Tag: mountains

Paolo Cognetti: Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains)

The latest addition to my website is Paolo Cognetti‘s Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains), which won the prestigious Strega Prize in Italy. It tells the story of Pietro, only child of two mountain lovers. His father, in particular, is very keen on climbing at high altitudes in the Italian Alps and Pietro gets the bug. His mother, who prefers the lower reaches, persuades the father to rent a small cottage in Grana and the father and then, when he is older, Pietro go up the mountains. It is in Grana that Pietro meets Bruno, a boy of his own age and they become lifelong friends. Bruno is a mountain man and their close relationship helps Pietro develop his love of mountains. There is a falling-out between father and son, and between the friends when Pietro becomes a teenager but Pietro rediscovers his love of mountains with the help of Bruno.

James Salter: Solo Faces


The latest addition to my website is James Salter‘s Solo Faces, a novel about mountain-climbing. We first meet Vernon Rand as a roofer in California but we soon learn that his passion is mountain-climbing. Much of the novel is set in the French Alps where Rand will go mountain climbing, initially with others and then, as the title tells us, on his own. He is loner, fiercely independent. He gets trapped by bad weather, has to help a companion who is badly hurt and even leads a small team to rescue a couple of Italians, one of whom is hurt, trapped in bad weather, which makes him briefly famous. He has a series of relationship with women, always abandoning them and moving on, as he does with the mountains. Rand is actually based on Gary Hemming though Salter certainly did a fair amount of climbing himself, mentioned in this interview.

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