Seattle author David Guterson's fourth and newest book, "The Other," shows off his hometown and conflicts involving youth and idealism, adulthood and its compromises, and two powerfully different visions of what it means to live a good life.
In the book, John William Barry has inherited the pedigree—and wealth—of two of
Seattle’s elite families; Neil Countryman is blue-collar Irish.
Nevertheless, when the two boys 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 William 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 William 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.
Riveting, deeply humane, The Other is David Guterson’s most brilliant and provocative novel to date.
David Guterson had a big hit with his first novel, "Snow Falling on Cedars," nearly 15 years ago. But, neither of his subsequent novels, “East of the Mountains” and “Our Lady of the Forest,” has matched that first book’s sales, but his books keep getting better. A PEN/Faulkner Award winner, he is a cofounder of Field’s End, an organization for writers in Washington State.