I was driving around, running errands on a hot June day, when I stumbled across a National Public Radio talk show on which Lynn Schooler was promoting this book. By the time it was over, I was at the nearest bookstore, sipping a cup of coffee and reading the first chapter of The Blue Bear. Schooler is a natural-born story-teller and his knowledge and love of the Alaskan wilderness make every paragraph glow with authenticity. Like most good books, the Blue Bear can be enjoyed and appreciated on many different levels: it's a wonderful adventure story, it captures the precious qualities of friendship and it encapsulates Schooler's life-affirming world view in a way that is powerful, but never preachy.
This book had more impact on me than anything I've read in the past few years. I've never especially wanted to see Alaska (too cold) and never appreciated it as a special place, but Lynn Schooler's writing pulled me in to the land and its enchanting forms of life and interesting residents. I kept thinking how brave he was to write as he did about his demons and pains and the healing he painfully found, as elusive for most of us as the Blue Bear itself. I taught classic English literature for years, and I know powerful, gripping language when I see it. This is the real thing. If I could write to Schooler, I'd tell him how moving his book was. Read it right away, and slowly.
This book is true literature. The authors discriptions are very visual. I could not put the book down. It is more than just an adventure book. It is a story of true intimacy,personal discovery and tragedy. Schooler opens himself to the reader as if he is sharing his personal intermost secrets to his closest friend. It changed my life.
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