Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: Man in the Woods

So, let's say you killed someone.  And you did not mean to.

And let's say you are a good person and the person you killed was not. And what prompted the action that resulted in the killing was that the victim was doing something incontrovertibly reprehensible.

And let's say that you are involved with someone who is as kind and loving to you as you are to your lover.  And let's say because of nothing other than hard work and a good heart your partner has come into some big money.

And finally let's say you are likely never to get caught for killing the bad guy.

Are you out of the woods or in the woods?

This is an excellent book.  Very well written.  The characters--even the peripheral ones--are multidimensional and the subplots well developed.  The story is suspenseful and engaging on the plot level--that is--"what will they do" "will they give themselves up." "will they get caught."  Beyond the story line there are messages aplenty.  Are you ever out of the woods if you have, even inadvertently, killed someone?  Is God on your side (there is a well done, religious theme that is part of the novel) if you have killed someone who had it coming?  Is there anything more predictable than how seemingly insignificant events can have dramatic effects?  Is anything, anything at all, insignificant?

Had the day-off yesterday and was on a long plane ride the day before, so I read the book in a concentrated period of time.  It is going to hang around a while.  Powerful ending. I never heard of the author but I know now--thanks to Google--that he has written books that are supposedly better than this one and I look forward to reading them.

Worked at a camp once where my co-counselor was in charge of the pioneering program.  He was a character--cartoonish actually.  He was forever telling the campers, "In da woods dere aint no luxuries"
We would kid him and the refrain became a standard joke.  "In da woods dere aint no luxuries."  Not a joke here. Despite an abundance of apparent pluses--wonderful spouse, beautiful home, plenty of money--there are not going to be any luxuries for those with a conscience when we have done something so wrong and are, ineluctably, in the woods.

Highly recommended.

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