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The Other

The Other [Kindle Edition]

David Guterson
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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'Compelling... The Other should seal [David Guterson's] reputation as a master of contemporary prose... The author's syntax and characters are as rich as spun gold...' -- Louisville Courier-Journal, L. Elisabeth Beattie

'Mesmerizing, even heart-breaking... vivid... David Guterson explores the fissures in our divided souls.' -- The Seattle Times, Mary Ann Gwinn

'[Guterson's] most brilliant and provocative novel yet... He presents the reader with the quintessential questions of value and choice that shape life.' -- Oregan Daily-News, Bill Duncan

'...Guterson is widely recognised as a novelist of considerable talent and The Other will consolidate his high reputation.'
-- Waterstones Book Quarterly

'The Other is heartbreaking, laugh-out-loud funny, involving and emotionally true... In Guterson's hands, it embraces the world.'
-- The Olympian, Barbara Mcmichael

'There are beautifully observed moments ... Guterson writes beautiful, persuasive prose, harking back to Hemingway, with a glimmer of wit that brings a modern sensibility' -- Toby Clements, Daily Telegraph

'With this novel, Guterson has made a highly significant contribution to American literature...Remarkable'
-- Giles Foden, Guardian

`Elegiac ... Guterson's intention is not to ratchet up tension, but rather sedately to ruminate on the nature of compromise and idealism in the 21st century'
-- Daily Mail

`Gentle, intelligent sadness that makes it such a fine novel is actually born of that conventionality' -- Independent

`With this novel, Guterson has made a highly significant contribution to American literature, touching on a number of persistent themes... remarkable' -- Guardian


'[Guterson's] most brilliant and provocative novel yet... He presents the reader with the quintessential questions of value and choice that shape life.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 523 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307263150
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (1 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007Z4SCCM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #55,320 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By emma who reads a lot TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I felt totally gripped by this book as soon as I got to page five, and the line.. "that's how I met the privileged boy who would later become the hermit of the Hoh - the loner who lived in the woods for seven years and who bequeathed me four hundred and forty million dollars". It's hard not to want to read on from there...

"Snow Falling on Cedars", Guterson's first novel, was set in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. This new book takes place there too, and centres around Seattle, focusing on two young teenage boys growing up in the early 1970s. They smoke dope and listen to music, but most of all they like to hike out into the wilderness around the city and be completely cut off from the world.

But as the two grow up, Neil, the narrator, follows a conventional route, whereas John William becomes a hermit in the forest. It's the relationship between the two which the book follows, though there are also lovely sections about how Neil met his wife, talking about his own life as a schoolteacher, and describing American life in general at the time.

A very enjoyable read, I thought, with plenty of evocative detail and enough mystery (with all that money involved) to keep you page-turning. And the ending turns out to be much sadder and stranger than I'd expected too. Not at all formulaic, but still a great involving read.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I go, he follows, no release until he ceases' 15 Nov 2008
David Guterson's new novel is both heartfelt and ironic. He draws, to different forms of realisation, two characters that are, of course, the same man who could take two divergent paths (something we can't do in reality). In middle-age so many of us ponder on what might have been but to be still alive and still walking in the mountains is demonstrated to be preferable to be lying dead in them. This fine novel (and that is a compliment) is a counter to false heroism and extremes of behaviour that break our hearts. David Guterson will probably not be a best-seller again but he writes with great compassion about human beings and it is a good thing that we can learn from his musings and ideas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At its best, compelling and moving, but . . . 21 Jan 2010
By Benjamin TOP 500 REVIEWER
Having just inherited a large fortune from his late friend John William Barry, Neil Countryman tells how it all came about. Friends since 1972 when in their their teens the two boys meet while competing against one another in the 880 yards. A friendship grows out of their shared love of the outdoor life and love of exploring the wilds around their Seattle home. On their ventures into the often unknown they would live off their wits and off the land.

But in time Neil settles for a conventional married life and teaching while John William is determined to live according to his beliefs, and starts to live a solitary totally self sufficient life in the Washington wilderness.

The Other is a story rich in detail, perhaps at times a little too much detail as Guterson can become bogged down in creating family histories and local connections. Roughly only half the book actually concerns the friendship the two boys and later young men enjoy. The rest looks into what made the two, and especially John William, what they are.

At its best it is a compelling and moving story, particularly when John William is living his life of recluse with Neil his only contact. But at times it can become a little laborious, and I began to wonder for a while if the book would ever get to discussing the character of John William and their friendship.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, therefore good 26 Dec 2009
Some reviewers are dissapointed that this novel is different to Guterson's others, notably "Snow Falling on Cedars" but for me the value of his writing is that each novel is different in style, genre, content and execution. Countryman is not a sympathetic narrator (I do not recollect any of his other novels being written in the first person) partly because he is burdenend by the compromise that he made but which his Other did not. Guterson's writing style remains as fine as ever, a little too fine in fact for the failed writer that his narrator claims to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent novel from Guterson 11 July 2009
By J. H. Bretts VINE VOICE
This is the third novel I've read by David Guterson and perhaps the best. It explores the friendship between the scion of a wealthy family, John William Barry, who becomes a hermit in the wilds of Washington State, and working class Neil Countryman, who becomes an English teacher. Plotted brilliantly and full of breath-taking descriptions and witty characterisation, this is a very thought-provoking book about the roads we don't take and the ones we do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, Thoughtful, Engaging, Moving 16 Jan 2011
Gutterson's writing is always sublime and The Other is no exception to this rule. It is a sublime, and thought-provoking tale of friendship and where it leads us (how we change yet friendship gives us continuity and responsibility that transcends the the boundaries of social living).

If you like a book with a sub-text then you will love this. If you are not afraid to confessing to asking the big questions about choice, freewill, compromise, responsibility, duty, and how to live a good life then you will not be afraid of this book. If your middle aged and pondering how we change and whether one has chosen well or compromised too much, or maybe just searching for something that's personal and gently paced yet engaging, or if you like literary fiction rather than blockbusters, then this is for you. If not well there's plenty of pulp opium elsewhere.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Complicated
I loved Snow falling over cedar springs so decided to try more of David guterson's books but this one seemed just so complicated. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Cottage Lady
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire!!
This is a zero star book.

I wish I had the courage to give it up after the first 50 pages , rather than persist with the increasingly forlorn hope that it might get... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mike707
4.0 out of 5 stars Like Marmite!
This is one of those books which I believe you either love or hate. I loved it.....very much so. It deals with complex characters and the effect they have on one another. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by Freckles
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical
I always read Guterson since Snow Falling on Cedars. Well written as always, mildly depressing as always. If you enjoy his work, you will not be disappointed.
Published on 4 April 2011 by Peter Taylor
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I have enjoyed both prior novels written by David Guterson but this is very different. The prose is stilted, the characters are never fully formed - particularly that of the... Read more
Published on 21 Aug 2009 by Mrs. Camelia Leveridge
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
I loved Snow Falling on Cedars and did go on to read guterson's other books but wasn't too impressed by them. Decided to try the Other and could barely get through it. Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2009 by Maria Alm
5.0 out of 5 stars Good in many ways, but plain English would be helpful
I came to The Other with mixed feelings as I tend to think of David Guterson as someone who's suffered from "second novel syndrome" - a brilliant start with Snow Falling on Cedars,... Read more
Published on 26 April 2009 by A Common Reader
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