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Man in the Woods Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 14, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
As the book opens, Paul is living with Kate Ellis, a character from Scott Spencer's previous book, A Ship Made of Paper. Kate has become quite famous recently for her book, `Prays Well With Others'. She is also sought after for speaking engagements and radio and television appearances. Her book is a best-seller and Kate considers herself a liberal Christian who believes deeply in the power of Christ and the lord. She is also a very sensual woman and her love for Paul is unconditional and unwavering. She wishes Paul would marry her but he seems to have an aversion to cementing the relationship though it is monogamous and committed. Kate's book and talks are about the day to day things in her life that she believes make her an `every woman' and also bring her closer to God. She is raising a daughter, Ruby, as a single mother with a mostly absentee father. Paul's relationship with Ruby is good though he does not try to substitute as her dad.Read more ›
Here are three reasons to buy this book:
1) You've read and enjoyed any other novel by Scott Spencer and you're wondering if this one will also be worth several hours of your time (it is).
2) You're a sucker for a good opening and you believe that a finely worded opening passage is almost certainly a precursor to a finely worded novel. Scott Spencer is a master opener (see the first sentence of ENDLESS LOVE) who knows how to grasp and hold onto a reader's attention. Consider the opening line of MAN IN THE WOODS:
"It might be for pity's sake -- for surely there must be pity for Will Claff somewhere along the cold curve of the universe -- but now and again a woman finds him compelling, and offers him a meal, a caress, a few extra dollars, and a place to stay, and lately that is the main thing keeping him alive."
3) You've read and pondered books like THE STRANGER and CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and you are intrigued by stories of seemingly benign men in the aftermath of seemingly accidental crimes.
I have read and enjoyed every novel by Scott Spencer since his multi-million seller ENDLESS LOVE (1979) and can attest to the fact that if you are the kind of reader who appreciates literary fiction full of quality metaphor and careful attention to the details of the human heart and its interactions with the world, then there is an extremely high chance you will fully appreciate MAN IN THE WOODS.
Constant Reader II (a.k.a. Constant Listener)
Other reviewers have criticized the book because, in their opinion, a lot of the side issues explored are not fully developed; I have to disagree. From a literary standpoint, I found the lack of full resolution very rewarding. The book invites the reader to ponder an issue, to develop his or her own views on an issue, and to observe how this issue affects the characters.
I also felt the book had some of the most memorable writing I've encountered in recent years.
There are some scenes which are written with real truth, such as the description of Paul's conversations while walking in the woods with his friend, and the behavior of the dog, but this book is so cluttered with characters and dead ends, that the reader feels pulled this way and that, to and fro, so that at times, the book almost derails itself. So many things are unclear; so many characters are introduced with nothing to add to the story; that if it weren't for the ending, I would have felt even more bewildered than I do.
**Spoiler alert** I suppose it would have been truly incongruous for this Christian woman to wind up living the rest of her life with a man who killed another, so I think I read the book with this assumption in mind. So, given that, why do we not learn more about her "conversion" - we know a little about her losing her faith (just a little) and even less about her gaining it. We don't learn anything about why the daughter seems so odd to begin with-and then she gets worse; we try to fill in the gaps wondering about the circumstances of her birth.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Man in the Woods is a psychological thriller that deals, among many other things, with the definition of what makes a man a man in our detached, sterile society. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Erin McCole Cupp
If only it were only about the similes, which was my favorite thing about this story. Unfortunately, there is also plausibility of plot (I didn't buy one of its most important... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Julee Rudolf
Excellent writing style, made good use of his vocabulary, and it had a fairly captivating plot. I plan to read other books by Scott Spencer.Published 8 months ago by Tom
This is not my favorite Spencer novel. I was scratching my head through a lot of it. There was a lot of questioning of why are we here, is there a God, is He looking out for me, is... Read morePublished 21 months ago by MountainReader
The murder takes place at the beginning of the book and after that (even though there are some interesting themes) everything leads to the foregone conclusion. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Ruth
Couldn't put book down. Wanted more, but also like making my own ending. Double-edged sword... I enjoy his writing very much.Published 23 months ago by Charlotte Strunk
This was such a mind blower, I listened to the audiobook and I was along for the ride. All the twist and turns of this story kept you hanging on. Read morePublished on February 16, 2014 by bookluvr
Writing is great and the story is very good. Also a good page turner. Kept my interest. Loved the area of the countryPublished on December 14, 2013 by Don Pfeifer