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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

The Other: A Novel

by

The Other: A Novel Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of the best-selling Snow Falling on Cedars, a dazzling new novel about youth and idealism, adulthood and its compromises, and two powerfully different visions of what it means to live a good life.

John William Barry has inherited the pedigree — and wealth — of two of Seattle's elite families; Neil Countryman is blue-collar Irish. Nevertheless, when the two boys meet in 1972 at age sixteen, they're brought together by what they have in common: a fierce intensity and a love of the outdoors that takes them, together and often, into Washington's remote backcountry, where they must rely on their wits — and each other — to survive.

Soon after graduating from college, Neil sets out on a path that will lead him toward a life as a devoted schoolteacher and family man. But John William makes a radically different choice, dropping out of college and moving deep into the woods, convinced that it is the only way to live without hypocrisy. When John William enlists Neil to help him disappear completely, Neil finds himself drawn into a web of secrets and often agonizing responsibility, deceit, and tragedy — one that will finally break open with a wholly unexpected, life-altering revelation.

Riveting, deeply humane, The Other is David Guterson's most brilliant and provocative novel to date.

Review:

"Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) runs out of gas mulling the story of two friends who take divergent paths toward lives of meaning. A working-class teenager in 1972 Seattle, Neil Countryman, a 'middle of the pack' kind of guy and the book's contemplative narrator, befriends trust fund kid John William Barry — passionate, obsessed with the world's hypocrisies and alarmingly prone to bouts of tears — over a shared love of the outdoors. Guterson nicely draws contrasts between the two as they grow into adulthood: Neil drifts into marriage, house, kids and a job teaching high school English, while John William pulls an Into the Wild, moving to the remote wilderness of the Olympic Mountains and burrowing into obscure Gnostic philosophy. When John William asks for a favor that will sever his ties to 'the hamburger world' forever, loyal Neil has a decision to make. Guterson's prose is calm and pleasing as ever, but applied to Neil's staid personality it produces little dramatic tension. Once the contrasts between the two are set up, the novel has nowhere to go, ultimately floundering in summary and explanation. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

David Guterson caught everybody's attention in 1994 with his best-selling first novel, "Snow Falling on Cedars," a fierce love story wrapped around a suspenseful murder trial. But that intricately plotted book seems more and more an anomaly for this Seattle writer. Since "Snow Falling," he's focused exclusively on woodland loners, alienated figures grasping for spiritual transcendence, driven into... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"[P]hilosophically provocative and psychologically astute....When a novelist scores as popular a breakthrough as Guterson did with Snow Falling on Cedars, a long shadow is cast over subsequent efforts. Here, he succeeds in outdistancing that shadow." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"[An] excellent novel, as humane as it is compelling." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"[I]f you love Guterson's often meandering yet eloquent style, The Other will fill you up as much as a good burger." USA Today

Review:

"It's hard for the reader to understand why Mr. Guterson...would want to reinvent such a well-known and well-told story. And while he has created an engaging enough voice for his narrator, Neil Countryman, much of his novel feels derivative and overly familiar." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"[T]hose seeking an honest study of 1970s American youth that looks to answer the questions we ask ourselves about — concerning our identities and what it means to exist — will be spellbound..." BookReporter.com

Review:

"[A] moving portrait of male friendship....[T]he voice of Neil Countryman is that of a good, thoughtful man coming into middle-class, middle-aged fullness, and his recollections of life in Seattle have a wonderful richness and texture." Bruce Barcott, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"This is a novel carrying dangerously low provisions of suspense. Its heavy reliance on introspection and natural description will starve readers hungry for more of a plot. It's a testament to Guterson's sensitive, lush prose that the novel makes it out alive." Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Guterson sometimes gets lost in his own descriptive thickets at the expense of story; at a mere 272 pages, The Other feels dawdly and overwritten. It's well-crafted and tasteful to a fault, but there's too much digression and not enough discretion here." The Portland Oregonian

Review:

"Much of this story is mesmerizing, even heartbreaking....The Other stayed with this reader for days after finishing the book." Seattle Times

Synopsis:

From the author of the bestselling Snow Falling on Cedars comes a compelling new novel about youth and idealism, adulthood and its compromises, and two powerfully different visions of what it means to live a good life.

About the Author

David Guterson is the author of the novels Snow Falling on Cedars, East of the Mountains, and Our Lady of the Forest, as well as a story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, The Country Behind. A PEN/Faulkner Award winner, he is a cofounder of Field's End, an organization for writers in Washington State.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307263155
Author:
Guterson, David
Publisher:
Knopf
Subject:
Male friendship
Subject:
Washington (state)
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
June 3, 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.6 x 6.65 x 1 in 1.05 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Other: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 272 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780307263155 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) runs out of gas mulling the story of two friends who take divergent paths toward lives of meaning. A working-class teenager in 1972 Seattle, Neil Countryman, a 'middle of the pack' kind of guy and the book's contemplative narrator, befriends trust fund kid John William Barry — passionate, obsessed with the world's hypocrisies and alarmingly prone to bouts of tears — over a shared love of the outdoors. Guterson nicely draws contrasts between the two as they grow into adulthood: Neil drifts into marriage, house, kids and a job teaching high school English, while John William pulls an Into the Wild, moving to the remote wilderness of the Olympic Mountains and burrowing into obscure Gnostic philosophy. When John William asks for a favor that will sever his ties to 'the hamburger world' forever, loyal Neil has a decision to make. Guterson's prose is calm and pleasing as ever, but applied to Neil's staid personality it produces little dramatic tension. Once the contrasts between the two are set up, the novel has nowhere to go, ultimately floundering in summary and explanation. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[P]hilosophically provocative and psychologically astute....When a novelist scores as popular a breakthrough as Guterson did with Snow Falling on Cedars, a long shadow is cast over subsequent efforts. Here, he succeeds in outdistancing that shadow."
"Review" by , "[An] excellent novel, as humane as it is compelling."
"Review" by , "[I]f you love Guterson's often meandering yet eloquent style, The Other will fill you up as much as a good burger."
"Review" by , "It's hard for the reader to understand why Mr. Guterson...would want to reinvent such a well-known and well-told story. And while he has created an engaging enough voice for his narrator, Neil Countryman, much of his novel feels derivative and overly familiar."
"Review" by , "[T]hose seeking an honest study of 1970s American youth that looks to answer the questions we ask ourselves about — concerning our identities and what it means to exist — will be spellbound..."
"Review" by , "[A] moving portrait of male friendship....[T]he voice of Neil Countryman is that of a good, thoughtful man coming into middle-class, middle-aged fullness, and his recollections of life in Seattle have a wonderful richness and texture."
"Review" by , "This is a novel carrying dangerously low provisions of suspense. Its heavy reliance on introspection and natural description will starve readers hungry for more of a plot. It's a testament to Guterson's sensitive, lush prose that the novel makes it out alive."
"Review" by , "Guterson sometimes gets lost in his own descriptive thickets at the expense of story; at a mere 272 pages, The Other feels dawdly and overwritten. It's well-crafted and tasteful to a fault, but there's too much digression and not enough discretion here."
"Review" by , "Much of this story is mesmerizing, even heartbreaking....The Other stayed with this reader for days after finishing the book."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the bestselling Snow Falling on Cedars comes a compelling new novel about youth and idealism, adulthood and its compromises, and two powerfully different visions of what it means to live a good life.
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