The Mountain
a Novel by Raymond J. Steiner

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Raymond Steiner has created a character that makes us feel and think like an artist. Jake asks all the important questions about art in a story woven with a bit of historical fact that captures your heart.” —Kathleen Arffmann, Executive Director Salmagundi Club, NYC

“…The Mountain…is a poetically written yet compelling work about the coming of age of a young, inexperienced artist who relocates from NYC to Woodstock, NY during the early part of the 20th Century. The evolution of his development as a talented artist along with the history of an art community interwoven with a rapidly threatening world is a sensitively written page-turner. Only a serious artist could have written this book with such understanding. I highly recommend it.” Eleanor Jacobs: Writer, Art Agent

“A compelling portrayal of the struggle to express the creative process that lives within us.” Alan McKnight: Artist                                                                

“As we follow this artist (Jake) through his creative journey, he reveals philosophical questions that resonate within the artist in each of us, making this a deeply, thought-provoking, worthwhile read.” Susan Hope Fogel: Painter

“As each of us has our own ‘mountain’ to climb, so too we follow Jake Forscher as he attempts to reveal his soul to a blank canvas through this wonderful blend of the 20th-Century Woodstock Art Colony and the landscape of the inner artist’s inspiration and aspirations.” —Annie Hoffstatter: Artist

“I loved The Mountain, by Raymond J. Steiner. It so effectively immerses you in the artistic atmosphere of New York City and Woodstock from the early years of the century to the present that you actually begin to believe you’re there, living among the people and places of the novel… He conjures up place and time so completely that you can’t help but be immersed in his characters’ lives and in the places where they live. Not only is The Mountain a soaring, deeply moving and intensely detailed picture of how life was lived in those places at those times, but since the principal character is an artist, who continues to grow artistically throughout those years, you gain continually-growing insight into what it means to be an artist, what it means to grow as an artist. As you share his growth by gaining more and more technical knowledge of painting you begin to realize, as he learns to realize, what it really means to be involved in the process of painting a picture. It’s a story you won’t want to leave, and that you will carry with you for a long time.” 
Robert Brink: Theatrical Director

“Steiner provides true insight into the psyche of the artist while revealing the day-to-day struggles encountered pursuing the artist ideal.” —Mark Hoffstatter: Businessman     

The Mountain had a big impact on me and many months later I still think of various parts of the story. I felt the main character expressed exactly how I feel every time I travel north and get that first glimpse of the Catskills. Not only did I learn about the area in which I live and the history of the art community, but I gleaned various pointers for my own artistic endeavors.” —Holly Post: Painter

“In The Mountain, Steiner has created an enviable character set in a place and time I would love to have lived. His ability as a storyteller rivals his passion for the rich cultural history of the Woodstock artists’ colony.” Kate McGloughlin: Artist, Teacher 

The Mountain lifted my thoughts and my heart. I loved following Jake on his quest.”  
Jill Silber: Artist 

“A beautiful book that captures the mystery of life through the elusiveness and beauty of the ‘Mountain’”  —Barbara Gill: Businesswoman 

The Mountain, by Raymond J. Steiner, is a fictional glimpse into the life of Jake Forscher, an amateur artist, or rather a handyman who dreams of being an artist, while working in the shadows of the many great legends of the Catskill art scene circa 1912, including Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Putnam Brinley, and John Carlson.  Steiner, a well-respected art critic and essayist for the ART TIMES Journal since its inception, as well as a recognized artist in his own right (though in his own words, he is a “writer who likes to paint”), uses familiar scenes and landmarks of and around the town of Woodstock, NY, which include the Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, the Art Students League, and the Rock City Artists Group.  The book is a must have for anyone interested in art, local art history, history of the Catskills, or the honest and ever-witty approach to story telling that is, much like his personality, a trademark of Steiner’s writings”. —Jamie Barthel, Owner/Curator Lotus Fine Art

“There are few books that delve into an artist’s inner world in search for truth as honestly as this one. The Mountain is refreshing, inspiring and extremely well written. The historical insight about the Woodstock era was a bonus.” —Linda Richichi: Artist, Teacher  

 The Mountain is a wonderful book giving us much of the history of the Hudson Valley from the beginning of the 19th-Century and beyond. Meanwhile, in an easily readable manner, much information on the evolution of American painting of that era is presented to the reader. Above all, however, The Mountain is a symbol reminding us of the many ‘insurmountable’ problems we encounter along the road of our lives, as we struggle for higher aims.” —Jörg Iwan: Analytical Chemist (Retired)

“Steiner has written a compelling story that will appeal to artists and those who wish to understand artists. His masterful prose draws the reader to The Mountain and makes us care about Jake’s pursuit of his passion to express himself through his art. The juxtaposition of Jake’s inner struggle with the immense physicality of ‘The Mountain’ make for an excellent read.” Heidi Robertson

“R.J. Steiner has with words, painted a colorful story of an artist in this entertaining and highly enjoyable novel. A great read.” Everett Raymond Kinstler: Artist

“In The Mountain, a profound work of historical fiction, Ray Steiner paints a beautiful landscape of a young man’s journey from his working class roots in Brooklyn to Woodstock, New York. While coming to terms with his own self-doubts, Jake Forscher’s inner struggles as an artist and craftsman are set within the magnificent backdrop of Overlook Mountain and the impassioned dialogues of the visionaries who came together to create the famed artist’s colony in the early 20th-Century.” Ginger Lee Hendler: Artist, Teacher

“The Mountain is a masterful telling of the passionate and lifelong spiritual quest of a divinely-inspired artist.”—Cheryl Post: Artist

“What a joy to learn so much about art and a place called ‘Woodstock’ from an educator, artist and skilled story-teller.” Elsie Teich: Teacher (Retired)