The Other

The Other

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
When two boys--John William Barry and Neil Countryman-- meet in 1972 at age sixteen, they're brought together by what they have in common: a fierce intensity and a love of the outdoors that takes them, together and often, into Washington's remote backcountry, where they must rely on their wits--and each other--to survive. Soon after graduating from college, Neil sets out on a path that will lead him toward a life as a devoted schoolteacher and family man. But John Willliam makes a radically different choice, dropping out of college and moving deep into the woods, convinced that it is the only way to live without hypocrisy. When John enlists Neil to help him disappear completely, Neil finds himself drawn into a web of secrets and often agonizing responsibility, deceit, and tragedy--one that will finally break open with a wholly unexpected, life-altering revelation.--From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2008.
ISBN: 9780307263155
Characteristics: 255 p. ;,25 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 30, 2018

Such a talented writer. However reading this one was painful. I'll never get that time back.

reissja Aug 21, 2014

Years ago I read this novel. Its encyclopedic details about hiking and camping in the Cascades in Washington State are still vivid in my mind. Plus, its plot twists and turns about John William Barry's vast wealth ending up in the hands of the novel's main character--well, I found this intriguing. David Guterson's fiction is set in the Pacific Northwest, but he's not a regional writer. He's sort of a white-collar all-American Raymond Carver, and his books have reached readers from Bangor to Seattle.

Nov 21, 2013

Oh, Wow! What a provocative read! Set from 1972 to 2006 it portrays the strong bond and events occurring in the two main characters lives. Page 5&6 describe how they met as well as Neil Countryman's character; John William Barry's is more obscure. At one point, although I guessed at what was coming' I closed my eyes (looking at the little red designs behind my lids) while feeling grief and loss. I had to check to make sure this wasn't a memoir as it would be too awful to endure. Neil's European trip had a bit too much detail but otherwise this book is so well written. Survival skills and aesthetic terrain in northern Washington State are well described. There is a question of how much impact drug use had on either friend's ability to responsibly choose what to do during crisis. At one point it appears Neil's friendship with John is more important to Neil than John's safety but this is not static and Neil's guilty grief causes actions John ( Buddist minded) may not have approved of. On page 248 one professed friend, speaking of insanity, said of John that he was simply passionate about the right things. Descriptive vocabulary, evocative poetry and surprising psychological revelations make this a superb read.

May 09, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Guterson told a very engaging story. As soon as I finished it, I immediately told all my friends to read it.

Jul 04, 2011

Guterson can't seem to write anything worth reading since the engaging and wildly successful SFOC. After a promising beginning (certainly a decent enough idea for a story), it begins to sloooow down and meander into meaninglessness. I stopped reading about one-third of the way through. The other reviews here are spot on. It's self-absorbed, rambling ("pedantic musing"), and, except for moments here and there, absolutely uninteresting. What a shame.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top