Customer Reviews


13 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (5)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another atmospheric novel of the Pacific northwest
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...
Published on 6 July 2009 by emma who reads a lot

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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 fallen 'other'. It is hard going for no reward.
Published on 21 Aug 2009 by Mrs. Camelia Leveridge


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another atmospheric novel of the Pacific northwest, 6 July 2009
By 
emma who reads a lot (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: The Other (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Other (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, therefore good, 26 Dec 2009
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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 "jerard1" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, Thoughtful, Engaging, Moving, 16 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing, 21 Aug 2009
By 
Mrs. Camelia Leveridge (U.K.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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 fallen 'other'. It is hard going for no reward.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed, 17 Aug 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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. Incredibly slow and boring..heavy weather. won't bother reading any more of his.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Complicated, 9 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Other (Kindle Edition)
I loved Snow falling over cedar springs so decided to try more of David guterson's books but this one seemed just so complicated. I will persevere with this author as his research is so good
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1.0 out of 5 stars Dire!!, 23 Dec 2012
By 
Mike707 (NORTH YORKS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Other (Paperback)
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 better. The main character being called "John William", the title and the cover perhaps should have given me a clue. " Snow Falling on Cedars" was such a great book. So how very disappointed I was by this offering. It is soooo dull. The story has no interesting or exciting parts. To be honest, it has very little story at all - certainly it all could be summarised very easily in one page. I fear it will be a long time before I risk picking up another Guterson book to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Other
The Other by David Guterson (Paperback - 6 July 2009)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews