K's Reviews > Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
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's review
Nov 08, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: couldntfinish, maybe-it-s-me

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 "Cold Mountain," on an odyssey to save her family, blah blah blah. I guess young, tough heroines are a good trend after the simpering antifeminist ones of yesterday but they're starting to be just that -- a trend. I had difficulty sympathizing with the characters, and the lifestyle was so foreign to me -- although that's usually a good thing, here it was too removed for me to become engrossed in the story. The idea of a 16-year-old girl greeting her friend's husband with, "Getting any lately?" was a bit much for me. The author did in fact grow up in the Ozarks, so I have to assume he was describing it authentically, but I just couldn't relate.
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Reading Progress

November 8, 2007 – Shelved
May 2, 2011 – Shelved as: maybe-it-s-me
February 29, 2016 – Shelved as: couldntfinish

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

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Todd I am just getting started on it, but might agree with you, will see in time.

message 2: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Well, I look forward to hearing what you think! Other perspectives are always interesting.

Todd Cool, yeah so far it is okay, but i am not enthralled...seems a little typical, but i'll go all the way and let you know

Linden A. Yep, I'm not buying Ree either or the language, and I'm from and still live in the Ozarks. On top of that, Woodrell's prose is almost painful, twisted in a way that I can only assume he thinks is artistic, but feels artificial and forced to my ear. I'll finish it, but at this point, I'm with you.

message 5: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Thanks, Linden -- glad it's not just me! If you're from the Ozarks, you would know.

Linden A. Well, finished it today and still unimpressed. Several women in my book club DID find it true to the Ozarks, so maybe it's just a small contingency of us Ozarkians who found it fake. You are so right about Ree being pretty flat. I did think she developed some, towards the end, but overall, I didn't feel much growth in her character. I mean, it was written into the story (Uncle Teardrop saying she took the beating better than many men he knows and the Milton sisters finally accepting her ? and helping her out), but I just found it poorly demonstrated.

message 7: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Well, now I'm really glad I didn't finish it! It's interesting how the description of the Ozarks rang true for some natives and not for others. I always wonder at the authenticity of books about people from different cultures, and it's interesting when there's a range of opinions about that from people in the know.

Tessa Its not just you...I kept hoping I'd get to the "good part". Will be selling it back to the bookstore.

message 9: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Well, I'm glad it's not just me although I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it.

Karen I read this book because the movie left me with questions. Well, the book answered those questions but wasn't any more enjoyable than the movie. (I don't get the rave reviews for either). Dark, moody book that I was glad ended.

message 11: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K I noticed that my review is getting more traffic than it did, which I attribute to the movie's having come out. I'm a little out of it in terms of the reaction to the movie; I live in Israel and I'm not sure the movie made it here. It's interesting that people seemed to like both, because as you know I wasn't thrilled with the book and am not at all motivated to check out the movie.

message 12: by Beth (new) - rated it 3 stars

Beth My reaction to the book was not that I found the culture too foreign, but rather too familiar. The "getting any lately" comment is appropriate for that character in that culture. I never liked that culture, so although the book had merits with language and character development, I couldn't get into it because the characters were like real life fools I have encountered.

message 13: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K I guess I just don't know the culture well enough. It seemed like a bizarre thing for a sixteen-year-old girl to be asking her friend's husband, but maybe that just reflects where I'm coming from. In any case, though, I've read lots of books with cultural contexts that were foreign to me but enjoyed them a whole lot more than I enjoyed this one, so I don't think the foreign culture in and of itself was the problem for me.

Jennifer I felt the same way about this book.

message 15: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K Thanks -- I always feel good when I hear it's not just me.

Melody I'm so glad it wasn't just me!!! But I had to search for a low review. I just didn't get it at all...kept hoping it would get better!

message 17: by K (new) - rated it 2 stars

K You too! That feels good to hear.

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