by Clifford Chase


Review By Alan Kiste


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How shall I describe this book? This could be difficult.....


OK, imagine a book about a Teddy Bear. Got it? OK, now imagine a book
about a Teddy Bear that comes alive. Picturing something like the
Velveteen Rabbit? OK, now imagine a book about a living Teddy Bear
who gets arrested by a swat team while hiding in a cabin in the woods
after the bear has just buried the corpse of the cabin's former

No really ... it gets better.

Now imagine that the Bear is arrested for literally thousands of
crimes including: several Unibomber-style mailbombs, corrupting the
youth of Athens, holding to the false doctrine that the Earth
revolves around the sun, witchcraft, etc.

As my mother would say, "That sounds ... well ... different."

I've been attempting to explain this book to all sorts of people and
I can't figure out a way to do it without making the book sound
completely stupid -- which it isn't at all.  Instead it's a clever
and cute and touching satire/farce about our War On Terror, with a
Teddy Bear named Winkie. But as strange as it all sounds, it is still
a bit like that Velveteen Rabbit image you had in your mind a few
sentences ago.  Winkie is cute and lovable, but also complex and
determined.  Many of the other characters are almost cardboard
cutouts,  but Chase is still able to squeeze a few laughs from them.
It is Chase's ability to write Winkie's character, however, that
truly makes the book shine.

In addition, "Winkie" is funny enough to be one of those books that
your partner annoyingly insists on reading aloud to you at night in
bed while you're trying to read your own book, and when he isn't
reading aloud to you he's still chuckling to himself which makes you
wonder what the heck he's laughing at (sorry Brian.)

Any author who has the guts to write a book about a teddy bear
accused of corrupting the youth of Athens is my kind of author.

Just read the book, or the teddy bear gets it.


Common Language