Winkie is an incisive satire of the politics and psychology of scapegoating -- and it's also a sensitive, brave evocation of childhood abjection. Winkie (the bear) is a brilliant invention, a liminal narrator, and unforgettable character. Winkie (the novel) is a breath of fresh air in fiction, an act of defiance,a children's tale for adults --
Starred Review. This debut novel from memoirist Chase (The Hurry-up Song) begins with the capture and wounding by a SWAT team of the eponymous, sentient teddy bear in a backwoods cabin; the team thinks it has captured a mad bomber. In jail, Winkie, who no one denies is a teddy bear, must contend with cruel jailers; his stuttering, court-appointed lawyer named Unwin; the 9,678 counts of everything from treason to witchcraft he's charged with; and the intersection of his life with that of the previous possessor of the cabin, an old humanities professor whose bombs never worked. While marking time, Winkie contemplates his past: his ownership by the Chase family, his loneliness when on a shelf , his magical awakening to life one morningmarked by a bowel movement so lovingly described that it recalls Bloom's in Ulysses. The sections devoted to Winkie's trial is a minor masterpiece of ridiculousness, in which the prosecution's move to end the trial after it has presented its side sounds uncomfortably close to what we read in the newspapers. This book is way too odd to be sentimental, and its political sensibility shuttles easily between the cartoonish and the shrewd. Chase puts himself in the same league as David Sedaris with this unclassifiable debut. (July)
I wanted to like this book. It is wierd and I like wierd but I just couldn't get that into it.
Satirical, sentimental, witty, poignant, tale of a teddy bear arrested for terrorisim. This book was a page turner and I will certainly be on the watch for more stories from this author. It's a quick read with lots of laughs but also causes you to reflect on your own childhood and brings memories long forgotten to the surface. Winkie's arrest and trial make you laugh outloud at the obvious similarities to the world we live in. Great book!
One of the most clever books I've read in a long while. Very entertaining and imaginative. Great for kids, teens or adults.