Leah Greenblatt
September 08, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Man in the Woods

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Scott Spencer
publisher
Ecco Press

We gave it an B

In his latest, Man in the Woods, Scott Spencer (Endless Love) revisits Kate, the seething alcoholic of 2003’s National Book Award finalist A Ship Made of Paper. Now a sober, spectacularly successful self-help ? guru and fervent born-again Christian, she has finally found happiness with stoic craftsman Paul — a hard-earned détente soon unraveled by a shattering incident involving the book’s titular, mysterious man. Spencer is a master of description, but he seems uncertain of his own narrative, and there’s a jerky, unsettling rhythm to the dialogue that often unhinges it, ultimately squandering Woods‘ haunting premise. B

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