Customer Reviews for

Man in the Woods: A Novel

Average Rating 3
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Dreadful

    This book was given to me by a friend with a rather qualified review: "I don't know. I think I liked it." Yikes. Well, my review is unqualified: do not waste your time.

    The story started out promisingly, and the writing, initially, was beautiful and evocative, which is why I gave it two rather than one star. But it seemed that the author (who've I've not read before and based on this book, won't read again) got through the confrontation in the woods, and then couldn't figure out how to proceed with the story. Plot points became pointless: Y2K? Really? How outdated! Had the protagonist been a 20th century guy struggling to find his way in the new millenium, this device would have been almost forgivable. But he is drawn as more of a 19th century man, a wannabe Thoreau. In the main, most of the characters are shallowly sketched out and many minor characters are given their own sections and then are never seen again. Did I really need to know anything about the landlord or the woman who was afraid of dogs? They moved the story forward not at all, their presence just underscoring the confusion of ideas and lack of substance in the book. It's almost laughable when one incredibly annoying character appears to spiral into psychosis, but her troubles are dismissed with "oh, she just needs less sugar and fewer additives in her food." WHAT?

    I stuck with the story to the bitter end, hoping that the triteness and banality that plagued it would somehow be redeemed. But no. And as the story wandered off into the ridiculous, the writing went with it, becoming forced and completely undermining the earlier beauty of the prose. If you want to read this story written well, try Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment instead.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 25, 2011

    Mixed Bag from Talented Author

    "Man in the Woods" is extremely well written and interesting for the first 2/3 of the book, only to diminish one's anticipation with a final portion that seems pointless and hopeless. For some perverse reason the author is intent on fixating on his characters' human frailties and not the "higher" qualities they seem to be nurturing in the earlier stages of the book. The reader's desire for redemption and forgiveness in the characters that seems to be a driving force of the plot ultimately dissolves into seemingly random scenes of coincidental disappointment. I could not fathom what point the author was making, if any. Perhaps it was a commentary on the inability of humans to find ultimate meaning in their lives when cruel "fate" stands in the way, but I hardly needed another book about that! I wish I could recommend this book, but unfortunately I came away feeling let down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2011

    Made Me Want To Read It Again, Immediately!

    Didn't quite know what to expect with this book. I had never read anything by Scott Spencer. I read a review of "Man In The Woods" and it piqued my interest enough to buy it. I started it one day, and couldn't really get into it. Then I was on a ten-hour plane ride from Frankfurt to Denver and I settled in and gave it another shot. By the end of the third chapter I was completely hooked. This book is like cocaine. You do a little, and you almost immediately want more. I could not put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Had He Only Stayed In The Woods

    Man in the Woods is a well-written novel that holds your interest on many subjects, raises interesting questions, poses dilemmas, but finally falls apart under its own inability to lead the reader to any meaningful conclusion. The exact moment when the novel declines is when the character Annabelle and her husband Bernard move to the East coast. their presence only detracts from what the author has accomplished to that point. The mystifying behavior of the daughter Ruby also begins about that time, and it is more psychedelic than anything else in the novel, and simply doesn't fit. What I wanted to see was what would happen had the Man in the Woods been left where he was, and how Paul would have lived his life with this secret.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Fascinating and Gripping

    Man in the Woods engulfed me completely, and is definitely on my Top 5 List. I'm reluctant to say Why because part of the book's many pleasures is its twisting, turning story. The mystery here is the mystery of real life, when you wonder if what we do has any meaning and whether things happen for a reason. The writing is very cool and controlled, and the characters are real. I was worried when I realized there was going to be a dog in the story but the dog was actually pretty interesting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 42 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3