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Reading Progress

02/11/2011 page 1
0.0% "Planning to start this tomorrow, the 12th."
02/12/2011 page 77
32.0% "Wow! I did not vote for this book but I'm really glad it was chosen. Reading this for a GR group. Very inventive and thought provoking, and I'm wondering where it's going to go. I hope it doesn't end up breaking my heart. So far it's a very fast read; that's a good thing since I have so many on-deck books piled up staring me in the face."

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Sounds interesting! So, is it a generally optimistic or pessimistic view of humanity, etc.? (I just like to know ahead of time if I'm in for a dark read.)

Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "Sounds interesting! So, is it a generally optimistic or pessimistic view of humanity, etc.? (I just like to know ahead of time if I'm in for a dark read.)"

Good question, Kathryn. I think it's definitely optimistic. But there are some very painful parts. But overall, surprisingly given its subject matter, not overly dark at all.

message 3: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Thanks! Helpful and "spoiler-free" you are great! :-)

Lisa Vegan Kathryn wrote: "Thanks! Helpful and "spoiler-free" you are great! :-)"

I'm glad. This is one book that's extra fun to start reading knowing very little about the story and the premise.

Lisa Vegan Abigail, It's such a quick read. I'd highly recommend it but I've seen some reviews that are critical of it, and I can sort of understand. I'm not sure what you think, but I think you'd like it.

Lisa Vegan Ditto re chronically overwhelmed.

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