From the author of WINTER'S BONE, twelve timeless Ozarkian tales of those on the fringes of society, by the 'least known major writer in the country today' (Denis Lehane, USA Today)
Daniel Woodrell was born in the Missouri Ozarks, where he still lives. He left school and enlisted in the Marines the week he turned seventeen, and received his BA at the age of twenty-seven. He also has an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He is the author of eight novels including Winter's Bone, the film of which was nominated for four Oscars in 2011, Woe to Live On, the basis for the film Ride with the Devil directed by Ang Lee, and Tomato Red, which won the PEN West Award for fiction in 1999. Five of his novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the year. His most recent novel was The Maid's Version, published by Sceptre in 2013.
He has moved beyond the noir of his earlier work into something that encompasses a greater spectrum of understanding. He has cemented his role as one of America's greatest writers...THE OUTLAW ALBUM is an idiosyncratic, lyric, stunning collection of stories. It is one of the most important collections of short fiction produced in this country in over fifty years. * William Hastings, Industrial Worker Book Review * Each story is a stylized dark allegory...The language is sparse yet majestic, deftly describing mountains, canyons and creek beds. * Theresa Munoz, Scottish Sunday Herald * Woodrell writes a striking prose that lopes from clause to clause like William Faulkner's...he recalls writers such as Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor and the Faulkner of Sanctuary in his ability to transform crime into literature. * John Dugdale, Literary Review * Woodrell writes about violence and dark deeds better than almost anyone in America today, in compact, musical prose that doesn't dwell on visceral detail. An unerring craftsman...Every story is loaded with gems...Most of the stories deal with the darkest recesses of the human heart, and once you start reading them you can't stop. * Donald Ray Pollock, New York Times * 'gripping...Woodrell's folk are as separate in their rituals and customs as any of Tolkein's mythical creations...Woodrell whittles his stories into shape with a serrated knife, and while the language of his characters is a constant surprise with those oblique turns-of-phrase...the curious sideways progression of his plots is what I find most enrapturing.' * George Pendle, Financial Times * 'Woodrell writes in an almost biblical idiom, which makes the brutality of his stories shocking... These are timeless tales of humans capable of compassion but also monumental violence.' * Leyla Sanai, Independent * In a tight navigation of narrative voice, Woodrell manages to turn candid detachment into a form of rough poetic truth, even though the lives of his characters remain far removed from the world of literary sentiment. * TLS * 'Woodrell is a marvellous writer' * Roddy Doyle * tales of horror and desperation that'll leave you reeling. In a good way. * Shortlist * wonderful, savage narratives...remarkable even by Woodrell's soaring standards * Irish Times * His language is complex, poetic, strange and beautiful, conjuring up the misty fields and woods of the Ozarks, and the fiercely independent people who live there. * Josh Lacey, Guardian *
The eight previous novels by Woodrell (e.g., Winter's Bone) are mostly set in the Missouri Ozarks, where his family has lived for generations. In his first story collection, Woodrell writes with the same blunt style about painful family dramas and the familiar dark fringes of society. His characters are a dirt-poor, lawless bunch. In "The Echo of Neighborly Bones," the troubled Boshell shoots his neighbor just for being an opinionated foreigner from Minnesota but mostly for killing Boshell's dog and for being one of the newcomers responsible for the family losing its land. In "Uncle," a young girl pushed to the limit by her mother's evil brother whacks him a good one with a mattock handle, but he doesn't die. In the moving "Two Things," Cecil writes poetry from prison, which could line him up for early parole, but his family won't take him back because of the terrible things he did to them. VERDICT Dark, tough, and chilling, this collection packs a wallop, leaving readers to drawsolid comparisons to works by Ken Bruen and James Ellroy. Some of these 12 tales are tragic, and some are funny, but all are unforgettable. [See Prepub Alert, 5/16/11.]-Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., CO (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.