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
"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)
The movie tie in may diminish attention to the quality of the prose in this book, which is unfortunate. It is true that some of the metaphors are a strained if not trite but I thought it was worth the missteps to have the author really entertain with the writing as well as the story. Maybe the movie royalties will allow him to take a bit more time with his next.
Yes and it was easy to accomplish on a Saturday morning. PLUS: The narrator was absolutely perfect in every way!
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.
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.
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.
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.
No. Just Daniel Woodrell books. I listened to "The Maid's Version" and didn't care much for it, either.
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.
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.
I didn't get through the entire book. My mind kept drifting. Maybe someone with more focus and less distractions could get through it and enjoy the book. I got this book because I had heard it raved about by some friends. So it must not be all that bad, the audible version was just too hard to listen to attentively.
No idea. No suggestions.
boredom and disappointment. I couldn't listen for long without finding that my mind had drifted elsewhere.
Would love to try again with a different narrator and see if I actually enjoy the story.
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.
Completely immerses you in Ozark poverty for the tale of a girl looking for her meth-cooking father, who put up their house for his bail bond. If he doesn't show, the house will be taken away — and the girl, her two little brothers and mentally disabled mother will be tossed out. If you've seen the movie, the book is pretty much exactly like it, sort of like how the movie "Silence of the Lambs" was a great re-creation of the book. But it's still worth reading for Woodrell's beautiful language. Bechdel test: Passed.
The narration is excellent. Galvin becomes the main character.
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.
Watched the movie one night, was enthralled. Listened to book next day in one sitting to continue the experience and add context. While I enjoyed the book, it doesn't add anything to the movie experience. Actually, if anything this is one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. Don't get me wrong, the book is excellent, but the elements that so captivated me in the movie - the atmosphere, the grey cold skies and washed out cinematography, the bit part characters, the mind blowing acting from the leads - don't come through fully in the text. Still a good listen on its own, but if you need a fix would suggest watching the movie twice rather than listening to the book. Narration perfectly fine.
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