The Mountain
From Paul Yoon, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Once the Shore and Snow Hunters, comes a luminous collection of short stories set throughout the world from the Hudson Valley to the Russian Far East across periods of time after World War II. In The Mountain, Paul Yoon displays his subtle, ethereal, and strikingly observant style with six thematically linked stories, taking place across several continents and time periods and populated with characters who are connected by their traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace in their futures. Though they exist in their own distinct worlds (from a sanatorium in the Hudson Valley to an inn in the Russian far east) they are united by the struggle to reconcile their traumatic pasts in the wake of violence, big and small, spiritual and corporeal. A morphine-addicted nurse wanders through the decimated French countryside in search of purpose; a dissatisfied wife sporadically takes a train across Spain with a much younger man in the wake of a building explosion; a lost young woman emigrates from Korea to Shanghai, where she aimlessly works in a camera sweat shop, trying fruitlessly to outrun the ghosts of her past.Hailed by New York magazine as a quotidian-surreal craft-master and a radiant star in the current literary firmament by The Dallas Morning News, Yoon realizes his worlds with quiet, insightful, and gorgeous prose. Though each story is distinct from the others, his restrained voice and perceptive observations about violence to the body, the landscape, and ultimately, the human soul weaves throughout this collection as a whole, making The Mountain a beautiful, memorable read."

The Mountain Details

TitleThe Mountain
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 15th, 2017
PublisherSimon & Schuster
ISBN-139781501154089
Rating
GenreShort Stories, Fiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Literature

The Mountain Review

  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Almost two years ago, I read Paul Yoon’s novel “Snow Hunters”, a beautiful story with spare prose and lovely, ethereal setting. This collection of short stories in his “The Mountain: Stories” Six heartbreaking, lovely stories about fragile, lonely, abandoned people trying to find their way through this life.This short story collection is linked by the pain and suffering endured, across continents, across different eras, each involving some traumatic event, traumatic pasts. !! NOW AVAILABLE !!Almost two years ago, I read Paul Yoon’s novel “Snow Hunters”, a beautiful story with spare prose and lovely, ethereal setting. This collection of short stories in his “The Mountain: Stories” Six heartbreaking, lovely stories about fragile, lonely, abandoned people trying to find their way through this life.This short story collection is linked by the pain and suffering endured, across continents, across different eras, each involving some traumatic event, traumatic pasts. Uprooted lives lived without a place to call home, each person on a quest for the peace they believed in their hearts they were worthy of, and could hope to attain. “A Willow and the Moon” – Having grown up in a sanitarium in Hudson Valley, a woman relays the story of her years lived there, her father’s abandonment, and a secret just shy of being taken into the grave. Set in New York and England. This was my favourite of this collection. 5 stars“Still a Fire” – a post WWII story of the years 1947-48, a man, Mikel, and a woman, Karine, his nurse, and their individual battles to live to tell their tales. This takes a decidedly war-time look at pain and suffering, and includes some battles with addiction. Set in France. 4 stars“Galicia” – Antje, a loving and faithful wife, meets Félix, a stranger, at a train station. Though she loves her husband, she follows this man Félix, as though under a spell, unable to bring herself to change her course of action. Set in Spain. 3 stars“Vladivostok Station” – On his way home Misha sees someone he used to know, and reconnects with this old childhood friend and his father. 4 stars“The Mountain” – a twenty-six year-old woman in South Korea, Faye, homeless, sitting at a bus stop, is approached about a job by a young, handsome, well-dressed man. He gives her the details of a ferryboat, the time, the pier number, the day and the time. He speaks to her in Mandarin, saying “Come back home.” 4 Stars“Milner Field” – a soon-to-be-divorcee, his daughter, his father, and a story the father shares with his son, one he’s never shared before. A journey, a quest, soon follows to connect with this family of his father’s childhood. Set in New York and England, in the present. 5 stars Yoon’s gift is that he can turn these sad stories, each involving some heartbreaking, tragedy-filled moments, and weave them quietly into lovely, poetic, breathtakingly austere works of art, paced to perfection, each deliberately chosen word, space, pause speaks volumes about tragedy and its role in this shared human experience we call life. Our hearts breaking over and over, daily it seems anymore, each act of violence, all the suffering in every corner of the world, and yet we still hold fast to our dreams, to hope. ”When the silence isn't quiet And it feels like it's getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we'll take the world to its feet And move mountains We'll take it to its feet And move mountains”Rise Up, Andra Day - Written by Cassandra Monique Batie, Jennifer DecilveoPub Date: 15 Aug 2017Many thanks for the ARC provided by Simon and Schuster
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  • Angela M
    January 1, 1970
    When I started reading this, I realized that I really should no longer say that I don't read short stories very often. This is the fifth collection of stories I have read this year. I also almost always say that I have a hard time with short stories because I want more of the story. That may still be the case because it seems to be the impact of the collections as a whole and the connections between the stories rather than any individual story that take hold of me . This was the case here. They When I started reading this, I realized that I really should no longer say that I don't read short stories very often. This is the fifth collection of stories I have read this year. I also almost always say that I have a hard time with short stories because I want more of the story. That may still be the case because it seems to be the impact of the collections as a whole and the connections between the stories rather than any individual story that take hold of me . This was the case here. They were different, yet alike in so many ways. An underlying sadness, an emptiness, an inability to make sense of the things that happened in their past, a focus on their present but yet with a longing to move forward . It's a thin thread from moments of joy in their past before war, before horrifying losses of limbs, of lives, before traumatic events that mark the journeys of these characters. I felt like I had to stop in between each to relieve the tension I felt .Paul Yoon takes us to America, France, Spain, Russia, Shanghai . The prose is as beautiful as I found in Snow Hunters, sparse, not flowery but full of description and meaning, conveying to us what addiction is like, what desperation of hunger is like, what it means to be alone, what it means to be a broken soul trying to heal. Even if you don't regularly read short stories (like I didn't), I recommend this collection that will certainly touch a nerve and most likely your heart.I received an advanced copy of this book from Simon and Schuster through NetGalley.
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    The connecting thread through these stories is the theme, of displacement by war or another tragic happening. Men and women we hope are seeking answers or a new way to live. Loneliness, because so many have lost those important in their lives, or are now unhappy for different reasons, unable to forget. Not much happens in these stories, they are very slowly paced but as I read I realized the patience of both the writer and the reader. The trust of an author in their readers, that their patience The connecting thread through these stories is the theme, of displacement by war or another tragic happening. Men and women we hope are seeking answers or a new way to live. Loneliness, because so many have lost those important in their lives, or are now unhappy for different reasons, unable to forget. Not much happens in these stories, they are very slowly paced but as I read I realized the patience of both the writer and the reader. The trust of an author in their readers, that their patience will eventually be rewarded, when life and trauma are revealed, and the value in these stories become apparent. People, some just barely hanging on and the day to day living in a world no longer recognizable.The prose is never melodramatic, but rather elegant and stately. The violence of war, not only on those who fought, but on those who are left, and in some the very land itself. Effects on the psyche, physical and mental scars, difficult to overcome. Although the stories are unfolded slowly, the message is fierce. In the last story, there are only six, the author reveals that the violence and battles are continuing now, maybe neverending sine we seem to learn so slowly or not at all. The stories encompass a wide Swatch of area, from the Hudson Valley, to Russia and Shanghai. It seems no area, no person will escape some form of tragedy. ARC from Simon and SchusterPublishes , August 15th.
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  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    I have long wanted to try Paul Yoon based on glowing reviews from Jason R., and I'm so glad I finally got the chance! These stories aren't linked by time period or characters, but they have a lot in common. They all seem to be following a major war or conflict, where the characters are displaced, have experienced loss, or are regathering their lives. They seem to follow life where it goes with the options that are presented, not out of desperation but almost in a way that feels like they are peo I have long wanted to try Paul Yoon based on glowing reviews from Jason R., and I'm so glad I finally got the chance! These stories aren't linked by time period or characters, but they have a lot in common. They all seem to be following a major war or conflict, where the characters are displaced, have experienced loss, or are regathering their lives. They seem to follow life where it goes with the options that are presented, not out of desperation but almost in a way that feels like they are people who have grown accustomed to not having options, of taking what is given, of surviving. They move in and out of situations and relationships, almost a floating feeling, absorbing consequences as they come. The writing, of course, is beautiful. I feel like reading them again.Thanks to the publisher for providing access through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    January 1, 1970
    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/“The passage connecting the wings of the hospital had long ago collapsed, so we signaled each other with candles, this brief joy at catching the blurred, lit shapes of other people’s faces over the rubble.”This collection of stories is like sorrowful stones you will carry in your gut. It is beautiful and tragic and every rotten and fresh emotion lurking between. Different countries, after World War II, in a sanatorium high up in the mountains, a via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/“The passage connecting the wings of the hospital had long ago collapsed, so we signaled each other with candles, this brief joy at catching the blurred, lit shapes of other people’s faces over the rubble.”This collection of stories is like sorrowful stones you will carry in your gut. It is beautiful and tragic and every rotten and fresh emotion lurking between. Different countries, after World War II, in a sanatorium high up in the mountains, at inns or train stations, each of the characters are stooped with grief. A woman working factories with nothing, with only coins and a tight small space to sleep, remembering the care she gave her dying father. Thankful for that small solitary space, when used to sharing cramped quarters with strangers. Too many hands on her, comfort in her father’s knife tight in her grip. Remembering the river she swam in, a lurking danger, a chemical plant, finding it again long after her youth. Violence, empty hands, wounds- these are not lives of privilege.In Milner Field an immigrant father shares a sad, terrible story from his past that drives his son to try and find the missing friend from long ago. In Still A Fire, Mikel sifts through rubble that was once city blocks and wonders “What wouldn’t he do?” There is so much hunger in the tales, emotional and physical. The characters are all from many walks of life, similar in not just their suffering but their longing. I walked away thinking about how each of our lives are like solitary planets, some violent, some cold and empty, others bursting with life, filled with love. People wake each morning, some with everything arranged as it’s always been others with everything that anchored them obliterated. In this wide world of ours, so many lives a spinning fury, alien realities we will never know. How the heart breaks with all the suffering and yet how it clings to hope.Riveting.Publication Date: August 15, 2017Simon & Schuster
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  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    The characters in The Mountain all have a connection to Korea but the settings vary-Russia, China, New York, etc. A sense of melancholy is another common denominator as is the central tragedy or sorrow takes place previous to the story or at least it's seldom directly addressed. The characters are stron and loving...just doomed. They're survivors however and don't rail against what feels like fate, they get on with things making the best of their lives however by time the central action takes pl The characters in The Mountain all have a connection to Korea but the settings vary-Russia, China, New York, etc. A sense of melancholy is another common denominator as is the central tragedy or sorrow takes place previous to the story or at least it's seldom directly addressed. The characters are stron and loving...just doomed. They're survivors however and don't rail against what feels like fate, they get on with things making the best of their lives however by time the central action takes place they've resigned themselves and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.I know this might sound depressing but it somehow isn't. I'm sure others have had the joy of seeing original Asian art scrolls that have a sense of peace and happiness and they often tells stories though not overtly. This is the same feeling I had while reading Yoon's stories. Thank you to the publisher for providing an e-copy.
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  • Carla
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so happy I had the chance to read Paul Yoon's The Mountain. I will definitely be looking for his other works. He writes so eloquently, prose that is tragic, and stark. These short stories are of loneliness, tragedy, displacement, in various parts of the world. There is not much happiness in these stories, and they made my heart ache, but it was with a gentleness of writing that I knew the author had empathy. Tremendous stories, tremendous author! Thank you to Simon and Shuster for a copy via I'm so happy I had the chance to read Paul Yoon's The Mountain. I will definitely be looking for his other works. He writes so eloquently, prose that is tragic, and stark. These short stories are of loneliness, tragedy, displacement, in various parts of the world. There is not much happiness in these stories, and they made my heart ache, but it was with a gentleness of writing that I knew the author had empathy. Tremendous stories, tremendous author! Thank you to Simon and Shuster for a copy via NetGalley for this yet to be released book.
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  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of the best anthologies of short stories I have ever read! The prose was beautiful and fluid and the transition into each story was seamless.All six stories are tied together through the beautifully described landscapes, even though they range from the Hudson Valley, to Russia and places far and wide. The author is very skilled at pulling you in with the imagery used throughout the book. It's well crafted and not overly done.They all take place after the end of WWII up to modern tim This was one of the best anthologies of short stories I have ever read! The prose was beautiful and fluid and the transition into each story was seamless.All six stories are tied together through the beautifully described landscapes, even though they range from the Hudson Valley, to Russia and places far and wide. The author is very skilled at pulling you in with the imagery used throughout the book. It's well crafted and not overly done.They all take place after the end of WWII up to modern times again uniting the stories in different ways. Even the characters, unite each story in small ways that takes this anthology to new levels. The characters are very relatable and beautifully crafted. Each on distinctly different, but also united in small ways. Whether the characters are united by previous employment, ethnicity, or the challenges they are left to face it is done smoothly and ties each story to another in various ways keeping it interesting.I cannot wait to read more by this extremely talented author!! Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC for a fair and honest review.
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  • Laurel
    January 1, 1970
    In The Mountain Paul Yoon’s stories quietly connect with one another as each character moves through the pages after WWII. Sometimes eerily depicted, as in “A Willow and The Moon” where a young woman follows in her mother’s morphine-addicted footsteps or “The Mountain,” an incredibly sad story of a young woman whose father’s past haunts her, these two stories were perhaps my favorites and in my mind exemplify Yoon’s compellingly beautiful fiction.
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  • ange
    January 1, 1970
    According to the synopsis, these stories, set in different eras and locations but all reflecting on the horrors of WWII and its aftermath, are about "traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace in [their] futures." While that is of course accurate (duh), I found that for me they were primarily stories about communication; the need for it, the absence of it, the way we try to approach or evade it.These characters have been mutilated, both physically and emotionally; they have been According to the synopsis, these stories, set in different eras and locations but all reflecting on the horrors of WWII and its aftermath, are about "traumatic pasts, newly vagrant lives, and quests for solace in [their] futures." While that is of course accurate (duh), I found that for me they were primarily stories about communication; the need for it, the absence of it, the way we try to approach or evade it.These characters have been mutilated, both physically and emotionally; they have been abandoned; they are strangers to one another and have become strangers to themselves (yet the kindness of strangers...); they are lonely and sad and exhausted. But still, firmly, they persist, they reach out. They try to communicate. They share their memories, their histories (which, a character muses, is both an act of intimacy as much of selfishness); their names; makeup; books; promises. When they are especially lucky, they share an actual language.There's a moment in Milner Field, the closing story, in which a son contemplates his father's reticence and silence throughout their lives, and how it only really felt that they were communicating when his dad would tell him a story, and the son would feel that, in those moments, they were both speaking, that in a way his father was trying to make him part of that memory. The son’s own daughter sends him her copies of books she read; they are outlined, annotated, sometimes containing greetings or questions in the margins (to which he even replies, though she won’t know). There's something incredibly comforting in these forms of communication, in all the ways people will try and try and try, no matter the situations, regardless of the difficulties.What I think Yoon does exceptionally well is telling these stories, tracing these ghosts of such harrowing pasts, with a quiet, unobtrusive, disimpassioned voice. While each story is elegantly and precisely told, they feel almost like whispers; the content is often horrific, but the narration is almost soothing. All the stories have an austere (if enduring and hopeful) heart, and it's fitting that the prose would be exquisite but sober, stripped of any embellishment.I'm not sure this is a book that will necessarily stay with me (though now that I’m trying to put together a few thoughts I realize that it did make its way under my skin), but it made me think (and be even more grateful) of how my grandparents would share their own memories of those times, instilling in me, in my siblings and cousins, verbal snapshots of "long ago" so that we could not only understand the past and appreciate how precious their present was to them, but also carry murmurs of their previous lives with us. I think that there’s something invaluable about eliciting this kind of reaction (a remembrance) from someone.Copy kindly provided by the publisher, Simon & Schuster, via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed the writing in this short story collection. The writing is spare, often stark, and affecting. The stories deal mainly with how people carry on following a tragedy, whether from the aftermath of war, illness or a death in the family. The stories have a melancholy feel, but they are also beautiful in how they highlight the resilience of people. Highly recommend!
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Surreal and beautiful. At the end of each tale I felt as if a hole inside of me had been filled. A hole that I had no idea was there waiting to be filled. Like spackle on aging drywall. How did I get so full of holes and fail to notice all of the empty spaces? Each story contained within this collection has the merit to stand out on it's own. Any one of the stories could have been expanded upon into a novel or novella, but Yoon excels at knowing when to stop telling the story. As such none of t Surreal and beautiful. At the end of each tale I felt as if a hole inside of me had been filled. A hole that I had no idea was there waiting to be filled. Like spackle on aging drywall. How did I get so full of holes and fail to notice all of the empty spaces? Each story contained within this collection has the merit to stand out on it's own. Any one of the stories could have been expanded upon into a novel or novella, but Yoon excels at knowing when to stop telling the story. As such none of the stories feel cut off or too short, a fate many short story collections suffer with.
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  • MsArdychan
    January 1, 1970
    Please Note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.When I requested The Mountain, by Paul Yoon, from NetGalley, I admit I did not realize it was a collection of short stories. This format has always been a challenge for me. I have a hard time with the brevity of the tale, and often feel that the characters are not developed enough for me to be engaged. But I was pleasantly surp Please Note: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.When I requested The Mountain, by Paul Yoon, from NetGalley, I admit I did not realize it was a collection of short stories. This format has always been a challenge for me. I have a hard time with the brevity of the tale, and often feel that the characters are not developed enough for me to be engaged. But I was pleasantly surprised by this book. With an economy of words, the author quickly sets a tone for each story and makes the reader care about each character. The result is a group of stories that will haunt your dreams, and perhaps cause some nightmares, too. What I Liked:Stories Connection:According to the books description, each story is somehow associated to another in the collection. Sometimes the connection is obvious, but most of the time, I had to really think about what one story attached to another. It was a fun challenge to figure this out.Writing:I thought the writing of the book to be beautiful in it's prose. Paul Yoon was able to quickly create circumstances where these characters existed and searched for meaning and connection. Many of the settings are times and places that are dealing with the aftermath of war. As displaced people try to reestablish their lives, they seem to grasp at any memory they may have to latch on to a moment when they felt safe and happy.What I Was Mixed About:Characters:Many of the characters in each story are wanderers who seem let random circumstances carry them from one situation to another. They seemed adrift in the world, without the usual ties of family, friends, community, or careers. This passivity was hard for me to accept. Don't most people have some intent each day, if for nothing else than to eat and find shelter for the night's rest? They all seemed to be searching for purpose, which was probably the point. But I found it hard to believe that people could be so random in major life choices.What I Didn't Like:Lack Of Resolution:I still have problems with the short story format. While these stories were beautifully written, they were snapshots into the lives of these people. Not much was resolved. Since the author was able to create such vivid characters, I found this to be frustrating. I cared about the people in each story and wanted to see how things would be resolved. The result is that these stories are beautiful, but rather bleak.Recommendation:I think this is an exquisitely written book. If you enjoy short stories, then I think you will appreciate these tales. Reading these will challenge you as a reader, and leave you hoping all these lost people finally find their way home.
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  • Maria
    January 1, 1970
    This is a book haunted by ghosts. There are spirits lingering in the pages. The characters themselves seem to be sleepwalking through life, not entirely alive but not ready to give up either. There are fragments of themselves that have been forever lost, parts they will never regain and that they must learn to live without. They are wandering souls, without destination or purpose, maybe they know better than to make plans... But it doesn't matter, all it matters is for them to keep going, keep g This is a book haunted by ghosts. There are spirits lingering in the pages. The characters themselves seem to be sleepwalking through life, not entirely alive but not ready to give up either. There are fragments of themselves that have been forever lost, parts they will never regain and that they must learn to live without. They are wandering souls, without destination or purpose, maybe they know better than to make plans... But it doesn't matter, all it matters is for them to keep going, keep going for those parts that are still alive, so that they won't be completely lost and for the ghosts of their loved ones, so that they won't be forgotten.These characters are trying to escape themselves or maybe find themselves by reaching out, even in their bleakest moments, and these stories will take you to some dark places, they still manage to find some solace in others. They are not without hope, they survive their pasts, holding on to their memories and their stories, stories they have been told and stories they have read.The prose has a beauty that almost goes unnoticed and it's a rare gift to read writing that is both beautiful and not annoyingly self conscious. In the end, this collection is not so much about the narratives, as it is about the mood and the characters' emotions, which I often find much more interesting.A big thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this via Netgalley.
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  • Jess Cullinan
    January 1, 1970
    The writing in these stories is gorgeous, no question, but the stories themselves are poorly served by being crammed into 30-90 pages apiece. Each one could be a sweeping, epic novel, with fascinating characters and insights on particular moments in history. Instead, they feel rushed, and there is much more telling than showing.Additionally, the author doesn't spend any time orienting the reader in the first few pages, either to time or to the character of the narrator - basic stuff like gender, The writing in these stories is gorgeous, no question, but the stories themselves are poorly served by being crammed into 30-90 pages apiece. Each one could be a sweeping, epic novel, with fascinating characters and insights on particular moments in history. Instead, they feel rushed, and there is much more telling than showing.Additionally, the author doesn't spend any time orienting the reader in the first few pages, either to time or to the character of the narrator - basic stuff like gender, age, etc, so I'm distracted from the story itself because I can't get a mental picture.I'm tempted to pick up the author's full-length work, because his prose is so lovely, and I'm curious to see if he does better with more pages to work with.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Paul Yoon does not mess around. These exquisite stories squeeze your heart, fill your senses, and awaken your mind. Following ordinary people who are orphaned, displaced, disconnected, or deranged by war, they go straight to the heart of wartime and postwar suffering and sorrows that last generations — and yet they are full of soulful beauty, and Yoon shows you the tenderness that can transcend cruelty, the yearning for connection that can lead to healing. I read them all twice, there was so muc Paul Yoon does not mess around. These exquisite stories squeeze your heart, fill your senses, and awaken your mind. Following ordinary people who are orphaned, displaced, disconnected, or deranged by war, they go straight to the heart of wartime and postwar suffering and sorrows that last generations — and yet they are full of soulful beauty, and Yoon shows you the tenderness that can transcend cruelty, the yearning for connection that can lead to healing. I read them all twice, there was so much to glean and notice. I'm a little stumped by trying to write about this work. Just read it please. Also Yoon's novel "Snow Hunters."
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  • Maryjo
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The Mountain by Paul Yoon is haunting and tragic yet beautiful at the same time. The characters in this collection of six stories all appear lost and thirsting to find their place in life. The writing flows smoothly and you will find yourself up reading well past bedtime. This is an amazing collection of stories that will stick with you long after you have read the last page. This is a must read for everybody!
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  • Paul Keppeler
    January 1, 1970
    "The Mountain" was a great find. Beautifully sparse yet evocative writing. The stories all circle around themes of hardship, loneliness and seeking. I am totally amazed by the writing style which reminds me of Barry Lopez. I'll be looking for more from Paul Yoon.Fyi this was a Goodreads giveaway. No matter; at this point my book and author find of the year.
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  • Carol Custer
    January 1, 1970
    These short stories are beautifully written - prose that is almost poetic. The stories all carry an almost tangible scent of sadness, grief, and longing.Not a 'feel-good' book by any means, but one that provokes thoughtfulness. The sensitivity of the writing makes this book well worth reading.
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  • anna
    January 1, 1970
    the tangible theme across the book is loneliness and pain. what and how we make do with both to try to live. should very well be my kind of book but turned out 60% of my reading experience with this one was just sheer tenacity that i had to finish it + it's not a long one.
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  • Ilana
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come in LA Times. Loved it, though.
  • Monika
    January 1, 1970
    I was thrilled to receive a complimentary copy of Paul Yoon's The Mountain from the publisher, because I loved his novella Snow Hunters so much. Words I used to describe Yoon's writing then hold true to this collection of short stories: quiet, gentle, exquisite. Yoon has a way of packing so much into his sparse prose! This is the kind of writing that makes you feel like you're holding your breath so you can listen more closely. There were spots that moved a little too slowly for my taste, but ov I was thrilled to receive a complimentary copy of Paul Yoon's The Mountain from the publisher, because I loved his novella Snow Hunters so much. Words I used to describe Yoon's writing then hold true to this collection of short stories: quiet, gentle, exquisite. Yoon has a way of packing so much into his sparse prose! This is the kind of writing that makes you feel like you're holding your breath so you can listen more closely. There were spots that moved a little too slowly for my taste, but overall this collection satisfied my need for a book I could relax into and simply enjoy.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    Yoon's spare approach to both prose and narrative can sometimes leave you wondering if his work is understated to a fault, but in the end I just find his writing too damn beautiful to resist. In these 6 stories, wounded people (many characters have damaged or amputated legs, one of a few key motifs in the collection) deal with loss and the aftermath of war. The stories take place in the past (post-WWII), present and near-future (one story concerns a Chinese factory worker assembling a popular mi Yoon's spare approach to both prose and narrative can sometimes leave you wondering if his work is understated to a fault, but in the end I just find his writing too damn beautiful to resist. In these 6 stories, wounded people (many characters have damaged or amputated legs, one of a few key motifs in the collection) deal with loss and the aftermath of war. The stories take place in the past (post-WWII), present and near-future (one story concerns a Chinese factory worker assembling a popular mini-drone camera) and span the globe: NY, China, Spain, France, and the UK. You have to read Yoon's stories carefully because the big events get mixed in with the quotidian details in the same minimal tone. It's all utterly convincing and realistic to the point where the artistry fades into the background. I don't fully understand how these stories work, honestly. They're as mysterious and fascinating as they are haunting and graceful.
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