by Clifford Chase
3.9 11


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Winkie by Clifford Chase

In Cliff Chase’s scathingly funny and surprisingly humane debut novel, the zeitgeist assumes the form of a one-foot-tall ursine Everyman — a mild-mannered teddy bear named Winkie who finds himself on the wrong side of America’s war on terror. After suffering decades of neglect from the children who've forgotten him, Winkie summons the courage to take charge of his fate, and so he hops off the shelf, jumps out the window, and takes to the forest. But just as he is discovering the joys and wonders of mobility, Winkie gets trapped in the jaws of a society gone rabid with fear and paranoia. Having come upon the cabin of the mad professor who stole his beloved, Winkie is suddenly surrounded by the FBI, who instantly conclude that he is the evil mastermind behind dozens of terrorist attacks that have been traced to the forest. Terrified and confused, Winkie is brought to trial, where the prosecution attempts to seal the little bear’s fate by interviewing witnesses from the trials of Galileo, Socrates, John Scopes, and Oscar Wilde. Emotionally gripping and intellectually compelling, Winkie exposes the absurdities of our age and explores what it means to be human in an increasingly barbaric world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802118301
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/2006
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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Winkie 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
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JasmineRiver More than 1 year ago
Normally I am a reader of Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. I steer clear of any politically minded books as they tend to bring out my temper. But a friend of mine found a little review on the book and suggested that a few of us read it and have one of our 'book discussions'.
The writing style with it's flashbacks was intriguing. I fell in love with the character Winkie. He truly represented innocence, and the 'outsiders' view of America's obsession with terrorism.
My blood pressure did rise and I wanted to pummel some of the characters when they epitomized the all true situation of 'guilty until proven innocent'.
My only issue with the book was that Cliff's memories of his childhood were so harsh, but revealing of who he was. I don't know if I would have been that honest about my 'problems' as a child in a book I wrote.
So I will just tell you all the same thing I told my friend as I handed her the book to read:
"It's not at all what I expected...but in a good way".
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at the bookstore recently because I thought that it had an interesting premise: a teddy bear that comes to life and finds itself on the wrong side of the war on terror. The idea brought to mind times when as a child I used to wonder if any of my dolls or bears ever came to life when I wasn't around. In this book a stuffed bear who after years of neglect is miraculously gifted with life. Winkie then goes out into the world, experiencing its ups and downs for the first time. When he is suddenly surrounded and accused of being a mad bomber. What follows is an overly long and drawn out trial interspersed with memories of Winkie's past. How he started as a bear named Marie and belonged to a girl named Ruth. How she passed to Ruth's children and was eventually renamed Winkie and became a he. This book serves to highlight in an often humorous (and sometimes tedious) way just how ridiculous the justice system in America can be. Especially when it comes to people who are accused of terrorist acts. When the word terrorist is used it almost seems as if any atrocity can be used against the person and people turn a blind eye because it is all in the name of justice. There were times when I found this book very moving and times in which I wondered if I would ever finish it. Overall though this isn't a bad debut novel and it will be interesting to see what Chase comes up with next. Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Guest More than 1 year ago
Winkie, the walking and talking teddy bear begins his career as Marie in the 1920's. He is just a sentient bear in the beginning and passes from his original owner to her children and migrates with the family from Chicago to New Orleans. During a hurricane he becomes not only sentient, but mobile and runs away from the family that abandoned him to the storm. He (?) gives birth to a cub and the two of them wind up in a primitive shack with a Unibomber-type person. Later Winkie loses his cub and is arrested by a federal swat team while he is still in the shack. The Feds think he is the terrorist and he is jailed, abused, tortured and put on trial. The staging of the trial and the witnesses against him, including the Pope, are funny and yet sad. The jury sits behind a curtain so they are not visible to him or his inept court-appointed attorney. All seems lost, but the author pulls off a last minute ending that you will have to buy the book to learn about. It reminds me of the writings of Kafka and also of Mark Twain. It is sort of like Huckberry Finn, in that you can read it as a child, but you can also read it as barely hidden satire about our current justice system. This book is a keeper, to be read and re-read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. I used it for my independant reading and was finished in 4 days. I enjoyed this book and want everyone to read it. If you love teddy bears, you'll be attatched to Winkie!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book!! Although it could be slow at parts, i still loved it. I loved the whole plot! (altough i would have really liked it if winkie was a criminal mastermine. hehe) I found my self feeling sorry for poor winkie and how everyone treated him so bad. This book made me feel sorry for all my abandoned stuffed animals.