Reading guide for The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Outlaw Album

Stories

By Daniel Woodrell

The Outlaw Album
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Oct 2011,
    176 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2012,
    192 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Many of the stories in The Outlaw Album are concerned with justice. In "The Echo of Neighborly Bones," "Uncle," and "Returning the River," wronged characters carry out their own revenge. Do you think the punishments fit the crimes?


  2. Much of Woodrell's fiction is dependent on its rural setting - the isolation and rough terrain a crucible in which an insular community is forged. Do you find that the portrayal of rural America is accurate? Do you think that Woodrell's characters would translate to another setting?


  3. Young women play a number of roles in The Outlaw Album - in "Twin Forks," it is the memory of a young woman that brings Morrow back to the Ozarks; in "Uncle," a teenage girl exacts her revenge on her former tormentor; in "Florianne," a father is driven to paranoia by the disappearance of his daughter; and in "One United," a girl's dream provides a striking foil for her menacing surroundings. How do these characters differ from one another? What do these stories say about the difficulties of being inherently vulnerable in a ruthless world?


  4. Criminal violence is not uncommon in Woodrell's fiction, but the violence of war and its effects are also present in the stories of The Outlaw Album. "Black Step" and "Night Stand" both concern characters whose experiences in the Iraq War have undoubtedly shaped their personalities and actions. What effect does their time as soldiers have on them? And how does that compare with the effects of war on veterans you have known?


  5. "Two Things" gives two very different perspectives on the same character - the mysterious Cecil McCoy, who may be a reformed artist after his time in prison or may be just as dangerous and manipulative as he has ever been. Who do you think is right about Cecil, the young prison worker or Mr. McCoy? Why?


  6. In "Dream Spot," a domestic squabble is shattered by a chance encounter. What does the hitchhiker represent for Dalrymple and Janet? Why does her appearance push their argument to its catastrophic end?


  7. "Woe to Live On" gives a different perspective on the Civil War. Rather than the clear-cut North-versus-South conflict in the eastern part of the country, the war was much more muddled in the Midwestern states. How does the ambiguity between sides play into the events of the story?


  8. Family plays an important role in The Outlaw Album, as it does in all of Woodrell's work. In the Ozarks, it seems that your family is not just who you are related to, but who you are. Each clan has its own allegiances and tendencies, and a rich history knotted back into the past, as we see in stories like "The Horse in Our History" and "Black Step." How does Woodrell use these family ties to shape his characters and his setting? Do you think of blood ties as an important factor in your life?


  9. The narrator of "One United" is halfway caught in dreams, leaving the reader to puzzle out exactly what is happening in the real events of the story. What do you think the narrator and Sleepy's relationship is? Why does he want her to come to the Wallaces' with him? What is his business there?


  10. Like many authors - particularly southern authors - Woodrell is closely associated with a single region. How do his Ozarks compare to Faulkner's Mississippi, McMurtry's Texas, and McCarthy's Southwest?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Back Bay Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Ozarks

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.