Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 book 308

Scott Spencer's Man in the Woods
Michael T. dropped this off for me tonight, and I was curious about it, since it's made a bunch of best-of-the-year lists. But then I remembered why I hadn't read it yet--part of the plot hinges on a dog being beaten, and you all know I can't stand stories where bad things happen to animals. For the most part, the characters and story made reading this worthwhile--it's about a fancy carpenter named Paul and his girlfriend Kate, who's written a bestseller about getting sober and finding God, and her somewhat troubled daughter Ruby, and their family and friends and neighbors. And it's about what happens after Paul attacks a man who's beating his dog. I felt almost nervous while reading this book--Spencer does a good job building Paul's tension and fear--but in the end I did think the murder subplot wrapped up in a fairly unbelievable manner and some other plot points weren't really resolved. The atmosphere is pretty stellar though. I guess that works out to a B.

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