Snow Falling On Cedars has sold 1.2 million copies, was reissued in paperback for the 21 Great Bloomsbury Reads for the 21st Century series, and won the Pen/Faulkner awardFor fans of Richard Ford, John Irving, John Updike and Charles Frazier. Also for fans of the films Into the Wild, There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men.
David Guterson is the author of the novels Snow Falling on Cedars, East of the Mountains and Our Lady of the Forest; a collection of short stories, The Country Ahead Of Us, The Country Behind, and of the non-fiction book Family Matters: Why Home Schooling Makes Sense. Snow Falling on Cedars won the PEN/ Faulkner Award. David Guterson lives in Washington State.
Adult/High School-Blue-collar Neil Countryman meets Seattle blue-blood John William Barry while running track. The novel opens with a lot of references to 1970s pop culture: television shows such as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart, and athletes and celebrities like Steve Prefontaine, Carl Lewis, the Doobie Brothers, and Gerald Ford. Guterson describes Neil and John William's generation as "slightly late for the zeal of the sixties and slightly early for disco." He depicts a 34-year friendship that survives their many differences. It starts out with a shared love of nature, running, and hiking the Olympic Mountains. But as they mature, the men drift in different directions. As the first Countryman to attend college, Neil takes his education seriously and chooses a traditional life. In contrast, John William drops out of school, decries hypocrisy, studies philosophic thought (most notably Gnosticism), and retreats into a life in the Olympic forest, in a bit of a Thoreau-like existence. His mental state is most certainly fragile, likely inherited from his mother. But in spite of their differences, Neil honors their "blood pact," hiking in food, supplies, and companionship, and, most importantly, he honors John William's desire to keep his location a secret. The 1970s setting will hook teens in the opening, and the lyrical description of the Olympic Mountains forest will keep them reading. The biggest draw, however, will be the themes of friendship and loyalty, and how they survive through the years.-Paula Dacker, Charter Oak High School, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
'When a novelist scores as popular a breakthrough as Guterson did with SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS, a long shadow is cast over subsequent efforts. Here, he succeeds in outdistancing that shadow.' Kirkus PRAISE FOR SNOW FALLING ON CEDARS: 'This is classic whodunnit territory but Guterson's fiercely intelligent and moving novel is far more than a murder mystery ... Guterson has written a novel about the human condition that marvellously combines tenderness and excitement' The Times 'A skilfully constructed, deeply affecting story of love and death ... This is a hugely attractive book, written in clipped elegant prose' Sunday Times 'Compelling ... a flawlessly written first novel' New York Times
Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) runs out of gas mulling the story of two friends who take divergent paths toward lives of meaning. A working-class teenager in 1972 Seattle, Neil Countryman, a "middle of the pack" kind of guy and the book's contemplative narrator, befriends trust fund kid John William Barry--passionate, obsessed with the world's hypocrisies and alarmingly prone to bouts of tears--over a shared love of the outdoors. Guterson nicely draws contrasts between the two as they grow into adulthood: Neil drifts into marriage, house, kids and a job teaching high school English, while John William pulls an Into the Wild, moving to the remote wilderness of the Olympic Mountains and burrowing into obscure Gnostic philosophy. When John William asks for a favor that will sever his ties to "the hamburger world" forever, loyal Neil has a decision to make. Guterson's prose is calm and pleasing as ever, but applied to Neil's staid personality it produces little dramatic tension. Once the contrasts between the two are set up, the novel has nowhere to go, ultimately floundering in summary and explanation. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Neil keeps mum when friend John William decides to ditch civilization and go into the wild, but he's less sure about helping him disappear completely. With an eight-city tour; reading group guide. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.