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The Outlaw Album: Stories

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,405 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Twelve timeless Ozarkian tales of those on the fringes of society, by a "stunningly original" (Associated Press) American master.

Daniel Woodrell is able to lend uncanny logic to harsh, even criminal behavior in this wrenching collection of stories. Desperation-both material and psychological--motivates his characters. A husband cruelly avenges the killing of his wife's pet
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 5th 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
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The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray PollockWinter's Bone by Daniel WoodrellKnockemstiff by Donald Ray PollockDry Bones in the Valley by Tom BoumanCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
Country Noir
23rd out of 142 books — 148 voters
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern11/22/63 by Stephen KingState of Wonder by Ann PatchettThe Art of Fielding by Chad HarbachThe Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Kirkus Best Books of 2011
56th out of 88 books — 174 voters

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Community Reviews

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the first two stories in this collection are perfect, to my mind. they are both revenge stories, where the revenge is played out in very original ways, which i do not wish to spoil here.

after that, the collection veers from its highs to its lows. many of these stories end right when they are starting to get interesting to me. this is what used to make me so frustrated with short stories as a form: i just want more. for example: florianne is about three pages long. and it is a fine short story,
Yet another thrilling installment of Kemper’s Bouchercon adventures:

I haven’t read a lot of Daniel Woodrell, but Winter’s Bone and Woe to Live On* had impressed me so much that I made a point to attend a panel that he was on along with Megan Abbott and some others regarding crime stories set in isolated or closed communities.

* (Woe to Live On was turned into a pretty good movie by Ang Lee called Ride With the Devil. Parts of that movie were filmed around the small Kansas town I grew up in, and I
I read this because I was taking a road trip through the Missouri Ozarks. When I choose this kind of reading for a trip, I'm looking for a sense of place. This collection has that, and great characters with unique voices too -- characters that, for the most part, don't like outsiders.

I didn't meet any of these characters. Not even when we stopped for lunch on a two-lane blue highway in a rural farming community in Missouri (population 1068, and seemingly declining). The overalled customer waiti
My library tried to trick me into not reading this by listing one of the narrators as the author, but it takes a lot more than that to fool this lady. Just look at that cover – dead trees, fallow fields, ominous clouds, frigid rivers, and a murder of crows. Of course I want to read this book!

Eight of these stories (out of twelve) have already been published in other sources but I hadn’t previously read any of them. These stories feature outlaws yes, but also victims, veterans, the lost, and the
These are stories of the darkness of the heart, in which he writes so well about. He has conjured up a motley crew of characters here, some you will find are brutal and dysfunctional. Immerse yourself in the bleak and black abyss as dark as sin itself. There is also tenderness and loyalty in these stories between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and comrades in arms.
His prose is unique. Characters memorable.

The stories that stood out for me more for their darkness
Woodrell writes poetic prose about the people and the land known as the Ozarks, I've never been but I feel like I know it well enough to keep it off of my travel itinerary.

Twelve short pieces of literature with a distinct noir flavour, featuring harsh, brutal and criminal behaviour, told in a way that attempts to capture the simple beauty of even the most offensive strain of humanity. These stories feature plenty of murder, fear, compassion, loss and misunderstanding. Not for the feint of heart

I know Daniel Woodrell can write -- his pen is his sword and he wields it with deathly and thrilling precision. Nowhere is that on display more than with his novel Winter's Bone which left me breathless and humbled and panting for more. The story of young Ree and her perilous hunt for her missing meth-making father is one of rage and pain and beauty, and knocked me flat I loved it so much. It instantly made it onto my all time favorites list. With this collection of mostly very short stories, Wo
Oct 08, 2011 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: crime/noir fiction with literary flavor
Recommended to Ed by: long time fan of author
This slim volume of a dozen stories should appeal to the fans of literary fiction with a decidedly noirish twist and rural flavor. My favorite was "Nightstand," a tale about two generations of veterans from their different wars who share the same primal, raw feelings. Like in most of the stories, there's physical violence and spilled blood. Mr. Woodrell has a unique, distinctive voice which I believe really shines in the historical short story, "Woe to Live On," about a Confederate bushwhacker w ...more
James Thane
This slim volume is a collection of short stories by the author best known for his novel, Winter's Bone. As in most of Woodrell's work, the people in these stories are rural characters. Most of them are vulnerable and wounded. Some of them are very sympathetic; others are repellant, but they are all virtually unforgettable. Woodrell writes beautifully about the people and the land that he obviously knows and loves. The only problem with this book is that it is not at least three times as long.
One of my complaints (or the biggest complaint) I had while reading Tomato Red was that the story and the characters felt too familiar to me, and I didn't care for that. It's nothing against Woodrell. In fact, I could tell that I would like Woodrell - his writing really is hypnotic in a strangely complex minimalist way. I'm slowly making my way through his writing because I have a feeling reading too much of it at one time, being immersed in the Ozarks life again, could be not such a great thing ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Look at the cover art. What do you see? Barren landscape. Dead grass and dead trees beneath a darkening sky. When you look at the interior landscapes of Woodrell's characters, what will you see? About the same. Storms, bleakness, dead things.

Woodrell is a child of the Ozarks. He writes what he knows, and he writes it well. But after a handful of stories, he starts to sound like One-Note Johnny. He may play it on different instruments, but it's still the same note -- Ozark Dark.

Once you figure
Lise Petrauskas
Woodrell's story-telling is skilled and persuasive. I enjoyed reading these stories that were sometimes like overheard conversations, survivors telling their stories of death, grudge, mental illness and disorientation. Several are of traumatized veterans of wars ranging from the civil war to the current war in Afghanistan. Murder, arson, and reckless stupidity claim lives. Land and water issues, substance abuse, sexual and physical abuse are at the heart of others. What they have in common is th ...more
Okay, so... I never thought I would read a book of short stories about murderers, rapists, thieves, and/or the victims who are seeking revenge on their murderers, rapists, and thieves, let alone ENJOY said book, but I did and... I did. I don't even know, man. I don't even KNOW. Most of it was kind of disturbing, but it was oddly compelling at the same time. There were a few images that I really didn't need stuck in my head forever, but mostly... yeah, I enjoyed it. Weird!
Benoit Lelievre
It's quite stunning how much better Daniel Woodrell gets with every book. In The Outlaw Album he's thinner, leaner and meaner than he ever was. His stories talk about the Ozark Mountains, but resonate of so many universal themes that it speaks to every single one of us. He's right up there with Cormac McCarthy as one of the best language virtuosos that write in English. Truly amazing.
60. THE OUTLAW ALBUM. (2011). Daniel Woodrell. ****.
This is a compilation of twelve short stories – some very short – that previously appeared in various periodicals and anthologies. One of the stories is pulled from his novel, “Woe to Live On.” It doesn’t matter where they came from, it is to our advantage to have them all in one place. Woodrell is an American writer that has few equals in portraying the lives of a class of people who have different moral and ethical standards; people that we
Daniel Woodrell is an author gifted with extraordinary descriptive talents and an imagination so dark and murky I would not want to go wading through too deeply lest I end up a meal for the alligators and snakes that surely flourish in such conditions. It shouldn't be as easy as it is for him to call to life the haunting beauty of the forests and rivers of wild Appalachia while at the same time people it with characters for whom complete and spontaneous violent outbursts are always an acceptable ...more
Deep woods Ozarks hold a people and a morality not readily known to civilization as we know it in the greater world! There's a lawlessness and a psychosis that is such that only the people who live there or were born there are privy to, or dare to venture in amongst.

Daniel Woodrell, famous for the recent movie taken from his award-winning book "Winter's Bone," doesn't hesitate one sentence to shock and horrify the reader with his guts-'n-grit writing about the Ozark characters that populate his
Nicola Mansfield
Withe the completion of this collection of short stories I have now read Woodrell's complete oeuvre. Being such an accomplished author of the short novel, I was looking forward to reading this collection of short stories thinking he would excel at this form as well. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed overall. On the whole, I found the stories to be okay. Of the twelve I thought three were excellent, one I didn't like, leaving the rest simply in the generally "good" category. One thing tha ...more
This is a collection of twelve very gritty stories which are often set in the Ozarks region of Missouri and Arkansas and which feature some characters that you might shy away from in real life, but whose plights are beautifully rendered by Daniel Woodrell. I don't always understand his character's lives, but I am certain that their concerns are being portrayed in an honest fashion. There is plenty of drink, drugs, guns and hardship in these stories. I very much enjoy the way that his sentences a ...more
RB Love
Woodrell is the best writer going. I was so stoked to see this book on the shelf that I bought it at a used bookstore, when it was brand new and I paid full price without hesitation. Not since Thom Jones came and went has there been a more thunderous and subversive voice in the landscape of my readings. Woodrell's use of language reminds me of my grandpa's Mississippi renderings, if my grandpa were willing to come forth with all the darkness southern upbringings dragged through foriegn wars and ...more
This book was brutal. Not necessarily in a bad way, either. I was hooked once I got through the first story, and read half of this slim book in my first sitting. The collection of characters are some of the more terrifying cast members in recent memory. They're largely uneducated, but in no way unintelligent. These Ozark mountain people seem to be the silent, brooding types that have more going on inside than shows on the outside.

Wodrell takes us through several bloody and uncomfortable tales th
Aaron Poorman
There are so few perfect sentences in literature. As a poet I'm reminded of this fact often enough, which is perhaps why I've long thought that brevity is best when making an attempt at perfection. There is something extra special about being able to put weight and impact into a single line of prose ; a line that could stand on its own as poetry, or in song. With Daniel Woodrell's collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album, he shows a rare ability to do this rather frequently. His sentences s ...more
Having enjoyed Winter's Bone and having some further interest in the Ozarks (I was born around there, though we didn't stay long enough for me to remember it), I picked up this slim volume of stories. After two or three, I took an annoyed break - Woodrell seemed like a one-trick pony - good with words, but too reliant on darkness/violence as a force for moving the story forward. As a reader, I am as bloodthirsty as they come - I just hate when an honest, enjoyable bit of the ol' ultraviolence is ...more
Daniel Woodrell became one of my favorite writers when I discovered Winter's Bone, a book that has a place in my top 10 favorite books. His stories are sly, brutally honest, removed from redneck stereotype - firmly rooted in a particular kind of reality. He also writes beautifully. Winter's Bone is a book that made me ache the first time I read and did so again after I finished it and read it all over a second time.

The Outlaw Album is a book of short stories - capsulized moments of revenge, of w
Cheyenne Blue
The Ozark Tourist Board must hate Daniel Woodrell. The stories in this collection are all set in the those mountains, and they don't paint a picture of a happy holiday destination.

Dark, bleak stories of poverty, revenge, death, and desperate characters. Woodrell's style is sparse and cutting, with every word in a sentence precisely placed for perfection. If anything, he underwrites, so the reader sometimes has to work for the meaning, but that doesn't detract from this fine collection.

For me, th
Kevin Farrell
I found Daniel Woodrell in a round about way. I watched a movie on Netflix called Winters Bone. This was a very good, but dark an foreboding movie. The credits said based on the book by Daniel Woodrell. I attempted to reserve the book at the library and found this title sitting on the shelf waiting for me.

The book has 12 short stories. They are mostly about loss and regret and how individuals cope.

Do this-get the book and read the first two stories. It will be worth it just for those two stories
These are disquieting tales from the atmospheric dank and stagnant backwaters of the Ozarks. Peopled with the outcast, the strange, the unconventional, and the downright disturbed characters who live there.
Be warned, some of these tales are as dark as ebony. In ' Woe To Live On ', an innocent man is hanged in front of his family.........." the woman was grieved beyond utterance, the little girl whimpered behind her. The boy walked beneath his fathers dancing boots, then made a move to loosen th
This book is less than 200 pages long and I've had to take four breaks from it since I started it last night. Note: HAD to take. I've never read more brutal stories in my life; murder, war, scalping, car wrecks, rape (including incest), and the little horrors humans inflict on each other without even using weapons. Again set in the Ozarks, where Woodrell is from and still lives, the stories of The Outlaw Album are glimpses into all the darkest corners of human poverty, human destruction, and hum ...more
Let's pretend for a moment that it is possible to cut someone's heart out and squeeze all of the raw emotion out of it like someone squeezes an orange or lemon to get out all the juice. That is what Daniel Woodrell does in this collection of short stories but not only does he squeeze the emotions out of his heart but somehow he reaches through the pages and squeezes the reader's heart as well. I don't really know what I was expecting when I won this book as a firstreads on goodreads. I am not su ...more
I bought this book as result of a goodreads recommendation. I found the writer's style very interesting and it made me want to read more of his full-length books. All of the snapshots are of men and women of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas where there appears to be a large number of worthy subjects. Woodrell was fully able to dramatize a number of dark and disturbed people. I am not certain that "Outlaw" is the best description of these individuals. I think that some of these people surv ...more
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