The Bear Went Over the Mountain (Fiction)

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Once upon a time in rural Maine, a big black bear found a briefcase under a tree. Hoping for food, he dragged it into the woods, only to find that all it held was the manuscript of a novel. He couldn‘t eat it, but he did read it, and decided it wasn‘t bad. Borrowing some clothes from a local store, and the name Hal Jam from the labels of his favorite foods he headed to New York to seek his fortune in the literary world.

Then he took America by storm.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain is a riotous, magical romp with the buoyant Hal Jam as he leaves the quiet, nurturing world of nature for the glittering, moneyed world of man. With a pitch-perfect comic voice and an eye for social satire to rival Swift or Wolfe, bestselling author William Kotzwinkle limns Hal‘s hilarious journey to New York, Los Angeles, and the great sprawling country in between, where a bear makes good despite his animal instincts, and where money-hungry executives see not a hairy beast with a purloined novel, but a rough-hewn, soulful, media-perfect nature guy who just might be the next Hemingway.

By turns sidesplittingly funny, stingingly ironic, and unexpectedly tender, The Bear Went Over the Mountain captures the zeitgeist of our time dead-on, in a delicious bedtime story for grown-ups.


"Very funny, and probably true." - Terry Pratchett

"Hal makes you laugh out loud and root for his success." - The New York Times

"A delightful fable… hilarious and sometimes touching… Kotzwinkle has created a real star." - Publishers Weekly


"I just surrendered. I sat here laughing. I live alone, but laughed aloud until the child next door called up to me, 'What's the matter?' 'I'm laughing.' 'But what's the matter?' The matter is that this is the funniest book I've ever read about bears, the lit-biz, academic pomposity, and wandering innocently in Manhattan and the purgatory of the book tour. Yes, it is. I love the book." - Herbert Gold

"William Kotzwinkle is our Boccaccio – there isn't anyone funnier, smarter, or more inventive than he, and he brandishes his satirical sword exactly as wickedly and as scathingly as Boccaccio does, with the same oddly tolerant smile... I urge readers not to try reading it at night, while family members are trying to sleep; you'll keep them awake howling with laughter." - Richard Bausch

""The funniest book on the planet" "Will become an enduring classic" "My all-time favorite book!" "Read it and weep – with laughter" "Hilarious, but NOT for kids!" "A great metaphor for human priorities!" "A hilarious novel that I couldn't put down" "Laughed until I cried" "Slap in the face laughter!" "Maddeningly hilarious!" "As funny as the truth can be" "Wickedly funny allegory" "A paradigm shift" "Humor genius" "Funniest book I've ever read!" "You have to read this book!" " - From a few of the five-star Amazon reviews