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Bear v. Shark by Chris Bachelder
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Bear v. Shark (original 2002; edition 2001)

by Chris Bachelder

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Member:dandelionroots
Title:Bear v. Shark
Authors:Chris Bachelder
Info:Scribner (2001), Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction

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Bear v. Shark: The Novel by Chris Bachelder (2002)

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English (7)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Satirizes American media and culture through a family trip to the sovereign nation of Las Vegas to witness THE event. In an era when TVs no longer have off switches and saturate your environment, the all consuming topic culminating in a mechanized showdown in the Darwin Dome is: Given a relatively level playing field- i.e. water deep enough so that a Shark could maneuver proficiently, but shallow enough so that a Bear could stand and operate with its characteristic dexterity- who would win in a fight between a Bear and a Shark? The criticism is well-founded and a bit horrifying. Also rather amusing. ( )
  dandelionroots | Dec 22, 2012 |
I was rooting for the bear. ( )
  abbot | Jul 21, 2008 |
This was supposed to be a commentary on the way the media is ruining our lives. It fell short as a satire and as a commentary. Not good! ( )
  Djupstrom | Apr 20, 2008 |
"Bear V Shark" was Bachelder's first novel, "U.S.!" was his second, and reading them, you can really tell that they were written in that order. "U.S.!" is much more accomplished, whereas "Bear V Shark," while clever, suffers from being far too one-note. It's also more bleak and depressing, eviscerating American culture—which, in a not-too-distant future where televisions no longer turn off, involves a nation that has become obsessed with a virtual fight between the titular animals—without leaving even the shred of hope or optimism "U.S.!" offered. Plus, the (intentional) errors in fact that all the characters spout (a Gordian knot is referred to throughout as a guardian knot, for example) drove me *insane*. I can't stand that amount of dumb! Not even in the cause of satire!

However, it *is* very amusing to picture Stephen Colbert reading this novel. I'm thinking audio book?
  trinityofone | May 30, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743219473, Paperback)

Given a relatively level playing field -- i.e., water deep enough so that a shark could maneuver proficiently but shallow enough so that a bear could stand and operate with its characteristic dexterity -- who would win in a fight between a bear and a shark?

In this fiercely funny, razor-sharp satire of our media-saturated culture, the sovereign nation of Las Vegas is host to Bear v. Shark II. After a disappointing loss in the first computer-generated match-up, the bear is out for blood. With an essay entitled "Bear v. Shark: A Reason to Live," young Curtis Norman wins a national contest and four tickets to the sold-out event. As the Normans head cross-country in their SUV, they encounter a dizzying barrage of voices weighing in on the upcoming spectacle -- everyone from the Freudians, theologians, pundits, and self-published authors on the radio to the bear and shark fanatics, cultists, and resisters at pit stops along the way. Overwhelmed by factoids and ten-second debates, Mr. Norman grows ambivalent about the impending event and the family with whom he can't seem to connect. Still, the Normans push on to Vegas, toward an apocalyptic, surprisingly emotional ending.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:24 -0400)

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