The Other

The Other

3.42 (3,202 ratings by Goodreads)
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Seattle, 1972: two teenage boys are standing at the start line of an 800m race. Neil Countryman is from the public high school in the north of the city. He slumps at his desk all day and gets high in the park at lunchtime, and wears a moustache that makes him look like the guy in the Camel cigarette ads. John William Barry is from Lakeside, a private academy for the more privileged of Seattle's youth. He is an earnest, fiery young man, and his family background is one of material wealth and emotional deprivation. As John William wins the race by a hair's breadth, their lives collide for the very first time, and it is the beginning of a friendship that is both fraught and intimate. Both boys have a taste for the wilderness, and they explore together the most remote areas of the mountains, the places ignored by guidebooks, where tracks and roads fade to nothing and all that can be seen is an endless unbroken density of trees. But as they grow older, John William's intense intelligence and craving for isolation mark him out as an eccentric, and as Neil begins to accumulate the more conventional comforts - a wife, a steady job - their lives begin to take radically different paths.
Eventually, John William is to retreat permanently into his own self-made wilderness, and in doing so presents his oldest friend with a gift which will change his life for ever, bringing them both a notoriety that Neil had neither dreamed of nor hoped for. A moving exploration of the mixed blessings that friendship can bring, and the choices we make about how to live our lives in the twenty-first century, The Other is an extraordinary novel from a masterful storyteller.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 236 x 28mm | 498.95g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747592438
  • 9780747592433
  • 1,565,168

About David Guterson

David Guterson is the author of the novels Snow Falling on Cedars, East of the Mountains and Our Lady of the Forest; a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead Of Us, The Country Behind, and of the non-fiction book Family Matters: Why Home Schooling Makes Sense. Snow Falling on Cedars won the PEN/ Faulkner Award. David Guterson lives in Washington State.
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Review quote

'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 PRAISE FOR SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS: 'This is classic whodunnit territory but Guterson's fiercely intelligent and moving novel is far more than a murder mystery ... Guterson has written a novel about the human condition that marvellously combines tenderness and excitement' The Times 'A skilfully constructed, deeply affecting story of love and death ... This is a hugely attractive book, written in clipped elegant prose' Sunday Times 'Compelling ... a flawlessly written first novel' New York Times
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Rating details

3,202 ratings
3.42 out of 5 stars
5 13% (430)
4 35% (1,133)
3 35% (1,121)
2 12% (394)
1 4% (124)
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