The Third Bear

The Third Bear

Author:

Paperback, Pages: 273

Genres: Fantasy, Short Stories, Fiction, Horror

Language: English

Reads: 36

Downloads: 2298

Rating: Rated: 1164 timesRate It

The Third Bear
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Book Summary

Compared by critics to Borges, Nabokov, and Kafka, contemporary fantasist Jeff VanderMeer continues to amaze with this surreal, innovative, and absurdist gathering of award-winning short fiction. Exotic beasts and improbable travelers roam restlessly through these darkly diverting and finely honed tales.

In “The Situation,” a beleaguered office worker creates a child-swallowing manta-ray to be used for educational purposes (once described as Dilbert meets Gormenghast). In “Three Days in a Border Town,” a sharpshooter seeks the truth about her husband in an elusive floating city beyond a far-future horizon; “Errata” follows an oddly familiar writer who has marshaled a penguin, a shaman, and two pearl-handled pistols with which to plot the end of the world. Also included are two stories original to this collection, including “The Quickening,” in which a lonely child is torn between familial obligation and loyalty to a maligned talking rabbit.

Chimerical and hypnotic, VanderMeer leads readers through the postmodern into a new literature of the imagination.

Reader Reviews
  •    Gobei Liamczew
    2020
    Jeff VanderMeer is massively talented. Of that there's little doubt. His ridiculously emotive pen is able to effortlessly concoct phrases, conjure images, and create characters which are incredibly immersive and atmospheric.This collection is cunning. Its prose poetry. Its beautiful prose. It is just epic. I typically come away from VanderMeer feeling like I just woke up from a vastly affecting dream that I can't recall any significant details from. My head swirls with feelings and emotions from the stories. This said these tales beg for the reread..

    As experiments with mood, viewpoint, and structure, these stories have few peers (e.g. "Errata"). As a template for how to create effective style and use thickly layered language, they're unmatched. But I couldn't tell you what many of these stories are actually about. How awesome is that?! I dont know what they are about or for but yet uncanny it is it effects emotion and an overal 'vibe'.

    As poetry, The Third Bear is a staggering triumph. As a collection of successful short stories its an epic collection of effects and plays on fantasy and horror.

    'The Third Bear' collection of short stories was JeffV’s last major book before Southern Reach. In it you will find many of the literary antecedents/predecessors to those best-selling novels (mentioning particularly the proto-'Borne' story "The Situation". Mord Lives!). To be fairly straightforward about it all, IMHO, eight of fourteen stories are stone classics, never mind that the remaining six are of varying degrees of Hot Damn! themselves, but those eight… just, wow. Until there is a ‘Best of Jeff VanderMeer’, for those who loved the form/style/storytelling of ‘Area X’ and ‘Borne’, this is the best bang for your buck. This is where JeffV started being known as a writer’s writer.
    Reply
  •    Galabar Dzevzinov
    2020
    Some of this is very good. Quite a bit of it goes on a bit. Collectively it is amazingly self-indulgent.

    The book includes an afterword in which the author explains that he has not included explanations of the stories or biographical notes from the time he wrote them as that would interfere with readers’ forming conclusions and making connections over multiple readings of this set of stories.

    The last story before the last story added on to the afterword, I couldn’t be bothered with. Even after reading everything else. Even though it was episodic and I could have read it over a long period of time, I just couldn’t be bothered. I felt it was most clearly a story for the author, rather than a story for a reader.

    If you are already a fan, and especially if you enjoyed Borne and are interested in some back story, there is plenty to interest you here. But I am not likely to be returning to it and it is not the kind of book I would recommend to anyone I really liked.
    Reply

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