The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

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94,000 words


US: Simon & Schuster, Jun 30, 2015
US Large Print: Center Point
Canada: Knopf, Apr 2015
UK: Simon and Schuster, May 2015
Brazil (Portuguese): Bertrand Editora
French ex-Canada: Denoel
French Canada: Alto
Israel: Keter Books
Netherlands: The House of Books
Norway: Juritzen Forlag


Lori Lansens (Photo: Laura Starks)
(Photo: Laura Starks)

ori Lansens was a successful screenwriter before she burst onto the literary scene in 2002 with her first novel Rush Home Road. Published in eleven countries, Rush Home Road received rave reviews around the world. Her follow-up novel The Girls was an international success as well. Rights were sold in 13 territories and it was featured as a book club pick by Richard & Judy in the UK, selling 300,000 copies. Her third novel, The Wife's Tale was published in ten different territories, while her forth novel, The Mountain Story, had rights sold in eight. Born and raised in Chatham, Ontario, Lori Lansens now makes her home in Los Angeles with her two children.




The Mountain Story

a novel by Lori Lansens


“At last an adventure story where everyone is not supremely competent. At last a wilderness story which because it’s fiction has an actual arc and not just a series of encounters. Wolf is one of the most incredible voices I’ve come across in fiction recently and his trailer park environment is stunningly described; at once as absurd as farce and yet hauntingly real. On the mountain, bad judgment and bad luck are the order of the day and your heart will be in your throat as the inevitability of death draws ever closer to one young man and three generations of city women lost in a very real and dangerous mountain wilderness. You may think twice about piling the kids in the car for your next hike!” — HELEN SIMONSON, author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

“Lori Lansens has created a heart-pounder of a book that is every bit as much of an emotional roller-coaster as an adventurous one. Filled with richly drawn characters, unexpected twists, and gritty details about survival, you'll want to read this right now. Unless, that is, you happen to be camping!” — JODI PICOULT, bestselling author of Leaving Time

“A moving portrait of the human spirit — fierce, lovely, and indomitable as nature.” — PEOPLE MAGAZINE Book of the Week


The Mountain Story, new Canadian coverThe Mountain Story is a whopping great adventure tale, but it is much more than that. It is an epic family drama in the mould of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, which served as Lori’s inspiration. The novel is a result of Lori’s discovery of and immersion in the raw rural California landscape, where wilderness and desert stand in close proximity right in her back yard, where she has seen a mountain lion devour a deer, where coyotes and other critters prowl, and where wildfires rage just down the road. Her house is built on land where another house once stood before it was burned to the ground.

The novel is set on a mountain outside Palm Springs. Travelling up on the cable car from city to mountainside is akin to moving “from the climate of Mexico to the climate of Alaska in about fifteen minutes.” The mountain is easy to get lost on – Lori has done it. You can always see the desert city below, but you cannot find your way down to it.The Mountain Story - Norwegian cover

The Mountain Story is told by Wolf Truly, who on his eighteenth birthday got lost withthree women for five days in the mountain wilderness just outside Palm Springs. Now an adult and a father, Wolf is writing this account of what really happened on the mountain for his son Danny, who has just started college. Wolf realizes that he owes his son the truth, for reasons that become clear in a shocking revelation at the end of the novel.

Wolf had a rough youth, losing his mum when he was four, and being brought up by a dad who was more interested in the next conquest or bottle of scotch than in his son. Wolf has gone up the mountain to kill himself on the anniversary of the day his best friend, Byrd, had a tragic accident on the mountain, which had been the boys’ paradise and escape.

The Mountain Story - UK coverWolf meets the three women on the cable car on the way up, and through wonderfully plotted misadventure, the women end up lost and stranded.

They can see the desert city below but cannot find their way down to it from the forested cliffs. Wolf goes from wanting to kill himself to wanting all of them to survive, through five days of hope and loss and injury and hypothermia and incredible self-revelation on the part of all four. Only three of them come down the mountain alive.

Tense and gripping, The Mountain Story includes sex, death, deep emotion, and sacrifice. It’s more than an adventure story, but it is a highly dramatic adventure story, as well as a revealing examination of family dynamics.       



The Mountain Story - UK paperback cover“Lansens’ survival tale of four people stranded alone on a mountainside is as terrifying and gripping as it is an homage to the fearsomeness of the natural world.” — ELLE

“A superbly crafted, tension-filled tale.” — NOW Magazine

“Written with breathtaking pace, tingling with suspense, leavened by humour and high on emotion and drama, The Mountain Story is one of the most memorable and moving novels you will read this year.” — THE BLACKPOOL GAZETTE

“An intelligent page turner.” — THE BOOKBAG

“Right from its opening pages, The Mountain Story has you firmly in its grip. Immensely readable, beautifully written and incredibly heart-breaking… it’s an extraordinary story of survival, heroism and redemption that will stay with you long after you read the last page.” — ASSOCIATED PRESS, UK

The Mountain Story - US & Canada paperback cover“A read as awe-inspiring, unpredictable and raw as the landscape it is set in. The novel is brilliantly atmospheric and evocative but it's more than just a survival novel…a smart, powerful read and what takes place on the mountain will live long with the reader, as it does for the characters.” — WE LOVE THIS BOOK, UK

“Blimey this was good. A mountain tale which shows how suffering and survival in the wilderness show the extremes of the human spirit and how four people can come together under the most pressurized of situations.” — THE BOOK TRAIL, UK

“Written with breathtaking pace, tingling with suspense, leavened by humour and high on emotion and drama, The Mountain Story is one of the most memorable and moving novels you will read this year.” — PAM NORFOLK, UK syndicated

The Mountain Story brims with twists and turns that keep readers turning the pages. That is the way of the world: dangerous, unforgiving, heartbreaking, heroic and unspeakably beautiful.” — ROBERT REID, UK syndicated

The Mountain Story - Brazil cover“A tense and atmospheric tale about love and survival.” — BELLA

“By its closing pages, it gains an almost devastating emotional force that accompanies the irresistible quality of its narrative drive: It’s a master class in fiction and its potential.” — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

The Mountain Story is a gritty, nail-biting tale of survival and self-revelation. Lori Lansens' lush and potent landscape is painted as vividly as her characters, whose afternoon nature walk becomes a terrifying trek to the very precipice of mortality. Pitted against the impartial elements and their own inner demons, four souls discover that shared humanity is their only dependable lifeline.” — CORAL CASSELLA, bestselling author of Gemini

“A captivating tale of courage, love, and sacrifice, The Mountain Story is transporting. A young man and three women accidentally take a hero's journey that inspires the better angels in all of us.” — AMY SCHEIBE, author of A Fireproof Home for the Bride

“Lansens possesses an amazing ability to create suspense, surprise readers and pull together seemingly loose threads. The plot remains tense until the end of the final sentence.” — WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

“With The Mountain Story, Lori Lansens has written an epic work suffused with raw emotional power and resonance.” — TORONTO STAR

“Poignant and heartbreaking, this book rivets with its examination of what the body and soul need to stay alive.” — MACLEAN'S

“Lansens adeptly takes her characters from despair to hope and back again, portioning out any number of surprises along the way. … The mountain is unforgiving and every misstep could lead to death. But whose? With such a thrilling premise and clever treatment, who wouldn’t want to go along on the outing?” — NATIONAL POST

The Mountain Story - large print edition“As in her earlier novels, Lansens (The Wife’s Tale, 2010) portrays strong, not-soon forgotten characters in this suspenseful, psychologically rich tale…Lansens brings the reader intimately into their plight: four harrowing days with barely any food or water, trapped in a canyon with seemingly no way down. Their ordeal profoundly affects the four survivors and changes the course of each of their lives.” — BOOKLIST

“Four hikers get lost on a mountain, struggling desperately to stay alive, and it’s all as chilling and gorgeous and full of suspense as a cracking line of ice on a frozen lake. A breathtaking look at how the past footholds the future and how even the bleakest terror can find its way to unfathomable beauty.” — CAROLINE LEAVITT, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

“Lansens has written a colorful, adventurous wilderness survival novel.... [a] first-rate character-driven thriller.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Her newest offering is more than just a survival tale. It is a story of friendship and loss, but also of growth and hope, and of family bonds that can either tie us down or help us soar. A great read for anyone who likes character-driven, coming-of-age stories with exquisitely described natural settings.” — LIBRARY JOURNAL

“With her new novel, Lori Lansens, the bestselling author of The Girls, may have reached the peak of story-telling prowess. The Mountain Story is a fast-paced and profound adventure that demands to be read in a single sitting… The Mountain Story is the best kind of binge read: exhilarating, inspiring, and life-affirming.” — QUILL & QUIRE, starred review

The Mountain Story is equal parts poignant drama and palm-sweaty suspense; Lori Lansens has delivered a page-turner.”  — ANNE-MARIE MACDONALD, author of Fall on Your Knees, The Way the Crow Flies and Adult Onset

“Like a luge ride- you hop on with 3 generations of women and don’t breathe until you arrive at the end. A carefully plotted, smart and funny novel about hanging on for dear life. ”  — KATHERINE GOVIER, author of The Ghost Brush and Three Views of Crystal Water

The Mountain Story - UK paperback cover“Lori Lansens writes with extravagant heart and vitality. In this vertigo-inducing book, she wrenches us into an adventure that pits spectacular danger in the present against the ever-present danger of the past.”  — MARINA ENDICOTT, author of Little Shadows and Good to a Fault

“With The Mountain Story Lori Lansens gives us a riveting novel of heartbreak, heroism and redemption. Lansens writes with breathtaking compassion and insight, creating characters as captivating and unpredictable as the rugged mountain that holds them hostage. Rich, suspenseful and relentless, this book delivers equal measures of high drama and humanity that will keep readers spellbound until the last word.”  — CAROL SHABEN, author of Into the Abyss

“It's an incredible feat to write a harrowing, heart-stopping, brilliantly plotted survival novel. But to also make it moving, meditative, and sometimes even funny, Lori Lansens has done these things and much, much more with The Mountain Story. She is a master of this kind of literary balancing act, that rare writer who can create a damn great page-turner, all while effortlessly gracing it with stunning sentences and unforgettable characters. Wolf, Vonn, Bridget and Nola: you are with them on that mountain. And even while you know this book is going to break your heart, it blankets you with unbelievable hope. It's crazy good.”  — LISA GABRIELE, author of Tempting Faith DiNapoli, The Almost Archer Sisters, and the S.E.C.R.E.T. trilogy as L. Marie Adeline

“Lori Lansens’s gripping new novel, The Mountain Story, combines the best elements of survival adventure, family drama and coming-of-age narrative. What captured my heart was Wolf’s deep respect for nature: his own, those of the women he tries to protect, and that of the flora, fauna and climate on the mountain. The novel shows us how we can be better in the face of incommensurable grief.”  — KATHRYN KUITENBROUWER, author of All the Broken Things

The Mountain Story is an expertly crafted novel about how ordinary lives can be changed by an extraordinary mountain. If climbing speaks to how we can find truth and beauty in hardship, Lansens shows that it is also a way to see inside our souls. I loved this novel.”  — CLAIRE CAMERON, author of The Bear


The Mountain Story - Canadian hardcover editionThe Mountain Story - US coverThe Mountain Story - Netherlands edition



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