×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Men in Black
     

Men in Black

by Scott Spencer
 

See All Formats & Editions

A man struggles to mend his fractured family in the wake of his sudden success as a bestselling author in this masterful novel from Scott Spencer

Sam Holland is a pen-for-hire, with nonfiction titles such as Traveling with Your Pet and An Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Pro Football to his name—or rather his pseudonym, John

Overview

A man struggles to mend his fractured family in the wake of his sudden success as a bestselling author in this masterful novel from Scott Spencer

Sam Holland is a pen-for-hire, with nonfiction titles such as Traveling with Your Pet and An Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Pro Football to his name—or rather his pseudonym, John Retcliffe. But when his latest project, Visitors from Above, takes off, Sam is ill-equipped to handle this sudden fame: His marriage is in trouble and, as a result, his teenage son runs away. As he tours the country in support of his book, he must endeavor to put back the pieces of his broken life.

 At turns funny and moving, Men in Black is Spencer’s insightful take on the pitfalls of fame, and a poignant story of familial love. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Scott Spencer, including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Family politics, marital discord, personal integrity, extraterrestrials, the publishing game and the vagaries of the American public find wise and witty treatment in this perceptive, highly readable novel from the author of Endless Love and Waking the Dead. Novelist Sam Holland has moved with his wife and two children to tiny Leyden, N.J., because his writing-despite favorable notices-can no longer pay the rent in Manhattan. To make ends meet, Sam has taken to penning pseudonymous volumes of popular nonfiction-"An Intelligent Woman's Guide to Pro Football," "Crystal Death" (about the hazards of table salt) and, most recently, "Visitors from Above," a UFO primer. Now, as his family fabric is seriously fraying (he's at constant battle with his wife, and his adolescent son runs away from home and into serious trouble), and as he is just beginning to realize how he has failed them and others, his UFO book is about to make him rich. Wrenching ironies abound, along with some keen insights into the subtleties of husband-wife and parent-child relationships. There are some awkward shifts between first- and third-person narration, but Spencer's prose is engaging, his characters are etched with tender intensity and the story proves compelling and hard to forget. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Sam Holland's life is mired in failure. Constantly aware of his inadequacies as a son, husband, father, and writer, he is made even more uneasy by a quirky success. His book on UFOs, written for quick money, suddenly propels him onto the best-sellers lists. Ironically, the status he has longed for is now an embarrassment. As he is pulled into a semicelebrity world of book tours and publicity, his family comes apart. His runaway son winds up cavorting with petty criminals, his wife suffers from her own estrangements, and his former lover is pregnant. There is a good story buried beneath the jumbled emotions here, but it never quite surfaces. Spencer's previous novels include Secret Anniversaries (LJ 5/1/90). For larger collections.-Jan Blodgett, Davidson Coll., N.C.
Lisa Orzepowski
The new novel by the well-known author of Endless Love tells a curiously familiar tale about a once-not-so-famous author whose latest literary endeavor changes his life. Sam Holland is a writer, a family man, and someone on the verge of a total, self-afflicted catastrophe. Sam is proud to write reputable fiction. He even moves from his beloved New York City to the country to support his family on a meager, on-and-off-again salary. Much to his chagrin, Sam drums up a trashy, sf novel--using a pseudonym to save face--that surprisingly skyrockets to success. Sam is embarrassed. To add to the pain, his son Michael is missing after a therapy session, affairs occur and resurrect, and a promotional tour leads Sam, or rather "John Retcliffe," to a quasi-nervous breakdown. Sam can no longer stomach the discussions of men in black, UFO sightings, and people around the country extrapolating theories from his fake book, "Visitors from Above". As a result, he takes an unauthorized hiatus from the tour to get back in touch with family matters. The real-life characters and writing style in this entertaining new book will surely appeal to many readers, whether they are newcomers or old fans of Spencer's.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781453205327
Publisher:
Open Road Media
Publication date:
11/23/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
338
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Scott Spencer (b. 1945) is the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of ten novels, including Endless Love and A Ship Made of Paper, both of which have been nominated for the National Book Award. Two of his books, Endless Love and Waking the Dead, have been adapted into films. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, and Williams College and is a regular contributor to Rolling Stone. Spencer lives in upstate New York.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Rhinebeck, New York
Date of Birth:
September 1, 1945
Place of Birth:
Washington, D.C.
Education:
B. A., University of Wisconsin, 1969

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews