The Bear

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 11 Feb 2020

Member Reviews

This is the type of book that some readers will be engrossed in and others will not be able to finish. I found the pacing of the book to be good and the author's writing style easy to read. The theme of the book has it's roots in native american beliefs which I always find interesting. My major disappointment was that the author wrapped up the book quickly making me wonder what happenned to the main character in the intervening years.

I recommend getting it from your local library once it is published to determine first if it is a book that is your cup of tea.

I have also posted my review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my review blog. I also posted it to my Facebook page.
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This book was haunting, it was beautiful, it was poetic. Exploring grief, and loss in an enchanting way. This book totally captivated me. I really love end of the world novels in general, but I especially love ones that really explore poignant topics as deeply as this one did. I am so glad I picked this one up.
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This was an interesting read for sure, but I don't think that it was for me. It's unique, and thought-provoking, and possibly I just wasn't in the mood for it. It's a quiet read, for lack of a better word. Perfect for if you're able to curl up and absorb it, but I wasn't able to.
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4.25/5 stars 

I first want to start by saying thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

So far this is one of my favorite ARC’s I’ve read. It’s hard to actually explain why because mainly the novel doesn’t have a lot going on through it, mainly it’s about the main character (the girl) forging and hunting, and fishing. She has her difficulties, around halfway in a tragic scene takes place, which I felt in my soul when reading that scene, made me feel for the girl. 

But if you’re looking for a novel that gives you the meaning of life, along with how spirts never die than pick up The Bear when it comes out and give it a read. 


#ReadTheBear #NetGalley
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While I think this book is attempting to be a meditation on death, and the challenges of isolation, it misses the mark. The Bear is a look at a post apocalyptic future, where the two remaining people are a man and his daughter. And a talking bear and an eagle. I think the challenge is that this book feels like it is trying to be too many things, yet fails to be anything cohesive. There are elements of magical realism and times when the book shines with lyricism and poetry. There are also moments when the book demonstrates ability of nature to bounce back regardless of the impact of humanity.

This 224 page book took me 4 month to read. It just didn't hold my interest and there was nothing that made me want to return to the book, with the exception of not liking to have unfinished arcs. I don't normally like to give one star and I know there are redeeming qualities to most books- there are people whose reviews you can see that loved this book, but I think I am in the minority.
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In a post-apocalyptic world, the Earth has been stripped of civilization, with the few remaining humans returning to a basic life in the wilderness. Krivak's fable tells the story of a girl and her father as they live alone in the woods. When her father dies during a trip to the ocean, the girl must journey back to her home alone, with the help of a bear.


The best describing words I can think of for this fable are simple and emotionless. Krivak's narration lays everything down as facts without any real feeling. You aren't drawn into teh story, just noting the sequence of events. I know the story is supposed to be about loneliness and coping with death, but in reality the lack of emotional connection made it feel like a story about how to live off the land. Plus, the animals begin to talk to the girl, who is never given a name, and that just was the last straw for me. Definitely one to skip.
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I have gotten around to the 40% mark and I just cannot get into this story. It is very slow and uneventful, and honestly I'm bored with it. Guess it's just not my taste in novels.
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Well written and an altogether enjoyable read. This work caught my attention at the beginning and held it throughout the novel. Loved it! Thanks to netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my humble opinions. I would definately but more works from this author.
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The book had an interesting premise and the characters made me want to learn more but I felt like it was very slow moving overall.  It definitely wasn't like any other books I have read lately.
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post apocalyptic books are not my favorite read, and this one is confusing about what exactly is going on in the story. It's a bit of a cross between Revenant and The Yearling, and although the description of the natural surroundings are good -- the characters are very flat and one dimensional.
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I am madly in love with this book. Growing up my family and I did a lot of camping; I grew up with nature, appreciating what our world has to offer and every creature it homes. 

The way this book was written completely captivated me into the girls world. 
I adore how this was written, the story, the characters with no names, the setting and fluidity,. How descriptive it was, even telling us positions of the stars in the nights sky, the littlest of details make it that much more intoxicating. 
This book is written like poetry. 

Andrew Krivak was so descriptive in his writing but not in a way that can get exhausting.  In a way that makes you forget where you are, as if I was right there with her on her adventure, her journey through survival., or even fools you to thinking, your are the girl. 

I will be recommending this book to anyone and everyone everyone who not only appreciates great writing but to those who have a profound love for the great outdoors as well as mother Earth.
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This is a beautifully written book, nicely placed. But I kept waiting for something "more".
I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A simple and yet richly deep story about life, love, loss, and kinship. 

All that is left of humanity is a father and a daughter. Their rustic home sits halfway up the range of “the mountain that stands alone.” Roughly a day’s hike above their house, at the top of the mountain, is where the woman the father loved and the mother the daughter never really knew has been laid to rest. The summit of this lone mountain is shaped like the head of a bear.

Initially venturing little beyond this stretch of territory, lessons of survival, remembrances of the past, and insights into nature are shared between this parent and a child. Eventually, a longer journey is called for beyond the comforts of what is familiar and into the great unknown. In that journey is the discovery of the sacred communion and companionship even in the midst of the perceived isolation of a broken world and the seemingly indifferent forces of nature.

While calling to mind both Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, this narrative boldly and beautifully goes its own way. It refreshingly imagines a post-apocalyptic planet not as some dark, desolate, and fearful place but rather as being gradually reclaimed and renewed by nature. The writing of this tale is subtle and poignant. Filled with poetical imagery and yet tight prose, this is a story that is basic in its plot but thought-provoking and powerful in its message. 

The bonds we forge in life are what keep us going — keep us alive. And those bonds are formed by listening carefully and closely — not just to another person but to the world around us — nature itself.  

Mesmerizing. Poignant and haunting. Quietly gorgeous. 
I strongly recommend this book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bellevue Literary Press for providing me with an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A different take on a post-apocalyptic tale, Andrew Krivak's The Bear explores themes of legacy in a story about a man and his daughter surviving in the wilderness as the last two living people to represent the whole of mankind.  This book is extremely slow at points and I thought of giving up, but it's worth it to push through.  Perhaps, it's illustrative in this way.

I had never read anything by Andrew Krivak, a previous National Book Award finalist, before.  His writing is smooth, almost sleepy (in a good way), and poetic.  I would definitely recommend this book to any fans of dystopian fables.

Thank you to Andrew Krivak, Bellevue Literary Press, and NetGalley for allowing me early access to the e-book to review.  As always, all opinions are my own.
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This novel is beautifully written. That said, the story didn't really fit my personal style. The story is very deep and rich. There is a lot there. I think others will enjoy the book immensely. It just wasn't for me.
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I loved everything about this book.  A man and a girl live at the foot of a mountain that looks like a bear.  They are the last humans.  It is luminous and spare.  
Thank you netgalley for the advance copy.
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**2.5 stars, will be posted on blog on 9/28/2019**

Thank you to Bellevue Literary Press and NetGalley for giving me a chance to read this eARC.

I chose this book to read because it was out of my comfort zone and as I started reading I was like, wow, YES, this is definitely out of my comfort zone. I read romance and ya books, mostly fantasy these days but I like my contemporary stuff too. This story is written like a fable and I put it down so many times I didn’t realize I’ve had it on my NetGalley for more than three months now! Well it was time to finish it.

The writing is poetic and told like a fable but it is sparse and this book only clocks in at 224 pages! It took me three months to finish what I could usually finish in three hours. It was so hard for me to get into the story, I was so bored. There isn’t a plot. There is no punctuation when the characters speak. The characters have no names, on purpose though, but still, it bugged me.

The father and daughter live in a post-apocalyptic world, surviving by living off the land, hunting for their food, preparing it and so forth, same for the next day. The father teaches her lessons, year after year of her life he gifts her something that will help her survive this life. It was a tale of survival, enduring and loss. But because I couldn’t quite get into reading the book, a lot of the message went over my head.

It was definitely different and I did get the message of the book. It’s a story that makes you think, at least to question what the book was trying to say. It wasn’t for me but I think if you like books that read like a fable and don’t get hung up on things like punctuation, you would enjoy this.
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I got a little bored by this story in places.  A father and daughter live alone somewhere in the wilderness, the implication being that they are the last few survivors after some apocalyptic event which is neither described or explained. 

The Bear narrates the story of a father and daughter, the last surviving humans on earth in a world where nature has reclaimed her primacy for all of creation.

The Bear reminded me in a few ways of The Road, which is one of my favourite books so I was hoping to get something more from it.  It's about a father and his child surviving post-apocalypse; both characters are nameless and I struggled putting faces to them in my mind too; and dialogue pointlessly lacks quotation marks, which while not a dealbreaker for me, it was a little frustrating. It didn’t bring the hopelessness I was hoping for. Last people in the whole world and I didn’t feel the desperation. The lacklustre is missing, pretty much nothing happens and it's unclear where the story is heading. There is no suspense and I’m not sure where the author was going with his tale.

The first half of the book follows The Man and The Girl as he shows her how to survive, and tells her stories about her deceased mother, and tales of the bear who saved the village. More could have been done to expand the story and really pull at those heart strings. I thought it may even have felt more native American, as the title kind of lead me there, but nope!

The second half takes a bit of a detour, as The Man and The Girl embark on a quest to the ocean. This was probably the only saving grace of the book for me. The prose are stunning and I can see some real genius in the writing the story just fell flat. When tragedy strikes, the young girl is left alone far from home, and so begins the fight for survival. The Father, having such patience and love for his daughter, manages to teach her a lot but its not enough. Queue the bear .It appears into her world as she sinks into a profound loneliness. The bear, he talks to her, helps feed her, provides guidance, and tells her many stories. It takes time for her to trust the Bear and they start the journey of getting the girl home together. 

This book could be put with The Dog Stars, and The Overstory. 

I wonder if it would be better categorized and edited for a more fable type story. I can see what the author was trying to accomplish, I really can but there is nothing of excitement here. 

I give it 2.5 stars out of 5. It actually made me want to see what else the author has done, I know, sounds backwards but I really see the talent here.

Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Andrew Krivak's The Bear is unlike anything else I've read from this century. While oftentimes quiet, this post-apocalyptic fable is so beautifully written and was really lovely. I really enjoyed the way Krivak showed how the girl's relationship with nature changed throughout her journey and the ways that she developed. This was a much needed change of pace in my reading life.
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Thank you to #NetGalley and Bellevue Literary Press for the ARC of this novel.  Amazing! This book is magical yet straightforward.  Set in a post apocalypse  future, it is the story of the last two humans on earth and their struggle to survive and remember.A father and daughter simply known as girl and man. Even though the premise is morose, the story is not dark at all. It is a fable about love, loss and survival.  It almost had a fairy tale like quality to it.  This book will take you on a journey through nature, time and place..

#NetGalley
#TheBear
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