The PaperClip

Book Review: Bearskin

Back to Article
Back to Article

Book Review: Bearskin

Ally Snow, PaperClip Staff

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






“Bearskin” by James A. Mclaughlin is about a man named Rice Moore, who works as a caretaker for a forest reserve Virginia. The truth is, Rice is hiding out there from drug dealers he betrayed back in Arizona, but when he meets a rogue man in the forest who shows him the carcass of a skinned bear, Rice is forced to put his life on the line to catch the bear poachers.

Rice Moore is the main character of “Bearskin.” He’s a former drug cartel worker back in Arizona before he betrayed his people. After testifying, Rice became afraid for his life and went off the radar to the Turk Mountain preserve. For six months he was hiding in peace before he was shown a bear carcass.

Readers are immediately shown that Rice isn’t mentally stable, for instance, “The mushroom picker had turned to watch, but now he stared up at Rice with those pale eyes…”I don’t think you’re real,” Rice said, but the man didn’t reply” (Mclaughlin 13). This isn’t the only time we see Rice break. There are many instances of Rice going insane.

My problem with Rice is that he doesn’t really have much personality. James Mclaughlin tries to make him interesting by giving him a troubled past and making him a tough guy. He also tries to make it seem like Rice cares about the bear’s deaths.

Maybe at one point, Rice cared about the bears, but as the book went on, Rice wanted to catch the poachers more out of anger and revenge than justice for the bears. I can’t find myself able to connect with Rice, most of the time I just want to skip any section with him. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before, his backstory and such.  

Overall, I had a hard time getting through “Bearskin” It’s very boring, and most of the book can be cut out. Any scene with the drug dealers could be cut out, and it wouldn’t change the story. Rice doesn’t need his backstory, we learn his entire personality within the first chapter and he doesn’t change much. There’s also this weird feeling of a relationship between Rice and Sara towards the end of the book. It makes you feel like they’re in a relationship, but I just don’t see it. Sara cares about him, but it felt like a more friendly way. Rice, on the other hand, never seemed interested in her. It felt very forced and uncomfortable.

Overall, I recommend this book for people in their twenties and above. The pacing for this book in extremely slow, so I don’t think most kids will have the attention span to read it. Even then, I think students who like reading will be able to get through it. While I’m not a fan of this book, I think a lot of people will like how descriptive, especially with nature, it is.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Spooky Season just got Spookier in Hollywood!

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Student Review: Game of Thrones

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Student Review: Cornerstone Pizzeria

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    The Hate U Give: Movie Review

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Spirit Week October 2018- What’s new this year?

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Album Review: “Drip Harder” Presented by Gunna and Lil Baby

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Lunch Food Fun

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Barrio: A New Twist On Mexican Food

  • A&E

    Star Wars “Forces” its Way to the Top

  • Book Review: Bearskin

    A&E

    Me Before You: A Review

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Portsmouth High School
Book Review: Bearskin