Book Review: The Bear by Andrew Krivak

The Bear by Andrew Krivak

Rating:  ★★★

The Bear is a literary science fiction/fantasy tale about the last two people on earth.  It’s short, and can be read in just a day if you have the time.  The two main characters are known only as Father and Girl.  When the story begins the girl is very young, and we watch as her father teaches her to survive the world.

The depictions of nature and scenery are beautifully done.  It’s hard to imagine a world in which everything is covered by forests and fields, the remnants of residential areas grown over and covered by soil, a place where animals have no fear of man kind.  There is a sense of wonder to it all.

The Bear feels like a fable rather than a book.  Something handed down over generations and told by a campfire.  The author never dives into the past- what happened to mankind, how these two people came to be the last on earth.  It’s strictly about the story of these last two survivors.

The pacing is slow despite the high level of tension and conflict found at the heart of the book, and the reader grows to care about the characters slowly throughout.  This is why the book ultimately ended up being only a three star read for me.  The story felt very heavy and lonely, and I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind to read a story like this one.  Everything else about the book- the setting, the writing, the feelings it evoked, are easily a four star read, but when I put the book down I was left feeling a little sad.  It’s unlikely that I’d ever pick this up to read again.

I’d recommend this to readers who like man versus nature stories or nature lovers in general.  The Bear released on February 11, 2020 and can be found on GoodReads or ordered on Amazon.  Thank you to the publisher for sending an ARC for review.

15 thoughts on “Book Review: The Bear by Andrew Krivak

    • It was nowhere near as bleak as The Road… but it was just so lonely feeling. It didn’t end on a hopeful note which sort of put me off. It was beautifully written though and a lot of other readers seem to be enjoying it. I just don’t think I was in the right mental state to read it.

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    • I wouldn’t blame you for skipping it. I wish I had skipped it. I think I would have been okay if there was an added mention of what happened to all the people? Like I kept thinking- well maybe they got off world and live out in space and the only people left are the ones who chose not to go… but it’s not commented on so it just felt really lonely. Like I can’t even imagine how depressing that would be to live totally alone for your whole life if it wasn’t by choice.

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    • Not in this book- but there are really only the two characters to contend with. I’ve also read this style before in a book that I really strongly disliked (and that’s being kind)- so I ultimately didn’t notice it much.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. That really does sound rather depressing. It sounds like a neat atmosphere, though, and I might pick it up when I’m in the mood for something of this sort. I do enjoy man vs. nature stories sometimes. (Though usually they aren’t so lonely. But Paulsen’s Hatchet was a favorite story when I was a kid, and this sounds a little bit like that.)

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  2. I’m getting The Road vibe, also. I loved The Road but I found the ending inevitable and sad and then I worried about one of the characters long after I finished reading it. Yes, you heard that right. I worried. About the fictional character. I am intrigued by this one anyways…I want to read those nature descriptions and on the plus side, there won’t be any cannibals.

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  3. Pingback: Month in Review: February 2020 | Hamlets & Hyperspace

  4. Pingback: Book Review: The Bear by Andrew Krivak (3/5) | Taking On a World of Words

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