The Spinning Manby George Harrar
Mild-mannered philosophy professor Evan Birch spends his days teaching college students to seek truth. Then, one afternoon, he's pulled over by the police, handcuffed, and questioned about the disappearance of a local high school cheerleader. When the missing girl's lipstick turns up in his car, the evidence against him begins to build. Even his wife and sons are… See more details below
Mild-mannered philosophy professor Evan Birch spends his days teaching college students to seek truth. Then, one afternoon, he's pulled over by the police, handcuffed, and questioned about the disappearance of a local high school cheerleader. When the missing girl's lipstick turns up in his car, the evidence against him begins to build. Even his wife and sons are having their doubts. And as the investigating officer engages him in a decidedly non-Socratic dialogue, Evan Birch begins to understand that truth may be elusive indeed-but sometimes you have to pick a story and stick with it...
From prize-winning author George Harrar, The Spinning Man offers riveting, whip-smart suspense in a tale in which every word matters-and questions of guilt and innocence are suddenly much more than academic.
- Blue Hen Trade
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.89(d)
Meet the Author
George Harrar is the author of the novel First Tiger, as well as two books for young adults. His short story "The 5:22" won the Carson McCullers Prize from Story magazine and was selected for The Best American Short Stories 1999. He lives with his wife, Linda, a documentary filmmaker.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is a superb novel. As a professor of philosophy, I fully expected this book to be implausible in its philosophical aspects. What a pleasant surprise, therefore, to find that the author shows not only philosophical sophistication but also the ability to make his academic setting realistic and even funny at times. The continual analysis by his protagonist Evan Birch of the other characters' language and thoughts is both clever and integral to Birch's personality. For all its erudition, this book is never boring, difficult, or pedantic -- on the contrary, it is gripping, dramatic, and at times explosive. This is a brilliant work that stands head and shoulders above the normal 'crime' novel. Don't trust the single negative review, but instead look at the others -- all by professional critics who understand the subtlety of this great book.
It's a wonder this book was ever published. I forced myself to finish it, reading two to three pages at a time. It usually put me right to sleep. It certainly didn't keep my interest, going on page after page, but never getting anywhere. The title is appropriate. It could be called 'The Spinning Book'. The book is not worth the $1.80 I paid for it. And think of all those trees!
Professor Evan Birch is the chairman of the Philosophy Department at Pear College, an area of study that has very little student enrollment. He¿s happily married to his wife Ellen who works at the Institute for Private studies. They have identical twin ten-year-old boys Adam and Zed who give them very little trouble. They could be the role model of the idyllic American family until Detective Robert Malloy questions Evan concerning the disappearance of a sixteen year old girl. Joyce Bonner was last seen on August 23 in the information booth at a local party where she worked. An eyewitness reports that a gray car with a license plate starting with EZ was seen there with a man inside. Evan admits he was there, but insisting he was only formulating lessons for his class. The police doubt his statement and they repeatedly question him. Soon his friends, faculty members and family believe where there¿s smoke there¿s fire and question his innocence. Whatever the police finally determine, Evan realizes the stigma will always remain with him because people have long memories of the negative. Taken from the headlines, the protagonist¿s guilt or innocence in the disappearance of the teenager is almost irrelevant because the media, his family and his co-workers have already convicted him whether he is innocent or not. Mindful of the rush to judgment to unfairly hang Richard Jewel a hero at the Atlanta Olympics, and apparently the current Anthrax investigation of Dr. Steven Hatfill, THE SPINNING MAN shows how lives can be ripped apart just by being a suspect in a criminal investigation. Harriet Klausner