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Winter's Bone: A Novel | [Daniel Woodrell]

Winter's Bone: A Novel

The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley.
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Publisher's Summary

The sheriff's deputy at the front door brings hard news to Ree Dolly. Her father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.

Ree's father has disappeared before. The Dolly clan has worked the shadowy side of the law for generations, and arrests (and attempts to avoid them) are part of life in Rathlin Valley. With two young brothers depending on her and a mother who's entered a kind of second childhood, 16-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. She has grown up in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks and learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But along the way to a shocking revelation, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.

©2006 Daniel Woodrell (P)2010 Hachette Audio

What the Critics Say

"Like his characters, and especially his teen characters, Woodrell's prose mixes tough and tender so thoroughly yet so delicately that we never taste even a hint of false bravado, on the one hand, or sentimentality, on the other. And Ree is one of those heroines whose courage and vulnerability are both irresistible and completely believable - think of not just Mattie Ross in True Grit but also Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird or even Eliza Naumann in Bee Season. One runs out of superlatives to describe Woodrell's fiction. (Booklist)

“At its best, the novel captures the near-religious criminal mania pervasive in rural communities steeped in drug culture. Woodrell's prose, lyrical as often as dialogic, creates an unwieldy but alluring narrative that allows him to draw moments of unexpected tenderness from predictable scripts.” (Publisher’s Weekly)

“In spare but evocative prose, Woodrell depicts a harsh world in which the responsibilities for survival ultimately give Rees meaning and direction. He depicts the landscape, people, and dialects with stunning realism. A compelling testament to how people survive in the worst of circumstances.” (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (747 )
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4.4 (554 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Megan Muldrow, OK, United States 02-21-11
    Megan Muldrow, OK, United States 02-21-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic country noir"

    This was awesome. The writing is wonderful, and the story is compelling and emotional. I highly recommend listening to this, then seeing the movie, in that order.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela M. Southern California 11-11-14
    Pamela M. Southern California 11-11-14 Member Since 2012

    A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I Want to see the Movie!"

    This was an interesting book and I quite enjoyed it. The story is based on the lives Ozark mountain people. These are people who live by their own codes and backward ways. The writer really captured the people and the setting. All the characters were spot on. The dialect was bit hard at first but I got used to it as the story went on. I am a huge fan of Emma Galvin and I thought her voice was perfect for this story.

    It's a Great book......now I want to watch the movie to see if it's just as good.

    Ps... I wonder if these reviews are worth the time and effort. If my reviews help will you click on the helpful button to let me know. Thanks

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 09-29-13
    D. Knight Nashville, TN USA 09-29-13 Member Since 2012

    romans55

    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
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    36
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    "Sadly Realistic"
    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and it was easy to accomplish on a Saturday morning. PLUS: The narrator was absolutely perfect in every way!


    Any additional comments?

    If you are at all familiar with the setting of this book, you will know that the author's fictional account has very real undertones. The poverty, self-preservation and family loyalties are all too real. This is a short book but is packed with meaty, gritty realities that are sad but true. The author masterfully captured the setting and gut-wrenching reality of a young girl's desperate search for truths that hinge on her very survival. If you've ever traveled the roads in this area, Woodrell's descriptions are spot on! It is a treacherous adventure. I didn't even know this was a movie, but now I'm going to look for it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 12-17-11
    Amazon Customer Atlanta, GA 12-17-11 Member Since 2003

    ShootingFish

    HELPFUL VOTES
    204
    ratings
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    387
    35
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    14
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    "Excellent writing, story and performance !!!"

    This is a story around the age old themes "honor among thieves" and "blood is thicker than water." If you were raised in the south or the mountains you'll find it hard to put down. I highly recommend. If you like the TV series Justified, you'll love this book. The narrator is excellent and I can't wait to hear more from her.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader14 05-18-11
    Reader14 05-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    4
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    "My Favorite Audible Book"

    I've listened to over 50 books from Audible, a wide mix of non-fiction, easy 'page turners', literary fiction and classics, but this is my favorite so far. As others have noted, I feel like it's the combination of the beautiful prose, compelling plot and wonderful reader that makes this one the best. I tend to pick long audiobooks to get the most bang for the buck, but the length of this was perfect. Any longer and I feel like it would have been too draining. It is rough and bleak but, for me at least, ultimately a hopeful testament to spirit. Although I haven't seen the movie, the good reviews did bring this book to my attention and I'm so glad. I'll be looking for other books by Woodrell, and the reader Emma Galvin was fantastic!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Springfield, MO, United States 02-27-11
    Keith Springfield, MO, United States 02-27-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Plus!"

    This book is set in the Ozarks, not in "the snowy mountains of Appalachia" as one reviewer mentioned. The town of West Table is actually West Plains, MO (table/plain -- get it?) where the author, Daniel Woodrell lives. This is my home town and have seen the world he paints so darkly and precisely. My only criticism of this book is that the character of Ree is not as fleshed out as I would like her to be. Other than that, this is a great book by a local author who we will no doubt see more of in the future!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne WEST CHESTER, PA, United States 09-21-14
    anne WEST CHESTER, PA, United States 09-21-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poetic Brutality"

    Daniel Woodrell's tale of teenager struggling to keep the tattered threads of her family from unraveling is brutal, but told with such poetry that I was transfixed to its raw beauty. Emma Galvin's reading was understated, delivering Woodrell's story to our ears like music.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameron 09-19-14
    Cameron 09-19-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"
    What disappointed you about Winter's Bone?

    Not enough story. It was basically just a week in the life of a hillbilly. There was a small amount of a mission that the main character was on, but not enough to make a book out of. I can't fathom how they made a feature-length film out of this book. I would figure it would make a half-hour show at most.


    Has Winter's Bone turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. Just Daniel Woodrell books. I listened to "The Maid's Version" and didn't care much for it, either.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Emma Galvin?

    Maybe Carolyn McCormick. It's hard to say because I'm not a particular fan of most women narrators. I don't mean to come of as sexist...men just usually do a better job of voicing female characters than women do voicing male characters. It doesn't really matter, though. The book was too boring to be interesting regardless of who narrated it.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    That's the problem. This book didn't incite any reaction from me. I just didn't care. I didn't care about the main character. I didn't care about the small amount of conflict that took place. I just didn't care.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David APO, AE, United States 07-11-14
    David APO, AE, United States 07-11-14 Member Since 2010

    Clarkplus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meth in the Woods"

    I saw the movie first then downloaded the book. Wow, the movie was good but the book is so much better. Although I have never been in that part of the US, the same type of family and drug rings can be found in Northern California where I grew up so I can identify with the book. Well written and with strange but credible characters, I would recommend this book to everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wm 02-23-14
    Wm 02-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very strongly written"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a very well written and compelling story of a place and people not much known of or talked about by any modern writers that I am familiar with today. Can't wait to read more by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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