MixedThe New York Times Book Review\"Hark is split into halves, the first of which is extremely funny ... the story unravels some in Part 2 ... Many of [Hark\'s riffs] are dazzling, but hardly all of them, and Hark is in the book a lot ... [Some riffs can be] Meta, sure. But meta-boring is still boring ... Lipsyte tries to give his characters cleaner moments of salvation before wrapping things up, but this being a Christ allegory tucked inside a satire, it’s safe to say it doesn’t end terribly well for anyone. It’s a shame. Not only because so much of Hark is brilliantly alive, but because everyone in it could use a bit of mercy.\
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Stranger in the Woods started as a 2014 GQ magazine article, and its journey to a petite 200-page book is similar to the one a meatball takes on its way to becoming a meatloaf. There’s something tasty here. There’s also a good deal of filler ... Finkel shrewdly plays the punching bag while Knight alternates between jabs and details ... Only in the epilogue do we learn that author and subject had just nine one-hour prison meetings. It’s the kind of thing readers should know earlier, especially since the poverty of access leads to some bad decisions ... All this seems like obvious padding, but to give Finkel the benefit of the doubt, it may simply be that his affinity for his amazing hermit got the best of him. He does a remarkable job persuading one of the world’s more recalcitrant individuals to open up, but Finkel wants more, and it’s strange that he doesn’t recognize Knight’s limitations.