Review: Help! A Bear is Eating Me!

I can’t even describe what a scumbag Marv Pushkin is.  He is the product of everything wrong with modern civilized human beings.  His life is defined by corporate wealth, mind-numbing pharmaceuticals, and chauvinistic douchebaggery.  He is the epitome of consumerist arrogance.  He’s built himself a colossal ego decorated with material possessions, each more vulgar and expensive than the last.  Marv Pushkin is an arrogant, self-absorbed, self-righteous, and downright horrible man.

But does he deserve to get eaten by a bear?  That’s Mykle Hansen’s take, and I have to admit that it’s really really brilliant.  Hansen does a perfect job showing us the absolute worst sort of human being that our consumerist culture can produce.  The entire story is told by Marv, who’s trapped under his SUV in the wilderness of Alaska when he and his corporate underlings are on a team building exercise.  Marv hates nature, by the way, just like he hates everything else.  Everything that happens to him is rationalized so that it becomes someone else’s fault.  Marv’s mental gymnastics always prove him to be the exceptional hero, and the people around him the idiots who bring him down, victimizing him with their stupidity.

Do you want to kill Marv Pushkin yet?  There were moments when I sure did.  But Mykle Hansen, just to prove how awesome a writer he is, makes Marv sympathetic.  As the story goes on, Marv remains stuck under the SUV, getting dirtier and smellier, slowly being eaten by a bear.  But Marv and the bear bond through their time together.  Slowly but surely, Marv goes from hating the bear and everything around him to going on a weird psychedelic spirit quest that shatters his twisted thinking and allows him to actually empathize.  He’s knocked down from his high horse, and it’s quite beautiful to watch him fall.  And this awakening is all thanks to a hungry smelly bear.  Read this book.  Give it to your friends.  It’ll make you think of bears in a totally new way.

Get it here:


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