Jen's Reviews > Man in the Woods

Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer
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's review
Aug 01, 2011

really liked it
Read from August 01 to 08, 2011

Man in the Woods gripped me from page one, when a man on the lam realizes he has underestimated the kindness of women - he uses them and even steals one of their dogs. This comes into play later when our protagonist Paul sees him beating the dog, and a good man commits a horrible act of violence. What follows is a terrific psychological study of what happens after something like that, and how it affects your relationships and psyche. It's never heavy handed, and there's a lot of seemingly effortless writing that really casts a spell. Dog lovers will get the added bonus of his insights into the nature of dogs.

"...his pale green eyes wet and unfocused, like olives at the bottom of a martini glass."

"A Christmas tree, weeping tinsel, stands in the corner."

"Women have told him that among female friends all sorts of sexual confidences are exchanged, but in Paul's experience this is not the case with men. Men protect the details of their intimate lives like poker players holding their cards close, and for very similar reasons, too - they either want to give the impression of holding aces or they want to be able to quietly fold without showing their hand."

"She's safe! The magician who orders our fate, after showing the card signifying catastrophe, has placed it back into the deck, and the slow shuffle of unseen cards has begun again."
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