Friday, October 31, 2008
Book Finished: The Other by David Guterson
As a teen, Neil, from a blue collar family, becomes friends with John William, from a wealthy Seattle family. The two embark on several dangerous wilderness expeditions. Neil moves on to college and becomes a high school teacher. John William drops out of college, and with Neil's assistance, drops out of society to study Gnosticism (whatever that is) and to live on his own in the remote Hoh River Valley where he meets his death.
The reader suspects that John William's social isolation is a result of his abusive and neglectful mother. At the same time, however, it's clear that John William understands the environmental damage that has already been done as well as the effects this will have on the future. He seems to believe that withdrawal from society is the only way to live with integrity.
My rating: *** (out of 5)