Jeff Giles
January 04, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

Wild Abandon

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Joe Dunthorne
publisher
Random House
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Dunthorne’s ? novel — about the implosion of a British commune — doesn’t break much news about human nature. It turns out people ? are wounded and self-loathing even if they kill their own goats and live in a ­geodesic dome. But Wild Abandon is richly plotted and peopled: The commune’s philosopher-king, Don, is such a recognizably real blowhard that you can’t look away. (The hellacious parenting in the novel has a similar effect.) As Wild Abandon builds, you know full well that the compost is gonna hit the fan. Still, Dunthorne does an artful job of making it fly. B+

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