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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 (750 )
5 star
 (330)
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4.4 (557 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jodi Meriden, CT, United States 11-25-11
    Jodi Meriden, CT, United States 11-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    33
    5
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    Story
    "a good listen"

    I don't know if this book lives up to the high praise, but it was a good story, an easy listen, and an excellent performance. Well worth a monthly credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Donohue Windham, CT United States 11-22-11
    Kevin Donohue Windham, CT United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good listen about a very different place"

    Great reader makes this Ozark story come alive. The language is wonderful. Reminded me of True Grit -- another great listen. It is a shorter story that moves quickly through these back woods with strong characters that draw you into the cold, poverty and violence of the region. Well worth the time. By the way, way better than the anemic movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lou 10-22-11
    Lou 10-22-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A woman's story"

    A bit of a tear-jerker, but brings the traditional deep Appalachian culture with its patriarchy and violence to the reader's awareness. The story moves along at a good clip, although at times it seems overdone to make a point. The length is just right for a short plane ride, and the narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robyn United States 06-01-11
    Robyn United States 06-01-11

    Houston, Texas

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    "Well done, but grim."

    Certainly superbly narrated, but grim and grisly. No comic relief or anything to warm the cockles of your heart - but you do root for the main character, who is beset by almost every sort of bad luck and misfortune that any person ever dealt with. But she is gritty, gutsy and determined, and she does prevail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JLC Fairfax, VA, United States 05-27-11
    JLC Fairfax, VA, United States 05-27-11 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
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    Overall
    "Brilliant!"

    I saw the film first, which was wonderful, but listening to Daniel Woodrell's incandescent prose was a transporting experience I will never forget. The raw ugliness of a resourceful young woman's poor backwoods life becomes a breathtaking, heart-stopping narrative in the hands of this talented author. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela 05-16-11
    Pamela 05-16-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
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    70
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    Overall
    "Winter's Bone"

    A spare harsh novel about a spare, harsh life. I had seen the move and almost didn't get the book.The Movie follows the book very closely.
    It was worthwhile though, because one place the book takes you that the movie doesn't is into Ree's head. In the book you find out where her mind goes when life keeps piling it on. It's an amazing glimpse into a very insular, hardscrabble life for people whose options are so limited that they have been living under the radar for generations, defined by a very strict code of working out their conflicts outside the law.
    I was very glad I read the book even though I'd seen the movie. Emma Galvin has a good feel for the characters but the dialogue seems less colloquial in her narration than it should be, although I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Syracuse, NY, United States 05-13-11
    Wendy Syracuse, NY, United States 05-13-11
    ratings
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    67
    2
    Overall
    "Wonderful narrator"

    A sad tale but but so good. Emma Galvin's reading was perfect for this story. I could visualize myself right in the Ozark's. Worth your credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Edmondson 04-27-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb. One of the best audiobooks."

    This masterwork encapsulates the potential of mystery to reveal something fundamental about ourselves and the world we inhabit. Compelling narrative by a skilled voice that captures the characters and settings. If you read one audiobook make it this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 04-19-11
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 04-19-11 Member Since 2015

    I Like scifi-fantasy,non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight Archive, GoT, Ken Follett's work. Last read: Words of Radiance

    HELPFUL VOTES
    151
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    "A good survival story"

    Its a relatively short book. The characters didn't get much time to develop other than the protagonist. Narration was spot on with the accent. The poverty depicted in the book is hard to believe for a country like United States. It could have been more satisfying if the author had extended for a few more chapters and finished with the lead characters' ambitions. Overall a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-28-11
    Paul Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-28-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    Overall
    "Good to senses"

    Kind of just OK. Not enough plot development for me. Wanted more twists. Plus, a little more historical background would have helped. Why is this are so backward? Why are they so clan-ish? Seemed to be more about atmospherics. About a third of the words seem to be adjectives and adverbs. Plus, he uses some weird devices that are cool at first but get annoying after awhile. He does things like drop articles: Instead of "snow felt to the ground" it's "snow felt to ground". OK, we get it. It's snowing and it falls on the ground.

    But I will say the narrator is really excellent and brings the dialect alive. Really nice job. So it's worth it from that standpoint. I mean "the words fell strong upon ears and I left, head busing." Get ready for loads of that sort of stuff.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
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