Daniel Woodrell is able to lend uncanny logic to harsh, even criminal behavior in this wrenching collection of stories. Desperation - both material and psychological - motivates his characters. A husband cruelly avenges the killing of his wife's pet; an injured rapist is cared for by a young girl, until she reaches her breaking point; a disturbed veteran of Iraq is murdered for his erratic behavior; an outsider's house is set on fire by an angry neighbor.
There is also the tenderness and loyalty of the vulnerable in these stories - between spouses, parents and children, siblings, and comrades in arms - which brings the troubled, sorely tested cast of characters to vivid, relatable life.
Granted, this is not recommended general reading. It's for the sort of person who craves the gothic, the real life horror of such writers as Stephen King, mated with William Faulkner's Snopes clan, tossed with a dash of the worst violence from the daily news. There's no uplift, no sun coming out tomorrow.
This short volume is masterful dark writing at its best, set in a distinct, culturally isolated area, filled with characters no one in his right mind would ever want to know. This is the grotesque told with a sly wink. (Reviewed by Lisa Guidarini).
Starred Review. Woodrell's spare, brutal prose, a kind of 'country noir,' captures the true essence of a rough little pocket of America's heartland that has yet to be - and may indeed never be - smoothed over.
Starred Review. Hard words and harsh trials from a writer who knows all too well the frozen ground he occupies.
Dark, tough, and chilling, this collection packs a wallop, leaving readers to draw solid comparisons to works by Ken Bruen and James Ellroy. Some of these 12 tales are tragic, and some are funny, but all are unforgettable.
The region known as "The Ozarks" sprawls across southern Missouri as well as parts of northwestern and north central Arkansas, spilling over into Oklahoma and a small corner of Kansas. In area it's about the size of the state of Tennessee, in topography it's similar to the Appalachian region with rolling hills, plateaus (e.g. the Springfield and Salem Plateau regions), and rougher, mountainous terrain in the Saint Francois and Boston Mountain ranges. Referred to as the "American Highlands," it features hundreds of caves, springs, and natural arches, some of which are protected as a part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways National Park.
The origin of the word "Ozark" is uncertain, but one popular theory is it's a corruption of the French "Aux Arkansas," or of/at Arkansas. The people living in the Ozark region are largely of German,...
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...