BOOK REVIEW: The Other by David Guterson

Posted on August 2, 2009. Filed under: 1 |

The OtherThe Other by David Guterson is a work of fiction that treads the fine line to believability. It is just possible someone exists that has done what John has done. It is very likely. The Other is written from the perspective of Neil Countryman who is a want-to-be author and full-time school teacher and family man. He is best friends with John William Barry who was born with a silver spoon. These two dissimilar men share a love of the wilderness. A connection is formed and built upon to the extent that John asks Neil to help him disappear into the wilderness. Thus starts this story of lies, responsibility, and ultimately tragedy.

I liked this story because it does remind me of people I know. Page by page the friendship and adventures of Neil and John develop and along with this is the sense of understanding of John. You can see John’s way of thinking and the reasoning is laid out. While I may not have agreed, I understood. I liked the idea of inherited riches. Would you change your life if you could? How do you cope with a fortune placed at your feet? Where do you think your responsibilities lie?

This story made good use of curiosity. I had to turn the pages to see if John was a survivor or if he was going to throw in the towel. It is completely fascinating to see how John progresses in self-sufficiency. How Neil is affected by John’s decisions also kept the pages turning.

I would highly recommend The Other by David Guterson. It is a case study of the psyche and lays out some interesting moral questions. It is a page turner that will make you think long after the last page is read. I enjoyed it and feel enlightened. It is not a book to be passed over.

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