More about this book:
Our narrator Neil Countryman becomes the last link between the world below and John William Barry, a man so intolerant of weakness and concupiscence he becomes a hermit in an Olympic Peninsula cave. John William is the conscience throughout the book; he is outraged by almost all human thought and aspiration. Never mind that his stunnng riches allow him to afford his outrage. But eventually his purity and its resulting isolation cost him very, very dearly. Mr. Guterson has constructed a deceptively easy-reading exhibit of the loftiness and impossibility of extreme idealism. Our Other is a superego to the world and bears the brunt of the resulting conflict.