Jan's Reviews > De acht bergen

De acht bergen by Paolo Cognetti
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 21st-century-lit, lit-italian

‘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 sometimes filled with tension. Cognetti has put good efforts in showing in stead of telling; in the many episodes the close friends Pietro and Bruno are together in the second half of the novel, nearly as many occasions there is meaningfullness in those two having almost no spoken conversation.
Cognetti has a way of putting mighty mountains into words - beautiful.
There is a certain sturdiness in the main characters. There is a vast inaccessibility of the mountains in this novel, figuratively speaking. It might just be one of the motives, that the characters know ways to overcome some aspects of this inaccessibility, to a certain extend.
There is another important theme about which Cognetti elaborates: the value of a traditional way of life, personified by Bruno. He has an approach in the way things can and should be done in according to and with respect for natural resources.
And there is me, who has done some mountain walking (not climbing, only day trips), sometimes having to cope with my acrophobia. So I can very well imagine what Pietro must have felt at the farrest point on the glacier walk with his father and Bruno. Yet I feel attracted to the mountains, having walked in Canada (Whistler, BC), USA (Long’s Peak, Colorado), Austria and Switzerland, while living four metres below sea level in a Dutch polder.
I recommend this novel to anyone attracted to Alpine nature and feeling for a pleasant rhythm in a nice and relatively simple narrative about a deeply felt close friendship. JM
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 12, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 14, 2018 – Shelved
May 14, 2018 – Shelved as: 21st-century-lit
May 14, 2018 – Shelved as: lit-italian

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