Friday, March 7, 2014

The Bear; Claire Cameron

Little Brown - Hachette Audio - 2014

Based on an actual incident that took place in 1991, this novel tells the story of a family camping trip on a remote Island in Canada which turned deadly.  In the middle of the night the children hear shouting by their parents. Anna, the oldest child, who is almost 6, thinks that her father is yelling at her because she was “being bad",  when suddenly her dad grabs them and puts them inside of their giant Coleman cooler and telling them to stay there and be quiet. 
A black bear then begins attacking the mother and father, while the little children are hiding in the cooler. The father is literally eaten alive, the bear leaving pretty much just a leg behind. With the cooler lid slightly ajar, allowing for minimal site lines to the outside,  it appeared that the children did not know what was happening.   Anna later tells that she saw a “black dog” with tomato juice on its paw approach the cooler and looked like he was crunching on a bone. When the children on longer hear any sounds just open the cooler, hearing their mother's whispers to for Anna to take their canoe, and her younger brother, Alex (Stick) and paddle away to safety.
What happens next is the story of how two very young children (one just 3 and still in diapers) alone in the woods struggle to survive, battling the elements and fighting off hunger with a container of cookies as basically their only food.
The story is told by innocent little Anna, and her voice sounds so honest and alive.  Anna’s version of what might have happened is so different to the truth. They way that she projects her feelings of loss, abandonment and confusion were difficult to listen to at times. She used her beloved teddy bear Gwen as a sounding board for many of her emotions and her thoughts about things she really is too little to understand.
This is a relatively short novel and fortunately the children are eventually rescued, but it is definitely one of those stories, like Room by Emma Donoghue, where the young narrator makes a huge impression on the reader. The author worked as a camp counselor at the time the actual incident occurred, and based her book on her recollection of the actual event. The frightening thing was that the couple appeared to be seasoned campers and did not do anything that might have drawn the bear to their campsite or to provoke it.
The audio book is read by Cassandra Morris who did an excellent job.
4/5 stars 
(audio - provided by publisher)

23 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like an intense and hear trending novel,all the more so for being based on a true story. I've added it to my wishlist!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    ReplyDelete
  2. That sounds like a powerful story Diane. You hear about tales of survival but I have never heard the case of two small children. I just can't imagine how those two little ones must have felt being left alone in the wilderness by such a sad event.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I didn't like this as much as everyone else seems to. When I read Room, I grew used to the young narrator's voice; that never happened with The Bear. I liked the book but didn't love it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am hoping to try this at some point!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found Room very difficult to read though I did finish it. I don't think I could find this a book I would want to read.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a terrifying story! Very intense.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow what a story, that would definitely be something I would enjoy as well.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've heard so much about this, but I think based on what you say here I would like to try it on audio.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd be reluctant to read this story, I think. I would have to be in a very different place than I am right now. Thanks for your review.

    ReplyDelete
  10. One of my coworkers just finished this book and said it was very good. Until now, I had no idea what it was about and while I'm curious, it certainly sounds like an intense book. I loved Room and will probably read this one, but I'm not sure I can do the audiobook!

    I wonder on which island this occurred. Do you know?

    ReplyDelete
  11. This has just been long-listed for the Bailey's Prize, so I was really interested to see what you thought of it. It sounds intense but powerful at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  12. That sounds like a really scary time for those poor kids.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This sounds so intriguing. I'm writing this one down!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yikes! So scary. I'm not sure if I could handle it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Diane, this sounds intense. I'm glad you enjoyed this audio book.

    ReplyDelete
  16. From the cover, I'd have guessed this was a kids' book. Good think I read the description. Sound very emotional.

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds really frightening, especially as an audio-book. Also I hate camping, so maybe this will be my ultimate horror book! ;-)

    ReplyDelete

  18. Nootropics Deutschland, Nootropics Kaufen, Nootropics Kaufen, Nootropika Kaufen,
    Nootropikum oder Verstärkungsmittel sind sichere Substanzen zur kognitiven Leistungssteigerung | Versuche Nootropikum

    ReplyDelete
  19. For Those Who Value Quality and Innovations
    Here you can find most recent arrivals, observe
    popular products and, of course, select and
    purchase all the products you need!
    rawhide for dogs

    ReplyDelete
  20. Welcome to best web Development Company in London, a modern, fast moving firm, providing web solutions for SEO, design, ecommerce website development in London.
    best web development company London

    ReplyDelete
  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  22. DENT All Stars expert technicians specialize in Paintless Dent Removal (PDR) repairs for vehicle dents, dings, creases, bumper and hail damage. PDR is a fast and affordable dent repair service. PDR is eco-friendly and the best alternative for dent repair to your car, truck, and SUV. PDR is cheaper and quicker than auto body dent repair shops that use fillers and paint. For paintless dent repairs by master technicians in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC including mobile services contact DENT All Stars today!
    dent removal

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)