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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »

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The Bear Went Over the Mountain

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The Bear Went Over the Mountain Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

William Kotzwinkle, the esteemed author of The Fan Man and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, is in top comic form in this outrageous and uproarious parable featring Hal Jama big black bear who finds a manuscript under a tree in the Maine woods, dons a suit and a tie, and heads off to the big city to seek his fame and fortune. What follows is a riotous magical romp with the buoyant Hal Jam as he leaves the quiet, nurturing world of the forest for the glittering and corrupt world of humans. New York and Hollywood and all that lies between serve as an expansive palette for Kotzwinkles wickedly funny satiric brush. The Bear Went Over the Mountain skewers our ages obsession with money and fame in a delicious bedtime story for grown-ups.

William Kotzwinkle is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

William Kotzwinkle, esteemed author of the novels The Fan Man and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, is in top comic form in this outrageous and uproarious parable featring Hal Jama big black bear who finds a manuscript under a tree in the Maine woods, dons a suit and tie, and heads off to the big city to seek his fame and fortune as an author. What follows is a riotous magical romp in which the buoyant Hal Jam leaves the quiet, nurturing world of the forest for the glittering and corrupt world of humans. New York and Hollywood and all that lies between serve as an expansive palette for Kotzwinkles wickedly funny satiric brush. The Bear Went Over the Mountain skewers our ages obsession with money and fame in a delicious bedtime story for grown-ups.

"Kotzwinkle's sprawling body of work includes the psychedelic cult novel The Fan Man (1974), the novelization of ET: The Extraterrestrial (1982), and the award-winning animal-uprising fantasy Dr. Rat (1976). If anyone is qualified to write a satire of the book racket featuring a famous author who is also a bear, it's Kotzwinkle. As the book opens, we meet University of Maine professor Arthur Bramhall, who has spent his sabbatical in the country writing Destiny and Desire, a moving rural love story with lots of fishing and sex. Having lost one typewritten draft to a fire, he cautiously hides his latest version under a low-hanging tree. Unfortunately for Art, the briefcase containing his manuscript is found by a foraging bear, who can read well enough to know that he's got a hit on his hands. Having acquired a suit, a New York agent, and the nom de plume Hal Jam, he takes the publishing world by storm. His clumsy utterances act as a sort of conversational inkblot test, and much like Chauncey Gardiner's power in Being There, everyone hears what they need to hear. No one notices that Hal is a bear, but he does get compared to Hemingway a lot. Meanwhile, back in Maine, Art is exhibiting some distinctly ursine behavior. Within the framework of the tried-and-true 'switch' plot, Kotzwinkle tweaks publicists, academics, politicians, and anyone else he can think of and wraps up the whole uproarious package with an ending that is both surprising and inevitable."Booklist

"In rural Maine a common black bear discovers an unpublished novel, reads it, decides it's a good effort, and leaves his wilderness home for New York, where he presents the novel as his own and takes the world by storm. His observations of the ironies and inconsistencies of the human world are both funny and pointed in Kotzwinkle's parody."Midwest Book Review

"The funniest fable of our time."Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Kotzwinkle's hilarious satire of the New York publishing world keeps the reader laughing from the beginning to the end. He is clear-eyed and merciless in his recounting of the tale of Maine author Arthur Bramhall, a bright but bumbling backwoods novelist, whose new manuscript— written for bestsellerdom—is stolen by a bear who thinks it is something to eat. As Bramhall frantically attempts to recover the manuscript, the bear becomes the toast of the New York literary world, interviewed by puzzled journalists, seduced by voracious literary agents, signed by unscrupulous publishers, and celebrated at the White House. The bear becomes more human; at the same time, poor Arthur becomes more animal-like, all of which leads to a bitter-sweet ending. Kotzwinkle wrote E.T.: The Extrat-errestrial and The Fan Man." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Synopsis:

William Kotzwinkle, the esteemed author of The Fan Man and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, is in top comic form in this outrageous and uproarious parable featring Hal Jam—a big black bear who finds a manuscript under a tree in the Maine woods, dons a suit and a tie, and heads off to the big city to seek his fame and fortune. What follows is a riotous magical romp with the buoyant Hal Jam as he leaves the quiet, nurturing world of the forest for the glittering and corrupt world of humans. New York and Hollywood and all that lies between serve as an expansive palette for Kotzwinkles wickedly funny satiric brush. The Bear Went Over the Mountain skewers our ages obsession with money and fame in a delicious bedtime story for grown-ups.

About the Author

William Kotzwinkle is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for Fiction, a winner of the World Fantasy Award, and a nominee for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805054385
Author:
Kotzwinkle, William
Publisher:
St. Martins Press-3pl
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Humorous Stories
Subject:
Fantastic fiction
Subject:
Authors
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Bears
Subject:
Authors and publishers
Subject:
Satire
Subject:
Bears -- United States -- Fiction.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st Owl book ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series:
Owl Book
Series Volume:
no. (FDA) 97-2308
Publication Date:
20000931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.5 x 0.76 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Reference » Writing » General

The Bear Went Over the Mountain Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805054385 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
William Kotzwinkle, the esteemed author of The Fan Man and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, is in top comic form in this outrageous and uproarious parable featring Hal Jam—a big black bear who finds a manuscript under a tree in the Maine woods, dons a suit and a tie, and heads off to the big city to seek his fame and fortune. What follows is a riotous magical romp with the buoyant Hal Jam as he leaves the quiet, nurturing world of the forest for the glittering and corrupt world of humans. New York and Hollywood and all that lies between serve as an expansive palette for Kotzwinkles wickedly funny satiric brush. The Bear Went Over the Mountain skewers our ages obsession with money and fame in a delicious bedtime story for grown-ups.

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