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This is one of the best books I've read/listened to in a long time in any genre. The story is compelling not only clever and funny, touching too without being trite or too cliched. All the characters except for the mother [who was a bit evil villianish], are well rounded with their own foibles and idiosyncrasies, yet are grounded in a sense of reality.This was only improved by the genius that is Sean Cisden reading it.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting greatness from "Bear, Otter, and the Kid" even though most of my GR friends adore this one. First of all, I try to not read books with kids in them. I can't deal with tragedy and little kids and, inevitably, tragedy befalls them in books where kids play a main role. Not my cup of tea. Also, the title threw me off. I wasn't feeling it. However, I couldn't ignore the amazing reviews so I decided to give this one a try. And, low and behold, I loved this one. Excuse me while I gush a little.
What really struck me was the chemistry between Bear and Otter. It was wonderful and rich and full of pure love. That is really the best way to describe it. They are so pure in the way that they love each other, and it is just magical to read. T.J. Klune manages to pull that off without it coming across as insincere or phoney, which is a very difficult feat.
I also loved the secondary characters. The Kid was so sweet, funny, and observant. He was the perfect innocent voice of reason, and I fell in love with him. I wanted to adopt him myself by the end of the book. Anna and Creed were also fab and really added to the plot.
My only issue with this one was that I don't do well with plot twists meant to drive readers nuts and for the last 20% of the book or so I was tearing my hair out!
Come on! Did you have to do that to me T.J.??
I have heard some controversy over this book and its similarities to the movie "Shelter". I haven't seen the movie, but honestly, I didn't care that it possibly borrowed ideas from the plot of the movie. It still took major skill to pull off writing such a wonderful work of fiction. T.J. Klune just earned himself auto-buy status for me!
As always, the narration from Sean Crisden was awesome. Nicely done.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I vaguely remember this title previously being given five-star reviews on some known review sites, but admit that such ratings never swayed me before. Truthfully, I bought this book entirely on merit of Sean Crisden being the narrator. He did not disappoint me! Neither did the novel itself. Admittedly, I'm a huge gay-for-you fan and as Sean Crisden is one of my top ten favorite audiobook narrators, I knew I would not regret this purchase.
Even at its angsty-est moments, this novel is a cut above the rest. Personally I found that the storyline reminded me quite a bit of the movie Shelter (2007) and as the previous reviewer mentions, there is an overdone ocean imagery that could have been reigned in. I'm also not the biggest fan of the main characters (incl. the supporting cast!) bursting into tears at any given emotional moment. But all this is forgiveable in light of a well-written, well-narrated story. And it is indeed a well-written novel! I never got bored, never had a moment when I was tempted to skip forward. The pace and the story arc was excellently done, balancing angst with humor very well. To his credit, Sean Crisden does what he does at his best, giving personality to the characters and diving into every scene with such enthusiasm and fearless animation that it was difficult to turn the audio off, and I never really wanted the book to end. With over 12 delicious hours to enjoy, I say forget listening to the sample. Just go ahead and buy this one!
8 of 8 people found this review helpful