HELP!  A Bear is Eating Me! - Mykle Hansen When I was twelve, a ranger at Yellowstone National Park asked me if I knew how to tell a black bear from a grizzly. I didn't. The ranger replied, "You kick him in the butt and climb up a tree. If he follows you up the tree, it's a black bear."

Now to the review...

First the bad news. The protagonist of this novel is an greedy misogynist asshole who loathes humanity and hates the environment. He embodies every evil facet of the corporate type you can think of. He is totally unlikable and undeserving of our sympathy.

Good news. He is being eaten by a bear.

And that is where we enter this very funny novel. Mykle Hansen's novel can be read as a social commentary on where our cultural and social greed has gotten us and an indictment of the corporate mentality. Or it can be read as simply a grossly sick and funny book about an asshole being eaten by a bear. Either way, this book had me laughing hysterically from the opening line, "You think you got problems? I'm being eaten by a bear" to the ending which I dare not reveal less the author sends a bear to my house to eat me. If there is any weakness in this tale, it is in the fact that Marvin Pushkin is maybe too much of an asshole. It might have been nice to empathize with the character a bit rather than seeing him simply as a symbol of where our corporate society has gone wrong. On the other hand, if I did empathize with him I would probably feel guilty reading about him being eaten by a bear. What kind of fun would that be?

In summarizing, Mr. Hansen's brief novel is side splitting funny. It is the perfect short read for the time you need to forget your problems and laugh at another person's misery, of course a fictional other person's misery. After all, I'm not heartless.

Did I mention he gets eaten by a bear?