The Eight Mountains

The Eight Mountains




'With air in its lungs and love in its heart' Guardian *****

An epic journey of friendship and self-discovery set in the breath-taking Italian Alps, about two boys who meet in the same village every summer, and the men they grow up to become.

Pietro, an impressionable city boy, spends his summers in a secluded valley in the Alps. There, surrounded by meadows and peaks, he begins to learn of his father's dreams and passions. There, too, he meets Bruno, the son of a local stonemason. As the pair run wild, they form a once-in-a-lifetime friendship.

Then one year, the summer visits stop. Pietro is drawn to cities around the world. But the memory of the mountains never leaves him and, after his father dies, he returns in search of the freedom and camaraderie that he once knew.

'Exquisite... A rich, achingly painful story' ANNIE PROULX, author of The Shipping News

'BRILLIANT' New York Times
'ABSORBING' Irish Times

Winner of the 2017 Strega Prize, the Prix Médicis étranger, and the Jury Prize at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.


  • A fine book, a rich, achingly painful story that is made for all of us who have ever felt a hunger for the mountains. Few books have so accurately described the way stony heights can define one’s sense of joy and rightness. And it is an exquisite unfolding of the deep way humans may love one another.
    Annie Proulx

About the author

Paolo Cognetti

Paolo Cognetti was born in 1978 in Milan. He divides his time between the city and his cabin 6,000 feet up in the Italian Alps. His international bestseller, The Eight Mountains, won Italy’s Premio Strega and is now a major film. His other acclaimed titles include Without Ever Reaching the Summit: A Himalayan Journey, and The Lovers.
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