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)
I have listened to audiobooks for 10 years at about 15 books per year. I have loved many books but I have never been moved to write a review before. "Winter's Bone" is a remarkable book. It is "The Road" (whose language I loved, which I found too bleak to finish) but with a more human scope that makes the directness and frequent brutality of the story moving rather than depressing. It is written in spare but evocative language that cuts straight through to the essence of the story and its characters. The narrator is perfect for the role. This is an absolute must listen. Do not skip this book. It will stop you in your tracks.
A masterful melding of language that paints vivid, photograph-quality pictures of hardscrabble life in the Ozarks, with narration that conveys the authenticity in every word of tragedy and survival. Although far too short, this is by far among the very best of the many Audible selections I've enjoyed. I look forward to more from this author and narrator!
Author, Narrator, Reader, Listener
Anyone who reads even the first page of Winter's Bone will not deny that Daniel Woodrell can write. This book centered on the milieu, and on the struggle of the main character, Ree, who is one of the toughest heroines I've ever encountered. This book is a tutorial in how to write strong women.
The violence and grittiness of the story fit the subject matter, and the resolution of the book was satisfying. The only thing that kept this book from being five stars was Woodrell's propensity for spinning Ree's internal metaphysical experiences out a little too long, and a little too often. Those moments occasionally worked, but often distanced me from Ree and made me question the veracity of her voice.
Read this book for Ree, Teardrop, and Gail. Read it for a tough heroine and a fascinating milieu that will make you look closer at the world around you. The audio version of this book is excellent, and highly recommended.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
GO TO HELL AND FRY IN YOUR OWN LARD
The author is from West Plains, Mo., a town I used to deliver to twice a week and still go to every now and then. I live in the Queen City of the Ozarks and I deliver to Arkansas once a week. I love my customers in Arkansas, but you almost need a passport to deliver there since it is a third world country.
There is a lot of poverty in the Ozarks and Missouri is the leading Meth lab state. Lots of people live in trailer homes or houses with tar paper siding. Hunting and Fishing is a way of life and if your a man who does not hunt or fish, it is assumed you are gay. I believe this story takes place in Tennessee. It sounds as if they are even poorer there then what I have witnessed in Arkansas and Southeast Missouri. This is a very dark and dreary story. The things people must do to survive may disturb some people, but I believe the book tells it like it is. Ree is one hard, determined and brave hero. You will admire her.
A PICNIC OF WORDS FELL FROM REE'S MOUTH.
The prose is excellent. The story is even shorter then you think, as the descriptive scenery fills lots of the book. It is very good descriptive scenery, if you like that sort of thing. I personally I'm more into the actual story and prefer less flowery set-ups (or snowy).
SHE CHASED HER HEADLIGHTS.
I also believe the story suffers from the lack of a plot. There is a plot, but it is mostly just backdrop for the scenery and a reason for the hillbilly prose. I liked it as a whole, but not enough to give it that fifth star.
If you like this, then you might also want to read Heaven, by V.C. Andrews.
Galviin's voice, at once childish and slightly hoarse, is the perfect one to read this story. Woodrell's descriptions are always shaded with violence and desperation, and this tale of abject poverty in the snowy mountains of Appalachia benefits from all of them. Winter's Bone brings the reader into a the kind of world where you start to understand why hundred-year feuds still exist. The protagonist, a young girl named Ree, is already hardened but not invincible. As she navigates through fights with meth addicts and ignorant backwoods you start to believe she's on the most important mission of her life.
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.
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
I saw the movie and was stunned, it really captures the rural meth reality gripping so much of our country. It's heartbreaking. The book is even better. The movie was 'everywhere america' but the book is totally Ozarks, clannish, primitive and fascinating, the characters give you a glimpse into a community that developed in isolation and defies hope. Well written, perfectly developed, wonderfully narrated.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
The best part of this audio book is the performance.
The story is an incoherent mashup of something like Sally Field saving the farm and Deliverance.
The ending is particularly screwy. It could hold your interest though. It's like a bad movie. You walk through the TV room on your way to putting away laundry and catch just a minute...and you stand there for 5 minutes....then you put the clothes away and watch the rest of it unless distracted by....anything.
You'll get through it but don't expect a Pulitzer sleeper.
I'm glad this book was short because it was B-L-E-A-K. It was well-written and excellently narrated. Because it was succinct, I didn't find the bleakness overpowering. If this had been a long book, I don't think I could have finished it. Definitely worth a listen.
First I saw the movie. A great movie, kept me on the edge of my seat. Talking about oscars, the oscars deserved this movie. But I didn't get everything, didn't understand why things went as they went. So I bought the audiobook. Read by Emma Galvin, it took me some time to get used to her voice, her intonations. Listened to her reading the book, in my car commuting, twice. I got enthralled by it.
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