The Tangled Wood – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 / 5 stars)

Reginald, quite frankly, does not have high expectations for most things. A ruthless film critic with his marriage in crisis, he already is dreading his trip to the Poconos with his wife and kid. The entire trip is dry, and his expectations are undoubtedly low for the whole endeavor. In fact, the trip becomes so harrowing and annoying, it might even be a nightmare! And the pain, the anger, and the suffering…might just be what Reginald needs.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure how to feel about this story. The message is clear: a man going through the motions of life, wanting something more, even if it means getting beaten to a pulp. It ends on a terrifying note, where he discovers the body of a man he encountered earlier that day. This very well could be the tipping point to get Reginald to change.

But overall, I found the story cumbersome and boring. Reginald wasn’t likeable at all. While the conclusion of the story might be what gets him to change, something tells me he won’t. Which, honestly, might have been the point of the story. Some people want more, sometimes people die in the process, and they won’t change. 

But we won’t know.

I can’t say that the message is bad, just the execution didn’t work for me. There are much better stories out there with the same message. 

Although, some of it could be due to the length of the story overall. Either way, it wasn’t for me. 

What’s it about?

He went on the road expecting the worst of America, but what if the worst of America was also in him? This is the unsettling story of a man in a midlife crisis and his unexpected awakening, by award-winning writer Emily Raboteau.

Poison-tongued film critic Reginald Wright is known for his creative insults and intolerance for the garbage culture, insufferable rudeness, and thoughtless racism of predictably common people. Now, against his better judgment, and with a marriage in crisis, he’s attempting a getaway in the Poconos that quickly fulfills his every low expectation. In fact, it’s becoming a nightmare. And that’s just what Reginald needs to wake up.

Emily Raboteau’s The Tangled Woods is part of Dark Corners, a collection of seven heart-stopping short stories by bestselling authors who give you so many new reasons to be afraid. Each story can be read in a single sitting. Or, if you have the nerve, you can listen all by yourself in the dark.

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