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Winter's Bone
 
by
Daniel Woodrell
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Winter's Bone

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  15,280 ratings  ·  2,393 reviews
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) a ...more
ebook
Published 2007 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2006)
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Sue I learned that the movie was based on a book and I tracked down a copy. I liked the movie but I loved the book so much better. The story was slightly…moreI learned that the movie was based on a book and I tracked down a copy. I liked the movie but I loved the book so much better. The story was slightly different...two brothers instead of a little sister and a brother. But I was drawn into the vivid descriptions of the winter landscape and in-your-face moral code necessary to survive in this "Hatfield and McCoy" type environment...paraphrasing one of the characters....there's just two ways to get yourself kilt; snitching and stealing. Wonderful book. Recommend highly if you liked the movie!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
yes.

this is pretty much why i read, to find a book like this amongst all the three-star so-so's. and it wasn't love at first sight (which might make the experience even better; i didn't love winesberg, ohio right out of the gate either) - i had some reservations from the first page, when the poetic quality of the language seemed forced and i wasn't going to deal with 200 pages of:
"three halt haggard houses formed a kneeling rank on the far creekside...", or "Ree, brunette and sixteen, with milk
...more
Nataliya
Reading this book made me realize how FRIGGIN' SHELTERED my life has been. To me, Winter's Bone reads just like a nightmarish dystopia. To millions of people, apparently, it's life.



Ree Dolly is incredibly tough and hardened by life - much more than you'd expect from a sixteen-year-old girl.
"She could be beat with a garden rake and never cry and had proved that twice before Mamaw saw an unsmiling angel pointing from the treetops at dusk and quit the bottle. She would never cry where her tears
...more
Nancy
Posted at Shelf Inflicted

This short novel has many things I enjoy in dark fiction – quirky, dysfunctional characters, a determined heroine struggling to survive and keep her family together, a bleak setting, a sense of hopelessness, people who pay the price for their bad choices. This is a quiet story that crept up on me slowly and haunted me for days afterward.

Actually, it terrified me and made me glad I grew up in New York City. Sure, there were shootings, muggings, carjackings, and stabbing
...more
Jason
It’s funny how my brain works. So this novel is about a strong teenage girl living in conditions of depressing destitution without a father, caring for her sibling(s) and her invalid mother, cooking for them, bathing them, getting them ready for school, and generally assuming a responsibility that far exceeds her years—she even hunts squirrel! Any of this sound familiar? Maybe I’m not the only one who was reminded of Katniss Everdeen, but what’s interesting is that both Everdeen and Ree Dolly, t ...more
Kemper
I grew up in a rural area with no shortage of poor rednecks so I thought I knew about country poverty, but the people I knew with their decayed farm houses and trailers lived like Donald Trump compared to the backwoods clan of hill folk in this book.

Ree Dolly is a 16-year old girl who dropped out of high school to take care of her crazy mother and two younger brothers. She lives in a remote part of the Ozarks where the only job opportunities are in crystal meth production. Ree plans on joining t
...more
Dan Schwent
Ree Dolly's father has jumped bail, leaving their home forfeit unless Ree can find him before his court date. Will she be able to find her father before she ends up homeless with her two brothers and insane mother?

First off, I have a confession to make. I live in rural Missouri and, therefore, some of the locations depicted in the story seem a lot like places I've driven through at a high rate of speed. Also, I've eaten squirrel on at least two occasions. Now, on to the meat of the review.

Winter
...more
B0nnie

description

Beautifully written, this is a simple story about survival, winter and bones. The main thing to survive is poverty - the kind where buttonless overcoats are de rigueur, and hunting and skinning squirrels is not done strictly for entertainment. It's in the Ozarks and winter is bone-cracking cold. We open the book to a hint of flurries, and venison hanging in trees to "sweeten that meat to the bone", and we meet Ree Dolly, our tough teen heroine.

The title "Winter's Bone" for me summoned a cold, t
...more
D. Pow
Man, O Man, can this guy write. This is a very impressive novel. Here is language that soars, home-spun lyricisms, trailer-trash poetry, a book chock-full of crackhead sonnet riffs; Woodrell is a virtuoso of the first degree.

In Ree Dolly, the teenage protagonist he has conjured up, he has invented somebody you'll remember gladly until your dying days. Fiercely courageous with a keen eye for the moral effrontery foisted on her small shoulders by kin close and distant, she is feisty as a stirred-
...more
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Well, I'm an idiot (pretend this is news, please). I dismissed this book out of hand for years because I had a bunch of weird assumptions about it, none of which were based in anything even resembling reality, or the very encouraging reviews of it I actually did read several years ago. Even despite being told otherwise on multiple occasions, I sorta-thought 1) it was a Young Adult novel, 2) full of cheap emotional ploys, 3) like maybe a teen version of The Lovely Bones only because there's also ...more
Mike
Winter's Bone: Daniel Woodrell's Tale of When Blood is thicker than water

When I was a boy we had no Interstates. The car was not air-conditioned. A trip from Tuscaloosa to North Alabama was a twisting, turning drive through mountains and steep valleys as you drove into the northern part of the County. We traveled early to avoid the afternoon heat. The mists rose up from the valleys making the mountains look as though they grew out of clouds. My grandfather would comment on the smell of the worki
...more
RandomAnthony
Ok, I read Winter's Bone on D and Karen's recommendations, so I’m posting links to their reviews before I start:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

and

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Winter’s Bone is a hell of a book in that A) the novel is fantastic, and B) it's set in an American version of hell. The story of Ree, a teenage girl charged with finding her bail-jumping father in order to save her family’s house, catches fire early and never cools down. Ree lives in a terrifying sectio
...more
TK421
A few authors over the course of the past few years have recently stood out above the normal, literary crowd—for me, anyways. And the thing I noticed about these authors is that they all seem to write darker fiction. If I had to say, a good representation of these authors is: Roberto Bolano, Cormac McCarthy, Castle Freeman, Jr., and now, Daniel Woodrell.

These authors make up a class of writers that I have termed Brutal Poets. Their use of language invokes a visceral response from the reader, so
...more
Anthony Vacca
For the most part, I am perfectly content to read books littered with despicable exemplars of our wonderful species. Give me your moral degenerates, your psychopathic wives, your misogynistic husbands, your bloodthirsty children, your lechers, repeat killers, serial adulterers, conmen, thieves, necrophiliacs, Christians—give me every last bit of your human refuge because I will gladly read about them over honest, good, hardworking men and women any day of the week. Why? Because good people are b ...more
Trudi
I've put off writing a review for this book because I always struggle with the great ones and Woodrell's Winter's Bone is one of those (with a capital G). It's craft and heart and drama and beauty. It's poetry and grit, entangled in an embrace of love and hatred.

Woodrell offers up a stinging portrait of impoverished life in the Ozarks, where kin saves as often as it condemns. The hill people of Ree's world live by their own laws separate from that of the state -- of paramount importance, don't
...more
Terry
3 – 3.5 stars

I think I may have come to this book with excessive expectations given the consistently high ratings and voluminous praise in GR friends’ reviews. That’s not to say that this was a bad book, or that I didn’t enjoy it, but for me this book didn’t hit the sweet spot that it seemed to reach for most others.

Ree Dolly is a tough-as-nails adolescent living a hand-to-mouth existence in perhaps the worst possible conditions in the backwoods of the Ozarks, forced to care for her two younger
...more
Kim


Today my therapist and I had an hour-long discussion about Self Talk.

Now, most of you born before 1980 will most likely think of this when I say Self Talk. That’s fine. That’s where I went too. You see, I’m in this stage that I call ‘the flattening’—not sure if that’s a clinical term or not but yeah, I’m also calling it ‘blah’ or ‘ennui’ or ‘fuck this, I need a nap.’ Nothing excites nor upsets me. Nothing is beautiful nor is it fugly. Everything is just… there.

Thus, I began Winter’s Bone. I re
...more
K
I don't know -- is it me? People seemed to really like this book, according to goodreads and Amazon reviews, but I just couldn't get into it. It seemed like your typical Oprah book; I felt like I was reading "Cold Mountain," "Peace Like a River," and several others blurred into one indistinguishable mass. Everyone raved about the heroine, Ree Dolly, who felt like a cliche to me and a pretty one-dimensional one at that -- young, tough, heroic hick-town girl, like Renee Zellweger's character in "C ...more
Jason
On Sunday I flew from Salt Lake to Memphis, and looked down on the country of Winter's Bone--northern Arkansas. There are a few places in this country, thank God, that scare me more than inner cities like Detroit, East LA, Harlem, and the south side of Chicago. Those are the parts of the country down to which federal money never seems to trickle, swamps of Louisiana, East Kentucky, most of West Virginia, and, yes, northern Arkansas. Why are these places scarier than ghettos? Because they're expa ...more
James Thane
Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly lives for the day when she will be old enough to join the Army and escape the grinding economic and intellectual poverty of her life in the Missouri Ozarks where her extended family lives by a variety of illegal pursuits, mostly involving the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamines and crank cocaine. But Ree's dreams are shattered when her father, a celebrated meth chef, disappears, leaving Ree nearly penniless and responsible for her two younger brothers and ...more
Madeline
It seems like a lot of people on Goodreads have been reviewing this book or marking it as "to-read" lately - probably due to the movie version being released a few months ago. Since I love a good bandwagon as much as the next girl, I put this book on hold at the library (obviously some Goodreaders patronize my local library) and waited for my chance to read it.

First, it's a short book - 193 pages - and I was able to finish it in about a day. But this story is light reading only in a purely lite
...more
David
“Ree Dolly stood at the break of day on her cold front steps and smelled coming flurries and saw meat. Meat hung from trees across the creek. Carcasses hung pale of flesh with fatty gleam from low limbs of saplings in the side yards. Three halt haggard houses formed a kneeling rank on the far creekside and each had two or more skinned torsos dangling by rope from sagged limbs, venison left to the weather for two nights and three days so the early blossoming of decay might round the flavor, sweet
...more
Robert
Feb 20, 2014 Robert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robert by: Kemper
Kemper might just be the best redneck I know, and I mean that in the most endearing way possible. If I ever need to know about the best lawn ornaments, or how to best utilize my Cool Whip salad bowls, or what to do if I get more than a few IQ points deducted on account of my accent, or if I need to know what to do with the dead body in my backyard, I’d probably try to get in touch with him. And if I ever decide to start a crystal meth operation in my garage, I plan on getting in touch with Danie ...more
Kathryn
I hate it when I hear people say their life 'sucks', or their life is 'horrible.' If they want to see a life which sucks, and is truly horrible, they should step into Ree Dolly's life for a day. I bet they wouldn't last until noon...And just because the sun goes down, doesn't mean the day is over. Sometimes, it's just getting started.

For me, what makes Winter's Bone so heartbreaking is, there are real people who live like this. This is one novel I don't think which was exaggerated for the effect
...more
Maciek
Daniel Woodrell has gathered much praise from my fellow Goodreaders and the whole community, along with professional reviewers who compared his novels to the work of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. Winter's Bone is his most famous novel which also has been turned into a succesful motion picture.

Woodrell coined the term "country noir" to describe one of his novels, and it fits Winter's Bone perfectly as well. Ree Dolly is just sixteen and lives in the isolated backwoods of the Missouri Oza
...more
Lobstergirl
Feb 05, 2011 Lobstergirl rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: trilobites
Shelves: fiction, to-be-burned
Horrendous, goopy, writers' workshop writing.

"Moons of ache glowed in spaces of her meat and when she moved the moons banged together and stunned." (Are sentences required to make sense in "contemporary fiction?")

"Moans droned from her chest of bones. Shit leaked from her panties and she felt runnels of yuck on her thighs." Channeling Dr. Seuss and Cormac McCarthy simultaneously: ambitious!

"She thrust her head into the cold and broadcast the hot mush of old swallowed food toward the snowbanks."
...more
Lou
Video interviews and trailers @ my webpage http://more2read.com/review/winters-bone-by-daniel-woodrell/

A teenage girl whose surrounded by people getting by surviving on the ways they know how. Some honesty others through criminal activity. They know each other, different clans that operate in the same circles of business. Her father has slipped up and a bondsman pays a visit with threats of seizing their land if he does not present himself. But he has erred in a more deadly slip, he snitched and
...more
Reynje
4.5 stars
“The heart's in it then, spinning dreams, and torment is on the way. The heart makes dreams seem like ideas.”
Being familiar with the film adaptation of Winter’s Bone, I had a hunch that I was going to like Daniel Woodrell’s novel, particularly if it turned out that the characters I’d found so compelling on screen were a faithful rendering of their written counterparts. Had I known that I would love Daniel Woodrell’s writing so much, I think I might have sought it out sooner.

This is a
...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly is barely holding her family together. She has two little brothers, a mother whose mind is gone, and a missing father. Her father has apparently jumped bail and disappeared. Ree has to find him, dead or alive. If she doesn't, the family will be homeless.

Ree's search for her dad among the hills and woods and caves of the Ozarks drives the story. It involves a mostly unsavory bunch of characters. These are woman-beatin', 'shine-suckin', crank-cookin', doobie-tokin', squ
...more
Tony
On the heels of finishing two Big'uns (Faustus and Maqroll), it was nice in its own way to polish off a book in a day.

Winter's Bone is plot-driven, even if the plot is a tad contrived. You have to swallow that this section of the Ozarks, where events unfold, is lawless, governed by its own mores, devolved from close family marrying such that purt near everyone is a Dolly. Since I was reared not too far from that mountain range I can tell you it's only a tad contrived. Woodrell got the dialect ri
...more
Myfanwy
One thing I can promise you for sure, is that you will not soon forget Ree Dolly, the tough as nails heroine of Daniel Woodrell's brilliant new novel, Winter's Bone. This book is almost unbearably good; the language alone would almost carry the book for me, but then there's a riveting plot, and fascinating cast of characters as well. In short, this book has got it all.

Ree Dolly's father is not only the best crank cooker in their neck of the woods, he is also missing, leaving Ree behind to take
...more
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Growing up in Missouri, seventy miles downriver from Hannibal, Mark Twain was handed to me early on, first or second grade, and captivated me for years, and forever, I reckon. Robert Louis Stevenson had his seasons with me just before my teens and I love him yet. There are too many others to mention, I suppose, but feel compelled to bring up Hemingway, James Agee, Flannery O'Connor, John McGahern, ...more
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