RandomAnthony's Reviews > Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
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Jun 13, 10


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 section of the Ozarks that takes on the character of a mythical underworld with its own set of unwritten codes and rules, of which the two most important are “don’t snitch” and “don’t steal”. This book made me want to never drive through the Ozarks again. Seriously. What if your car broke down? The characters in Winter’s Bone made the guys from Deliverance look like pussies. Ree must traverse this hellish landscape of tenacious loyalties and inbred family ties with the help of her baby-bound former best friend and a mutilated uncle flying on crank. Good luck with that, eh?

By the way, I’m not exaggerating when I describe this book as “mythical”. Three grim, violent sisters reminded me of the fates and furies. Other characters were monstrous sociopaths. Ree’s gripping journey has an epic quality; she’ll cross hell to preserve her brothers’ redemption and reclaim hope and dignity. Woodrell’s brilliant phrasing captures the dread winter in the kind of place where everyone knows each other and there’s no comfortable way to reconcile the idea that you share a country with the natives. He catches details that color in the lines of despair and unspoken unease. Ree’s resolve is all the more paradoxically human and superhuman for the surroundings.

This book checks in at less than 200 pages but feels complete and more than satisfying. Goddamn, I loved Winter’s Bone. Now I want to see the movie. I hope they don’t fuck it up. Mr. Woodrell’s sparse, muscular prose deserves all the praise and awards around its neck and a solid movie to match.

(Thanks, D. and Karen!)


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Comments (showing 1-29)




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message 29: by Misha (new)

Misha Winter's bone is why there are a lot of August birthdays in my family. (Sorry, my mind is in the gutter lately)


Michelle Bastard! Sorry. I mean, Hi RA. I went looking for this book and could not find it despite checking four different bookstores. I'm going to have to order it.


RandomAnthony Misha, I thought the same thing, and I was ashamed, but now I'm not, because you thought it too:)

Michelle, I got a copy from my library system...I was surprised no one was in line for it. Maybe I got lucky. Donald said this novel was great, and he and I usually like the same books.


karen yeah, the movie opened today!!! i will go next week, maybe, but the lack of snow in the preview has me puzzled/skeptical...


karen hey! my birthday is in august! yayy for winter's bone!


RandomAnthony Ha...my oldest son's birthday is late July...

You know, I don't know from where "muscular prose" came, but I'm sure I stole it from somewhere:) To me, Elizabeth, the phrase has a "every sentence counts" feel; Woodrell packs significant power and intensity into every paragraph. He doesn't stretch out descriptions for pages but uses a few words/details to convey images and emotions.


message 23: by Kim (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kim This book made me want to never drive through the Ozarks again. Seriously. What if your car broke down? The characters in Winter’s Bone made the guys from Deliverance look like pussies.


Ack! Stop it, Anthony... another couple of states to mark down on my 'never visit' list...

But, I was wiki'ing the Ozarks and their exposed geologic core is called 'Knob Lick Mountain'

Heh.

I'm hanging around teenagers too much. Gotta check to see if the library has this.


message 22: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary This is a great book. I read it on my own, then reread it for bookclub. The author lives near West Plains, Missouri,and I've actually met the man. His other books , are out of print, but I hear are good. A movie was made from one of them about the civil war skirmishes between missouri,and kansas with the james boys, bloody bill anderson,and the jayhawkers.

I highly recommend this book. I live in the Ozarks,and honestly, for the most part it's safe,and beautiful!


karen actually, one of his trilogies is in print - i just bought all three last night. and they are reissuing some other titles in the fall. hooray!


message 20: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary ok, titles of trilogy......????

what others reissued in the fall?? it's about time. a friend of mine finally found some of his in a used bookstore, because they weren't available anywhere.


karen the trilogy is:

muscle for the wing, the ones you do, and under the bright lights,(this is probably not the right order)

those are on simon and schuster

and the one coming out again in september is tomato red and it is on busted flush


message 18: by RandomAnthony (last edited Jun 13, 2010 11:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

RandomAnthony I'd read more by this guy. Thanks for the information, Karen.

Kim, I'm serious. I'm never going near the Ozarks. Ever. This book isn't exactly good for tourism.


karen you can read donald harington as an antidote.


message 16: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary I've heard the movie is just now being released in the states,and it's received rave reviews. no major stars. might try to see this one.


message 15: by D. (last edited Jun 18, 2010 01:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

D. Pow Great work, RA! And a worthy writer to champion...


RandomAnthony Thanks, D.! I owe you again for turning me on to this guy...I think that makes four or five authors now...not sure how I'm going to pay you back...maybe send you cheap beer...


message 13: by D. (new) - rated it 5 stars

D. Pow Cheap beer will be drank!!!!


message 12: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary what kind of cheap beer? i want in on the action. ra,and d,and i should have a beerfest sometime. wanna come to the ozarks?????


Jackie "the Librarian" All of rural America has the potential to be horrifying, not just the Ozarks. Do you not watch horror films, RA?


message 10: by Gary (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gary Thanks, Jackie!!!Finally someone can see the light!! By the way,let's talk about urban america's track record for crime,rape, murder,etc. Thanks, Jackie!


Gary June 20, 2010
Zara Petkovic wrote:
As Sarah said, the Winter’s Bone was filmed in the Missouri Ozarks. As I live there, I can testify that it does show an accurate portrayal of some aspects of the Ozarks. However, I would remind viewers that the purpose of Winter’s Bone is not to portray the entire area. While you certainly wouldn’t want to vacation in some parts of the Ozarks, other parts are breathtakingly beautiful and great for vacation spots.


Gary Comment from a review about the movie that is in theaters now.


RandomAnthony Jackie "the Librarian" wrote: "All of rural America has the potential to be horrifying, not just the Ozarks. Do you not watch horror films, RA?"

Whatever! You drive through the Ozarks, then! You're smart and reasonable, though, so you're likely to survive in a horror movie. I'd be the first to die, after the black guy and the slutty girl.


karen hahaah i saw the movie yesterday. it was good.

that is all.


Gary ok, karen, more specific?? what made it good? give us a movie review???


Gary I live in the Ozarks,and drive through the countryside often. It is gorgeous here!!


Gary Let me repeat.....

I would remind viewers that the purpose of Winter’s Bone is not to portray the entire area. While you certainly wouldn’t want to vacation in some parts of the Ozarks, other parts are breathtakingly beautiful and great for vacation spots.


karen i will send you a personal message about it later - i don't want to give away any plot information for people who have neither read nor seen it. but i am running out the door soon, so it won't be until later this evening. cool?


Gary Very cool!! Thanks! I can't wait.


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