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In the Lake of the Woods: A Novel by [Tim O'Brien]
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In the Lake of the Woods: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 857 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

TIM O’BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award for Going After Cacciato. Among his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize. He was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in 2013.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

O'Brien proves to be the Oliver Stone of literature, reiterating the same Vietnam stories endlessly without adding any insight. Politician John Wade has just lost an election, and he and his wife, Kathy, have retired to a lakeside cabin to plan their future when she suddenly disappears. O'Brien manages to stretch out this simple premise by sticking in chapters consisting of quotes from various sources (both actual and fictional) that relate to John and Kathy. An unnamed author--an irritating device that recalls the better-handled but still imperfect ``Tim O'Brien'' narrator of The Things They Carried (1990)--also includes lengthy footnotes about his own experiences in Vietnam. While the sections covering John in the third person are dry, these first-person footnotes are unbearable. O'Brien uses a coy tone (it's as though he's constantly whispering ``Ooooh, spooky!''), but there is no suspense: The reader is acquainted with Kathy for only a few pages before her disappearance, so it's impossible to work up any interest in her fate. The same could be said of John, even though he is the focus of the book. Flashbacks and quotes reveal that John was present at the infamous Thuan Yen massacre (for those too thick-headed to understand the connection to My Lai, O'Brien includes numerous real-life references). The symbolism here is beyond cloying. As a child John liked to perform magic tricks, and he was subsequently nicknamed ``Sorcerer'' by his fellow soldiers--he could make things disappear, get it? John has been troubled for some time. He used to spy on Kathy when they were in college, and his father's habit of calling the chubby boy ``Jiggling John'' apparently wounded him. All of this is awkwardly uncovered through a pretentious structure that cannot disguise the fact that there is no story here. Sinks like a stone. (First printing of 75,000; first serial to the Atlantic Monthly and Esquire; author tour) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00860Z1BY
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books; 1st edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 1, 2006
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1711 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 322 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 857 ratings

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TIM O'BRIEN received the 1979 National Book Award in fiction for Going After Cacciato. His other works include the acclaimed novels The Things They Carried and July, July. In the Lake of the Woods received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named the best novel of 1994 by Time. O'Brien lives in Austin, Texas.

Customer reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5
857 global ratings

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