In the Lake of the Woods

In the Lake of the Woods

Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo Character Analysis

John Wade’s campaign manager. A fat, unattractive man, Tony seems utterly amoral throughout much of the novel, often telling John that he should avoid talking about the issues and focus on his “image.” In spite of his apparent cynicism, Tony has a crush on Kathy, and often tells her that he’d willingly lose weight if it meant that he’d have “a shot” with her. Kathy suggests that Tony isn’t as cynical as he seems, and puts up an appearance of cynicism to disguise his true idealism.

Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo Quotes in In the Lake of the Woods

The In the Lake of the Woods quotes below are all either spoken by Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo or refer to Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Books edition of In the Lake of the Woods published in 1995.
Chapter 2 Quotes

He didn’t talk much. Even his wife I don’t think she knew the first damn thing about him … well, about any of it. The man just kept everything buried.

Related Characters: Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo (speaker), John Herman Wade
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

You know, I think politics and magic were almost the same thing for him. Transformations—that’s part of it—trying to change things. When you think about it, magicians and politicians are basically control freaks.

Related Characters: Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo (speaker), John Herman Wade
Related Symbols: Magic
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 22 Quotes

All you could do, he’d said, was open yourself up like a window and wait for fortune to blow in. And then they’d talked about stuck windows. Tony suggested that she unstick herself. So she’d shrugged and said she had tried it once but the unsticking hadn’t gone well.

Related Characters: Narrator (speaker), Kathleen “Kathy” Terese Wade, Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

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Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo Character Timeline in In the Lake of the Woods

The timeline below shows where the character Anthony “Tony” L. Carbo appears in In the Lake of the Woods. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...Further pieces of evidence include an iron teakettle and a large boat. A man named Anthony L. Carbo is quoted as saying that “he” kept everything buried, and never said much to anyone,... (full context)
Chapter 4: What He Remembered
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...crosswords and John organizes bills. Feeling “electricity in his blood,” John twice tries to call Tony Carbo, but learns from Tony’s secretary that he’s left for the day. John doesn’t leave... (full context)
Chapter 6: Evidence
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
...admits, but it’s “too easy” to say that the war made him who he is. Tony Carbo imagines that magic and politics were one and the same for John. Other sources,... (full context)
Chapter 12: Evidence
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Tony Carbo says that John was a charmer, and Ruth Rasmussen calls him a nice, polite... (full context)
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
...he returned from treatment, he claimed that he was better, but his alcoholism never improved. Tony Carbo suggests that all politicians are insecure performers—they go into public life because they want... (full context)
Chapter 16: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Tony Carbo says that John handled “it” in his own way, but adds that John was... (full context)
Chapter 17: The Nature of Politics
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
In 1976, John announces that he is running for the Minnesota State Senate. He asks Tony Carbo, an overweight, experienced campaign manager, to help him. John assures Tony that he wants... (full context)
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
John is in the state senate for six years. Tony runs his campaigns, which are expensive, slick, and successful. John acquires a reputation for being... (full context)
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Several times, Tony asks John if he’s “clean,” and John responds that he is. Tony also asks about... (full context)
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...Polls put him well ahead of his nearest rival, an old-time politician named Ed Durkee. Tony is confident that they’ll win the election easily. In his speeches, John avoids talking about... (full context)
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
After John announces his candidacy, he, Kathy, and Tony have dinner. Kathy mentions that John’s campaign seems a little “empty.” When she asks Tony... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Tony asks John what issues he’d like to talk about, and John admits that it’s probably... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
While Kathy is in the bathroom, Tony tells John she’s a “yummy specimen,” and points out that Kathy thinks John is “Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 19: What Was Found
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...local paper, which mentions Kathy on the second page, including quotes from the governor and Tony. Next to the article there’s a photograph of Kathy looking very happy. John says, “Oh,... (full context)
Chapter 20: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Tony Carbo says that John repressed his terrible experiences in Vietnam, to the point where John... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Nature of the Spirit
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
...John and Kathy return to their hotel and sit, naked, listening to traffic. Later on, Tony stops by and talks with John and Kathy. He tells Kathy that he loves her... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Tony tells John that he’ll be working for Ed Durkee, the man who defeated John, from... (full context)
Chapter 22: Hypothesis
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...playing the slots in Las Vegas during a campaign visit she made with John and Tony. She enjoys casinos because there is always a jackpot in the near future: in short,... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
...then remembers what else happened during her last visit to Las Vegas with John and Tony. She and Tony sat at a blackjack table, where they played for hours. Around midnight,... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
...to get Kathy to leave the table. Kathy replies that this “doesn’t seem like you.” Tony observes that Kathy has lots of “yous,” but then tells John to forget it; John... (full context)
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
After they cash out, Kathy and Tony sit alone at a bar, drinking. Kathy complains to Tony that John has ruined her... (full context)
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Tony and Kathy continue to talk at the bar. Tony points out that John’s career is... (full context)
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Kathy remembers what else happened the night she and Tony got drinks in Las Vegas. Tony told her that she had to think of luck... (full context)
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
Love and Relationships Theme Icon
Tony and Kathy spent more time gambling, and then went up to their hotel rooms. Tony... (full context)
Chapter 25: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
Evil, Human Nature, and Freedom Theme Icon
Appearance, the Unknowable, and Magic Theme Icon
...It includes invisible ink, a coin trick, and a copy of The Peers Commission Report. Tony Carbo says that John ran out of magic—when the story about his behavior in Vietnam... (full context)
Chapter 30: Evidence
Vietnam, Authorship, Interpretation Theme Icon
War, Memory, and Trauma Theme Icon
...Hudson Bay, in Canada, since they are still in love, just like Ruth and Claude. Tony Carbo suggests that John and Kathy ran away together, since they were both excellent at... (full context)