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Bear by Marian Engel

Bear (1976)

by Marian Engel

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2991953,629 (3.4)33



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» See also 33 mentions

English (17)  Spanish (2)  All languages (19)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Interesting. Weird, but interesting. ( )
  BooksCatsEtc | Apr 25, 2018 |
I dunno. I see the underlying message and trailblazing importance of this book. I just can't get past the bestiality thing. ( )
  bucketofrhymes | Dec 13, 2017 |
Chosen by her casual sex partner and Museum director to inspect Cary's Island,
"she,"Lou, the little basement mole, methodically plans how she will approach the coveted library.

Recently bequeathed to the Museum, the Island, the amazing Fowler Octagon House,
and Colonel Cary's library immediately captivate her.

But it is the unfortunately chained BEAR who opens her, body and soul, to life.

Marian Engel's short, terse sentences make both compelling and beautiful reading.

Had Hemingway been a more decent human and a woman, he would have been proud
to have written this gently erotic and unforgettable novel.

The boatman, Homer, weaves in and out of the story, yet it is Lucy who walks off with our love. ( )
  m.belljackson | Dec 3, 2017 |
A month or so ago, someone posted on Imgur screenshot of the cover of Bear along with photos of the racier bits and titled it, "What the actual fuck, Canada?". Since the crux of the story concerned a Canadian librarian who goes into the woods to find herself, I knew I had to read it.

And so did everyone else.

Random House Canada recently wrote a blog piece that discussed not only the new spike in sales of the book based on the Imgur posting but also Bear was much more than a woman getting it on with a grizzly. It is a deep exploration of a woman wondering how she got to where she was at, a sexual awakening of sorts, and a wake-up call to take charge of her own life.

It should be said Bear was written while Engel was going through her own divorce, and while I kept pointing out to people the sex scenes in Bear were not projections, metaphors, or similes, there is an undercurrent of exploration of those things that parallel the dissolution of Engel's own marriage. The Random House piece also points out that Bear digs deep past the stereotypes of CanLit, a world that is typically imagined as rural romantics and pastoral cleverness, by really giving you the true worth of nature.

I was recently asked to compile a list of top 10s of various media that I thought made the difference to humanity, not just because I loved it or it was good, but it changed something inside. Bear is definitely on that list now -- it's brave, and weirdly wonderful; written like a prose poem rather than a story. It challenges us and by doing so, it enlightens us by giving us back our own humanity. ( )
1 vote byshieldmaiden | Jan 17, 2017 |
Bear sex. ( )
  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marian Engelprimary authorall editionscalculated
Herk, Aritha VanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Facts become art through love, which unifies them and lifts them to a higher plane of reality; and in landscape, this all-embracing love is expressed by light."
Kenneth Clark, Landscape into Art
First words
In the winter, she lived like a mole, buried deep in her office, digging among maps and manuscripts.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0879236671, Paperback)

Marian engel, who died in 1985 after a tragic struggle with cancer, was among Canada's most celebrated and beloved novelists. Her last, best known, and most controversial book was Bear (winner of the Governor-General's Award) in which a mousy, timid librarian is summoned to a remote Canadian island to inventory the estate of Colonel Cary, who, she learns soon enough, had any number of secrets. But the most surprising and enduring secret is a pet bear. In thirty pages, the reticent librarian meets the not so reticent bear and "wonders if it would be good company." It is good company indeed. Intimate company. Shocking company.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:23 -0400)

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