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Bear, Otter, and the Kid by T.J. Klune

I cannot ignore the fact there was a polemic behind this novel, people suggesting/implying this was a fanfiction of the gay themed movie Shelter. Now, I have seen Shelter, I’m not an huge fan, but I liked the movie, and sincerely, there are some similarities but for sure nothing you can compare to a plagiarism. Basically the only two things in common are the fact that the main character falls in love with his best friend’s brother, and that he has a younger brother he is taking care for.

But in Bear, Otter, and the Kid, the budding of the relationship between Bear (Derrick) and Otter (Oliver) was there well before, when Bear was only 17 years old and Otter 9 years older; that is one of the reason why Otter feels as if he is influencing Bear, like an imprinting he “imposed” to the boy since he was a kid, and the guiltiness pushed him away. Plus here Bear is the only caregiver of the Kid (Ty), there is no mother or father, or any other relatives (while instead if I remember well in Shelter there was a family, dysfunctional as you want, but still there). In Shelter, the main character is a wannabe artist, here Bear has no artistic skills.

I think to remember the author said he took inspiration from his own experience taking care for a younger brother for this novel, and I don’t exclude he felt near to the movie, like when you see/read something that call to you inner cords, that speaks true to your heart. Maybe he put something of that feeling in the novel, but something that is completely original of this novel is the character of the Kid. The kid in the movie was nothing compared to this one, and I don’t think this Kid can be “accused” of being a replica of someone else, it felt to good and true to be fake or copy. Sure, this Kid is not normal, he is probably a little genius, someone that, if raised in a different environment, or in a family with money, would have been one of those little adult who became multimillionaire at 14 years old, or some musical genius, or something else exceptional. Here instead, he is the perfect counsellor to his brother, the friends of his brother, and everyone he has the chance to touch with his aura.

The relationship between Bear and Otter is sweet, almost to the level of being innocent; it’s not that they are not having sexual intercourses, it’s that the sex is done “behind closed doors”, and sometime, like with me, you realize they had sex since one of them said it, not since you read about it. In a way, even if this is not a Young Adult novel, this could be a novel the upper age of teenagers could “use” as first attempt to gay novel literature.


Amazon: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Amazon Kindle: Bear, Otter, and the Kid
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 12, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1613720874
ISBN-13: 978-1613720875

Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading_list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Paul Richmond


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 25th, 2012 12:23 pm (UTC)
I loved this book and the sequel too, I watched shelter too and had too reallllly stretch my imagination to find similarities.
May. 25th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
they are the same similiraties you can find with many many stories, since, well, life is always a repeating of scenes.
May. 25th, 2012 01:29 pm (UTC)
The reason I loved this book was because of its similarities to Shelter (my favorite American Gay film). But people saying he plagiarized is ridiculous because the differences are as big as the grand canyon.
May. 25th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
you are true, you can enjoy that movie and this novel since they have the same feeling, but the novel is not a replica of the movie
May. 25th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Lovely review.
May. 25th, 2012 02:03 pm (UTC)
thank you!
May. 25th, 2012 05:05 pm (UTC)
Great review. I loved this book, and the sequel.
May. 25th, 2012 05:39 pm (UTC)
the sequel is on my reading list as well
May. 25th, 2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
OMGosh!! You don't like Shelter? *sobs* *tears at my hair and beard* *throws ashes in my face*

Shelter may very well be my favorite movie of all time. I have probably seen it at least fifty times if not more like at least a hundred! LOVE IT!

Despite the fact that I do not like stories with kids, which is why I have yet to read, fair or not, Bear, Otter & the Kid.

In Shelter, the kid is important, but he's hardly in the movie. In BO&K, friends and reviewers say he is a major character and I don't care for kids in stories.

It's like cats and dogs, you know? Some people like cats. Some people like dogs. I am a dog man. I like other people's cats, in tiny doses. I will even pet them and love them and scratch them under the chin. I'll take care of a friend's house when they are on vacation, including their cats.

But I don't want a cat. Not at all.

I bought Bear, Otter & the Kid to help support TJ during all the controversy of those &%$#@ claiming he stole the story. It was obvious to me it wasn't stolen but his own tale. But I just didn't want to read about the perfect very adult-like child. Slowly I am changing my mind and figuring I am going to have to give it a read.


OMGosh!! You don't like Shelter? *sobs* *tears at my hair and beard* *throws ashes in my face*

May. 25th, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Ben, I said:

"but I liked the movie"

May. 26th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)

you also said "I’m not an huge fan"


May. 26th, 2012 07:32 am (UTC)
Well, i dont have many movie in DVD, but i have shelter, so that has to mean something ;-)
May. 26th, 2012 09:42 am (UTC)
Questo è uno dei libri che la Dreamspinner ha fatto tradurre in italiano. Lo ha appena finito di revisionare una mia amica, per cui penso che verrà pubblicato a breve...
May. 26th, 2012 09:57 am (UTC)
tutti i bestsellers, come questo, della DP verranno tradotti in italiano. è davvero una bella cosa e spero che abbiano successo.
May. 26th, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Eh sì, speriamo che abbiano successo, così per noi il lavoro continua. ;-)
Io adesso ho appena finito di tradure il primo volume di Alliance in Blood, e dovrò fare tutta la serie.
Se il progetto va bene, spero che decidano di pubblicare anche i romanzi storici, che sono quelli che preferisco.
May. 26th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
May. 27th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
Great review.

I LOVED this book and having seen Shelter myself I cannot agree with those that calim it was plagiarism! I highly recommend the sequel.... it's just as good!!
May. 27th, 2012 02:32 pm (UTC)
I think all the plagiarism issue was a big kerfuffle
May. 28th, 2012 10:44 am (UTC)
I agree. :)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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