Warren Spooner was born after a prolonged delivery in a makeshift delivery room in a doctor's office in Milledgeville, Georgia, on the first Saturday of December, 1956. His father died shortly afterward, long before Spooner had even a memory of his face, and was replaced eventually by a once-brilliant young naval officer, Calmer Ottosson, recently court-martialed out of service. This is the story of the lifelong tie between the two men, poles apart, of Spooner's troubled childhood, troubled adolescence, violent and troubled adulthood and Calmer Ottosson's inexhaustible patience, undertaking a life-long struggle to salvage his step-son, a man he will never understand.
Dexter brings Warren Spooner…to life with uncharacteristic expansiveness and tenderness…Spooner has little in common with Dexter's previous work…It's a conversational novel, roving and inclusive, packed with Southern color and Northeastern grit, with rueful reflection and the contretemps of daily life that can't be avoided even on a remote island in the Puget Sound…[Dexter] ended his novel The Paperboy with the words: "There are no intact men." With Spooner, he demonstrates the impulse that keeps writers at their task: the longing to reassemble the whole; to see, however belatedly, who a person was, or could have been.