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The Language of Bears

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The peaceful life of 17th century New England Puritan farmer Adam Green is ripped apart when he finds a television set in the woods. Horrifically deformed animal skinner Obadiah Broke, driven insane by an accident with tanning chemicals, becomes fixated on obtaining the malodorous black water seeping onto Adam’s property. A coup d’etat instigated by Obadiah leads to a deat ...more
Paperback, 430 pages
Published September 13th 2017
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Won a copy of this novel in a giveaway, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. The Language of Bears was weird. It was strange. But it was also so refreshingly new? It was a wild, rollicking ride full of farmers and apple trees, battery-powered television sets, extensive underground cave systems, religious fervor, and accusations of witchcraft.

Men of understanding know that only a real witch understands, and can use, the language of bears.

Without giving too much away, the story is cen
Review of THE LANGUAGE OF BEARS by John Eidswick

An unusual and bizarre work of literary fiction/fantasy, involving 17th century Puritans, nearly eternal life, talking animals, and contemporary society. Yes, sounds confusing, but perfectly clear when you read the novel. Young Adam Green and his sister Daisy, then a baby, lost their parents seven years ago in the Forbidden Forest, where their parents supposedly took their own lives. So Adam has grown up people-shy, accused himself of witchcraft, a
Toni Wittus
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read by this author and again gave the book 5 stars. It’s unlike any book or plot I have ever read. John Eidswick is talented. I hope he is working on another book. This is an author to keep on your radar.
Joyce Peavey
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best stories I have read in a very long time.

The beauty of reading your book is that it was a "story" that continued to want me to follow it!
Alfred J. Coscia
Groundbreaking! This Is Sheer Genius!

This book is is one of the few that has ever really stood out for this particular bibliophile! It has an excellent plot, but the morality of the story is where the heart truly lies. I am in awe of this author, and the beauty inside him ,which inspired his work. Please, please read this book!

Throughout this tale, it reads almost like a fairytale, and by the end one understands the true purpose of this novel. Since I don't do spoilers, I truly hope that my abso
Doreen Ashbrook
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was totally not what I expected. It reads like a fairy tale, with the same frightening aspects of most fairy tales. It was rather terrifying in its comparisons to our current political climate (whether or not this was the author's intention). A thought provoking and well written tale. Thank you Goodreads Giveaways. ...more
Mary K. Clark
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining

This is the second book of his i have read and once again it was very very good and it was a fun book of you read it you will see what I mean.I am anxious to read more of mr Eidswicks writing and hope he has website to keep us updated on anything new
Jan 27, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC in return for an honest review from the author.

The author warned me that the book would be weird, but I dismissed that. I was in a weird mood and figured that nothing Eidswick could throw at me would get me out of the reading funk I have been in. I had no desire to read anything. I had to force myself to read this book, but within a few pages I was realizing that I was gifted something gorgeous. My mood shifted from dreading the idea of
This story is about a reclusive young farmer named Adam who encounters a television set in the woods. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, except the technology doesn’t exist in his homeland of Arcadia, and some of the superstitious people in his town start to become even more convinced that he’s a witch.

After all, his parents’ strange disappearance several years earlier brought up the subject. It also left Adam and his younger sister at the mercy of the Puritanical townsfolk, several of whom t
Kristina Trawick
What to say. Hmmm.... (Contains spoilers)

The book had a wonderful start. A man from a seemingly colonial era finds a tv set in the woods and runs home screaming.. When he returns, it is gone and no one believes him.

Then things just get weird. I, too, was reminded of the movie "The Village". It was obvious to me that this place, Arcadia, is set some sort of black hole in America. What the author never does tell us is what happened to Adam's parents, whose disappearance into the wild woods coinci
John Eidswick
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I started to write this book way back during the opening shots of the Iraq war, which made me wonder just when, where, and how America had gone off its own rails. I got to thinking about what the original Puritan settlers of New England would have made of the country they had played such a large role founding-“A City on a Hill”-which launched me into a reading binge about those folks. I must have read 20 books about the New England Puritans. I even read one conveying, in brutal detail, the mater ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
In The Language of Bears, John Eidswick constructs a captivating, unique and lived-in fantasy world full of transportive descriptions, a colorful cast of distinct characters, clever moments of humor and a plot that leaves you guessing until the very end. The book's main downfall is pacing. A major plot point, which is mentioned in the book's description, doesn't come into play until more than halfway into the book. Leaving the reader in the dark about the mysterious box that hero Adam Green sees ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a strange book. Which is good; I enjoy strange. I enjoyed the premise immensely, and feel badly for not rating this higher. But there were just so many unanswered questions at the end, things that felt like they needed to be resolved and weren't. The last few chapters felt rushed, in a way, and many of the characters ended up in situations that felt to me both unreal within the context of the story and kind of like a cop-out, as if the author realized an ending for these characters was n ...more
Joan Mitchell
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back in time

A community from the past somehow is isolated from current society. Supposedly a law abiding village with no need for law enforcement is suddenly overrun by a jealous greedy man. The story is based on the greed of one man and his son who put the whole community in jeopardy of losing their peaceful lives. A parody of life as we k is it and how easy it would be to call into the greed and power of one person. I received this book from Goodreads for free. I recommend this book to people
Feb 16, 2020 rated it did not like it
This was an AWFUL book. It started out seeming like the movie The Village. Although I liked the movie, the book was not at all gripping. Then it nosedived into the bizarrely ridiculous. I’m fairly certain there was a parody in there, or at least some kind of statement to be made about multiple things - gun control would be one. Most things were probably either lost or ignored under all of the absurdity though.
Nov 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura Kittleson Ashish Iyer Ajay
an odd start, then I was so deeply involved in the "Edenic" place falling in to chaos. Beautifully crafted world, that may or may not exist. The Adam starts out as a traumatize young man doing his best to keep his head down, while his sister is trying to kick the hornets nest. Fast read, good character development and back story.

"History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion." to quote Gerald R. Ford

Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Addictively disappointing,

is what I would characterize this book. The writing style is sophomoric. The character development is simplistic. And the narration flow is erratic. I plodded through this book hoping that it would make some sort of sense. I was however disappointed. I am putting this Author on a list titled “the mediocrity of averageness”. I would recommend this book to a freshman class as an example of what not to do when you write a novel.
Ravin Maurice
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book took a while to pick up for me. But once it did I found the world Eidswick had woven quite interesting, and so heavily layered that I had to reread some passages to make sure I got everything. Overall I quite enjoyed the book. I would have given it 5 stars but there were a bunch of small punctuation and format errors that should have been caught by a proof reader.
Debi Murray
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, kindle
What an adventure! This was fun and intriguing with some head-scratching over how and why things were so wildly different. While a fun read, it does make one think about society and our roles in our world. I would definitely recommend this for a book club would make for an interesting discussion!
Manuela C. Hannah
Interesting read!

The story is quite ordinary until it gets into the epilogue. Reading this book brings hope of peaceful, harmonious & happy living. I wish I could have a tastes of it myself.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Won in a goodreads giveaway. Well written and lyrical, it really makes you think morally. I just couldn't get past the world it was set in. It was too much based in a puritan America without being so. Iwanted to equate it to something it wasn't and couldn't get past that. ...more
Scott Ireland
I wanted to like this book, and did for the first half or so. Then the plot twisted, and it simply became a caricature of itself. The last part of the story is so wildly weird that it is only topped by the epilogue, which is odder still.
edward janecek
Just ok

This book started out good. The further I got into it, the sillier it got. This is a fascinating plot which could have been a great read (for me) if it were more believable.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Strange. A bit addicting.
rated it liked it
Sep 16, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 15, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 14, 2020
Micah Unice
rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2019
Sarah W Saunders
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2018
Jonathan Law
rated it really liked it
Nov 25, 2017
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I have published three novels in the James Strait mystery series: the Rabbit Skinners, When Moths Burn, and A Hole in the Head. I am also the author of the historical fantasy The Language of Bears.

You can receive updates at my Facebook Author's page and can also read about my travails and joys with self-publishing, life in Japan, etc. at my blog:


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“George held his hand over his heart. “We are not animals. We are a civilized race. A fellow like Adam who has committed crimes should be given an unbiased trial to fairly determine that he is guilty.” 0 likes
“And Jedediah possessed an unnatural dislike for the weaponry of old—guns, as we used to call them—and campaigned strongly against their use.” 0 likes
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