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In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien

In the Lake of the Woods (1994)

by Tim O'Brien

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1,945513,507 (3.8)96
Recently added byj_blett, sraelling, ccatalfo, gardnr1, crule627, dlackey, private library, katieray
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    The Colorado Kid (Hard Case Crime) by Stephen King (sturlington)
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    Reading in the Dark by Seamus Deane (Ciruelo)
    Ciruelo: Both novels are told in fragments, setting is critical to the tone of each, and finally both deal with the themes of love, guilt, memory, truth, and murder.

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A dynamite "unsolved mystery" that invites multiple interpretations. I teach this book in Literary Criticism course at Seton Hill U. and we come at it from a different school of criticism each week. Love it. And what a story!
  arnzen | Mar 8, 2015 |
The Lake In The Woods by Tim O'Brien
Story of Wayne and wife Cathy and his attempts to become a state senator are over with. They take a trip to the lake where there is a forest to recoup and reconnect with one another.
Problem is there is a deep chasm between them and one day he wakes up to find his wife gone. He is investigated as the cops not found her and the story goes back in time to when he served in Vietnam.
Horrid scenes unfold. Her sister comes to help search for her and her talks with Wayne reveal the past secrets and also how his wife hated the political campaigns. Magic, illusions, sorcery,
Pat fears Wayne has killed Cathy...as a child his father bullied and teased him due to his weight...
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Feb 23, 2015 |
The author of The Things They Carried is at it again with this book — and he’s at it again with equal acuity, adeptness and aptitude.

Tim O’Brien moves away from the trenches and rice paddies of Vietnam to come home to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (if memory serves…I read this book several months ago), but the trenches and rice paddies of Vietnam won’t move away from Tim O’Brien.

We, of course, are the ongoing beneficiaries of his authorial brilliance. I don’t know that he has another (or even several) book(s) in him whose focal point is not the Vietnam War, but let’s hope for all readers of serious literature that he does. I, for one, wouldn’t like to be deprived of one scintilla from Tim O’Brien’s particular pen.

Brooklyn, NY, USA
( )
  RussellBittner | Dec 12, 2014 |
A fascinating psychological history-mystery with an ambiguous ending. Did the two snakes each each other up until they disappeared? Yes, but how? ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 21, 2014 |
How could I not have read this book sooner? It’s been around since 1994. Maybe you, too, have been missing out on IN THE LAKE OF THE WOODS for 20 years. Read it now.

It’s about a politician and his memories and his need for love. It’s about keeping secrets, the effects of war, a missing wife, and some possible explanations. But it’s the way this story is told that makes this book unputdownable.

I won’t tell you the story. Read it. And read the footnotes. ( )
  techeditor | Sep 14, 2014 |
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With thanks to John Sterling, Larry Cooper, Michael Curtis, Les Ramirez, Carol Anhalt, Lori Galzer, Lynn Nesbit, and my loving familoy. Sam Lawrence, who died in January 1994, was my publisher, advocate, and friend for more than two decades. I will always happily recall his faith in me.
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In September, after the primary, they rented an old yellow cottage in the timber at the edge of Lake of the Woods.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 061870986X, Paperback)

Tim O'Brien has been writing about Vietnam in one way or another ever since he served there as an infantryman in the late 1960s. His earliest work on the subject, If I Die in a Combat Zone, was an intensely personal memoir of his own tour of duty; his books since then have featured many of the same elements of fear, boredom, and moral ambiguity but in a fictional setting. In 1994 O'Brien wrote In the Lake of the Woods, a novel that, while imbued with the troubled spirit of Vietnam, takes place entirely after the war and in the United States. The main character, John Wade, is a man in crisis: after spending years building a successful political career, he finds his future derailed during a bid for the U.S. Senate by revelations about his past as a soldier in Vietnam. The election lost by a landslide, John and his wife, Kathy, retreat to a small cabin on the shores of a Minnesota lake--from which Kathy mysteriously disappears.

Was she murdered? Did she run away? Instead of answering these questions, O'Brien raises even more as he slowly reveals past lives and long-hidden secrets. Included in this third-person narrative are "interviews" with the couple's friends and family as well as footnoted excerpts from a mix of fictionalized newspaper reports on the case and real reports pertaining to historical events--a mélange that lends the novel an eerie sense of verisimilitude. If Kathy's disappearance is at the heart of this work, then John's involvement in a My Lai-type massacre in Vietnam is its core, and O'Brien uses it to demonstrate how wars don't necessarily end when governments say they do. In the Lake of the Woods may not be true, but it feels true--and for Tim O'Brien, that's true enough. --Alix Wilber

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:23 -0400)

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After John and Kathy realize that their marriage has been built on deception, Kathy mysteriously disappears in the Minnesota north woods.

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