Guterson also creates phrases and sentences that, while appropriate to the scene, rise above the novel and offer moments of contemplation. The Other has a lot to say about friendship. “You don’t so much change terms as observe terms changing” as the emotions range from camaraderie to guilt, and love which falls in between. There’s a line about “friends going out with a bang or a whimper” which is so true. We know when a fight or betrayal immediately severs a friendship; however, the majority slowly evaporate away like fog with no unawareness of the drift. The connection is gone before you know it if it was ever been there to begin with.
The only flaw with The Other is after the two key events are revealed, there’s three chapters of dénouement and the second to the last, “Periodic Irritable Crying,” where John William’s father Rand reveals traumatic moments of his early life is anticlimactic and the thorough detailing that was so engaging before bogs down the pacing. While the writing is still good, being so close to the end makes the reader anxious finish.
But that’s a minor complaint in contrast to all the wonderful moments The Other offers. I recommend the adventure it offers.