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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved it!

What made the experience of listening to Winter's Bone the most enjoyable?

The Narrator's voice FIT, and fit well with the backwoods Ebonics....placed you there, sitting in the house by the pot belly...

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Vicki
  • SILVER SPRING, MD, United States
  • 12-26-11

couldn't stop listening

What did you love best about Winter's Bone?

the author makes you feel like you are right there in the scene witnessing all the sights, senses and emotions of each character.

What did you like best about this story?

no matter how bad things looked, you had faith that things were going to be ok

Have you listened to any of Emma Galvin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no, but it was a good reading

Who was the most memorable character of Winter's Bone and why?

the main character - so mature and street-wise but still young and innocent and determined to make a home and

Any additional comments?

have family in Appalachian country - this story sheds light on a life deep in the hills and hollows that most people never see or hear about. it's simple, sad, heart breaking and sometimes beautiful and redeeming.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ed
  • Wildwood, MO, United States
  • 12-09-11

Well Written and Well Read

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were developed well by the author and narrator. The plot was interesting, with plenty of twists and turns to keep my interest. Living in Missouri, the setting in the Ozarks made the story even more interesting. My only disappointment was that it ended too quickly. the story line was rich enough that the book could have been developed with a much more powerful conclusion.

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  • Susan
  • Columbia, SC, United States
  • 11-29-11

Mesmerizing Writing and Story

This was my first time listening to Daniel Woodrell and I was blown away by this book. His writing is like none other - you can almost taste his words they are so vivid. It is not an easy story to listen to but if you give it a chance you will not be dissapointed.

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  • Jodi
  • Meriden, CT, United States
  • 11-25-11

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.

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  • Performance
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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.

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  • 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.

  • Overall

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.

  • 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!

  • 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.