ARC Review – The Bear by Andrew Krivak


Fables, Magical Realism| 224 pages | 02.11.2020 | Bellevue Literary Press


37 This is a heartbreaking fable of survival and death, of love and despair, of humankind and nature. Filled with magical realism, lessons, and whimsy; Andrew Krivak creates a masterpiece that lingers with you. This feeling of everness and immortality the reader experiences is in stark contrast to what both protagonists face in the book – their own imminent death and to what the reader knows with certainty – that they are the two last humans on earth.

We get to know the man and the girl intimately throughout this journey despite the fact that we don’t know their names, where exactly they live, what they look like, or why Earth has changed so much. The fact that the author gets us to be invested in these characters without any real anchors to their humanness other than their actions is at least commendable but, in my opinion, truly showcases Krivak’s talent and ability to convey information without saying much. This is a fairly short novel but feels as heavy and profound as many classic tomes. Part philosophy and part science fiction, the plot is almost non-existent and plays rather a supporting role to the personal growth of the characters. This is not to say that nothing is happening – quite the opposite: journeys are taking,  battles for survival are fought, and much time passes. But nothing shines as much as the character’s connection to nature, their reliance on mother earth’s abundance, and the lessons that can be learned by sitting still and listening.

I feel thankful that I had the privilege to read this book. You should too.

I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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