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Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 83
Die Spur des Bären (German)
Montgomery, R. A.
(Original edition - cover; Original version, book fair edition - cover)
Bolle, Frank (Original edition - interior; Original version, book fair edition - interior)
September, 1988 (Original edition)
March, 2005 (German edition)
055327533X / 9780553275339
113 pages (Original version, book fair edition, Original edition)
|Number of Endings:||
|User Summary:||You are the descendent of a long-lost Arctic explorer, and when you hear that a movie is going to be made about his more famous and successful rival, you decide that it's time to find out what really happened all those years ago....|
This was something of a surprise. After two books that consisted almost entirely of disjointed random events, I was shocked to run across a book with a consistent and fully-developed plot. I was even more startled to find such a book coming from R. A. Montgomery, an author not generally known for being satisfied with just one storyline at a time. While I found the book to be rather seriously flawed by its sometimes less than likeable characters and its over-the-top good-guy/bad-guy rivalry, it really is refreshing once in a while to read through a book which actually makes an effort to answer most of the questions that it raises. Although it's not as impressive an accomplishment as Danger at Anchor Mine (another solidly plot-oriented Choose Your Own Adventure), it's still a mostly satisfying work and an interesting departure for its author.
I put off reading this one because I generally don't care for wilderness adventure, and I expected that this was going to be heavily in that genre.
It's not quite there. There's a bit of wilderness adventure, but most of it is a cultural exploration of Inuit life. I can't say how accurate, or how sensitive the portrayal is, but it doesn't seem bad. Montgomery still incorporates a small amount of his mysticism, but it's very minimal.
There is a clear goal, and a clear antagonist, which is a nice touch. The villain is a bit campy, especially in the illustrations, but he comes across as someone who mostly annoys you, and doesn't exactly scare you.
The title of the book is an issue. A bear appears in two endings, and in both cases, there's no tracking going on. You aren't following a path that a bear took. In fact, the instances that you run into bears are completely accidental.
Regardless, this is a charming book. It's more serious than Montgomery's usual work, which might be of interest to some readers.
I found the entire scope of this book fascinating. Perfection of pacing and subtlety of suspense are continuous allies of this remarkable R. A. Montgomery entry. It is a story packed with exciting adventure, very interesting history, surprising spots of humor when one least expects it, and a rock-solid underlying plot that never betrays itself. The story requires genuine thought to follow one's choices through to a truly good end, and it is sure to be an entertaining read no matter how many times one goes through it. This represents some of the finest work to come from the pen of R. A. Montgomery that I have read; it is truly a work of significant imaginative power, and I surely am glad to own it.
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|Users with Extra Copies:||
- fair edition
twar - Cover has some creasing.
Known EditionsOriginal version, book fair edition