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The Bear Went Over the Mountain Hardcover – September 1, 1996

4.2 out of 5 stars 127 ratings

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Hardcover, September 1, 1996
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Beyond your wildest dreams
From DC & Neil Gaiman, The Sandman arises only on Audible. Listen free with trial
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

You might think that a writer best-known for novelizing the movie "E.T." would find a satire on the book publishing industry hitting a bit close to home, but William Kotzwinkle seems quite comfortable with the task in this comic fable. In Kotzwinkle's merry send-up, the author of the hit novel "Desire and Destiny" is a bear, a real bear, who after finding the manuscript under a spruce tree and attaching his nom de plume, Hal Jam, becomes rich and famous overnight. Obtuse editors, star-hound agents, and a right-wing televangelist and Presidential candidate all warm to Hal's warm, bearish honesty without bothering to read his book--or to notice that he's an animal, for that matter. It's an old gag turned by a canny author to amusing, if not always compelling, purposes.

From Publishers Weekly

This is certainly the season for satirical looks at publishing. After Olivia Goldsmith's The Bestseller comes this delightful fable by Kotzwinkle (whose E.T. shares with Winston Groom's Forrest Gump the distinction of being its author's best-known title despite having been read by comparatively few people). Kotzwinkle has imagined a disconsolate Maine professor, Arthur Bramhall, who sets out to write a bestseller, only to have a bear steal it, thinking it's something to eat. This is no ordinary bear, however; he has aspirations to becoming a person (they eat so much better, and with much less trouble, than bears do). What better way to establish an identity than by becoming a celebrity novelist? Soon, the bear has found a pseudonym, Hal Jam, an agent and a publisher. With his distinctively masculine presence, and a monosyllabic way of talking that reminds many of Hemingway, he's on his way to stardom with a novel that everyone agrees has its roots deep in the natural world. Soon, he has a Hollywood agent, too, and the admiration of a Southern writer whose specialty is angels; both of them succumb to Hal's exuberant love-making (since a bear normally does it only once a year, a lot of libido is saved up). A pillar of the Christian right wants Hal's support for a run for the presidency, and Hal is only too willing, since he thinks "candidacy," like most words he doesn't know, means something to eat. Meanwhile, Bramhall, who is turning into a bear as fast as Hal is becoming human, launches a lawsuit to recover his lost book. How it all works out, and how Hal finds himself a sequel, is the meat of Kotzwinkle's hilarious and sometimes touching parable. The book business is unmercifully skewered (having read only a few lines of the novel, Hal's publicity person writes a summary on which all interviewers depend), but the spirit is mostly kindly, and in Hal Kotzwinkle has created a real star. Movie rights optioned by Jim Henson Pictures; author tour.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Beyond your wildest dreams
From DC & Neil Gaiman, The Sandman arises only on Audible. Listen free with trial

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
127 customer ratings
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Siltone
4.0 out of 5 stars It's bonkers, but it's good
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2016
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Flip
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and laugh out loud satirical fairy tale
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E. C. Cullingham
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius.
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M. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars a one-off, un-put-downable
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paul lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely "Laugh out Loud"
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Arthur L
5.0 out of 5 stars Super cunning fable about a bear novelist celebrity by the ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 5, 2015
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Suzie wong
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books I had not read for years
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 28, 2016
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S. Mueller
5.0 out of 5 stars Lieblingsbuch
Reviewed in Germany on January 8, 2016
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Alberto Lupol
5.0 out of 5 stars Abgedreht, skurill, einfallsreich.
Reviewed in Germany on September 20, 2014
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Oatmealcookie
5.0 out of 5 stars Book arrived in great condition
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Andy Wallenta
4.0 out of 5 stars Witzig und unterhaltsam
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peko
5.0 out of 5 stars Kotzwinkle
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Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Unterhaltsames Buch, grandiose Idee!
Reviewed in Germany on March 24, 2014
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Artemuso
5.0 out of 5 stars Lustiges Buch!
Reviewed in Germany on April 24, 2014
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helenem78
5.0 out of 5 stars Livraison impeccable, livre très drôle
Reviewed in France on February 11, 2018
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