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Book Review: 'The Wooden Sea'

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The Wooden Sea

Current Status:
In Season
Jonathan Carroll

We gave it a B+

Imagine Raymond Carver putting pen to paper after a generous hit of LSD and you’re close to imagining the tenor of Carroll’s fantastical novels, which manage at once to be poignant, wise, and wildly weird. In The Wooden Sea, a small-town police chief is enjoying a simple life in upstate New York when a three-legged, one-eyed dog walks into his office and drops dead; soon the cop is off on an adventure that involves hanging out with aliens at a Grand Union, listening to a Rottweiler sing Aretha Franklin’s ”Respect,” and befriending himself at age 17. Part time-travel fantasy, part rumination on God and fate, Sea thrives on Carroll’s carefully calibrated cynicism, utterly engaging characters, and serious sense of fun. B+