In the Suicide MountainsJohn Gardner
John Gardner here creates a magical and mysterious world, a world of tales spun within tales, of dragons and talking babes and kings who have 12 daughters, each more beautifiul than the last, a world of sudden transformations and hidden significances in which Chudu the Goat's Son, and Armida the blacksmith's daughter, and Christopher the Sullen, crown prince of the kingdom, meet, by chance, in the Suicide Mountains (each, for anguishing reasons, intent on self-destruction) and there encounter the Abbot of the Ancient Monastery – saintliest (and most enigmatic) of men – who teaches them that things are not always as they seem.
John Champlin Gardner, Jr. (1933–1982) was a well-known and controversial American novelist and university professor, best known for his novel Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf myth.
John Gardner's best known novels include: The Sunlight Dialogues, a novel about a brooding, disenchanted policeman who is asked to engage a madman fluent in classical mythology; Grendel, a retelling of the Beowulf legend from the monster's point of view; and October Light, a novel about an aging and embittered brother and sister living and feuding together in rural Vermont. This last novel won the National Book Critics' Circle Award in 1976. Each book features brutish, isolated figures struggling for integrity and understanding in an unforgiving society.