Customer Reviews for

Winter's Bone: A Novel

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

31 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

Impossible To Put Down

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell is the first book since Minette Walters' The Shape of Snakes that genuinely took my breath away. On the surface there is absolutely nothing pretty about the world in which 16-year-old Ree Dolly lives. The people of her community in the b...
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell is the first book since Minette Walters' The Shape of Snakes that genuinely took my breath away. On the surface there is absolutely nothing pretty about the world in which 16-year-old Ree Dolly lives. The people of her community in the backwoods of the Ozark mountains are multiple generations into an existence of poverty, violence and drug addiction; a place where the primary source of income has evolved from making moonshine to cooking crank.

Fortunately for Ree her father, Jessup, is in demand as a crank chef, "practically half famous for it." Unfortunately for her and the two younger brothers and mentally ill mother she's struggling to keep fed and functioning, Jessup has gone missing after being released on bond, a bond secured by signing over the family home as collateral, following his most recent arrest. Unwilling to see her family split up if they lose the family's meager homestead, Ree sets out to find Jessup and make him keep his court date.

Not only is Jessup nowhere to be found, however, but none of the locals, many of them extended members of the Dolly family, seem inclined to help Ree with her search. In fact, they are downright hostile to her inquiries and seemingly determined to derail her efforts, even by means of violence if necessary. Yet, Ree persists. And throughout it all Woodrell offers glimpses of the hidden beauty lurking beneath the surface of the stark environment, and conveys in no uncertain terms that the people who inhabit it have a deep sense of honor, pride and purpose, just ones that don't necessarily mesh with what most consider normal.

Winter's Bone is quite possibly the most 'perfect' novel I've ever experienced. And I do mean experienced, because Winter's Bone is not something that one merely reads. Woodrell demands the reader become fully immersed in the world he's created, taking you along step-for-step with Ree on her journey. And what unfolds over the course of Woodrell's taut 200 page story is a testament to the human spirit. No word is wasted, and the look at Ree's life that is presented is unflinching. Winter's Bone is a book that you not so much 'enjoy' as you do appreciate, and you will. Deeply.

posted by AllPurposeMonkey on April 12, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

A tough read

It is a very difficult read. I did not enjoy it.

posted by 1938265 on March 13, 2010

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Impossible To Put Down

    Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell is the first book since Minette Walters' The Shape of Snakes that genuinely took my breath away. On the surface there is absolutely nothing pretty about the world in which 16-year-old Ree Dolly lives. The people of her community in the backwoods of the Ozark mountains are multiple generations into an existence of poverty, violence and drug addiction; a place where the primary source of income has evolved from making moonshine to cooking crank.

    Fortunately for Ree her father, Jessup, is in demand as a crank chef, "practically half famous for it." Unfortunately for her and the two younger brothers and mentally ill mother she's struggling to keep fed and functioning, Jessup has gone missing after being released on bond, a bond secured by signing over the family home as collateral, following his most recent arrest. Unwilling to see her family split up if they lose the family's meager homestead, Ree sets out to find Jessup and make him keep his court date.

    Not only is Jessup nowhere to be found, however, but none of the locals, many of them extended members of the Dolly family, seem inclined to help Ree with her search. In fact, they are downright hostile to her inquiries and seemingly determined to derail her efforts, even by means of violence if necessary. Yet, Ree persists. And throughout it all Woodrell offers glimpses of the hidden beauty lurking beneath the surface of the stark environment, and conveys in no uncertain terms that the people who inhabit it have a deep sense of honor, pride and purpose, just ones that don't necessarily mesh with what most consider normal.

    Winter's Bone is quite possibly the most 'perfect' novel I've ever experienced. And I do mean experienced, because Winter's Bone is not something that one merely reads. Woodrell demands the reader become fully immersed in the world he's created, taking you along step-for-step with Ree on her journey. And what unfolds over the course of Woodrell's taut 200 page story is a testament to the human spirit. No word is wasted, and the look at Ree's life that is presented is unflinching. Winter's Bone is a book that you not so much 'enjoy' as you do appreciate, and you will. Deeply.

    31 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2006

    Chilling and Unforgetable

    Winter's Bone, Daniel Woodrell's latest Ozarks-centered novel, is a modern-day adventure-quest story about Ree Dolly, a 16-year-old young woman who cares for her feeble-minded mother and her younger brothers while battling to save the family homestead after her father disappears. In Winter's Bone, yesterday's Ozark moonshiners are todays meth cooks, and Woodrell gives a slap-in-the-face stare at their lives. Many of the characters in the book are rough and unlikable. It's chilling to think that there exists in Missouri (where I live) an undercurrent of society depicted in Winter's Bone, yet I'm certain there is. Woodrell's writing is at times breathtaking, and always clear and concise. Winter's Bones is a book I will remember for its sense of place and for the characters Woodrell has painted so vividly with his words. And, although Winter's Bone isn't the most flattering book about the Ozarks and some of its inhabitants, it is a memorable story that's hard to put down. Like the Ozarks' winter depicted in Woodrell's novel, Winter's Bone is stark, intense, and at times beautiful.

    18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2009

    Great Book!

    I thought this book was great! So true yet so sad. It's hard to believe that people really live like this in this day and age but they really do. It was a sad and disturbing story line made all the more sad because it really happens this way today. It ends well but still very sad for Ree. I would love to see another book to take up where this one leaves off so we can keep up with Ree and Gail. My daughter is in the movie version on this book that is being filmed now! Can't wait to see how it does, everyone HAS to go see it! This is a great read but know that it isn't necessarily uplifting, but very thought provoking.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2011

    One of the best books of the new millennium!

    Having read the few negative reviews here, I have to ask myself what kind of true lover of literature could have "hated" this book and deemed it "no good". Each and every word Daniel Woodruff wrote felt like a deliberate and carefully chosen step, guiding the reader on a journey into a desperate culture that is bleak, yet rich and starkly beautiful. His writing is as succinct as his characters are taciturn, both dialog and narrative display the economy of great poetry. I was caught from the first paragraph by the beautifully wrought imagery, and deliberately slowed my reading pace to experience every nuance of this book. I am an avid reader, I couldn't begin to count the books I've read across every genre, and for me, this is one of the greatest books I have ever read.....as nearly perfect as a piece of literature can be.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2013

    One the best books I have ever read!

    This is clealy a classic in the making. The characters are so real I feel like I know them and anyone who has grown up truly country knows that the setting and culture of country people is dead on down to the epidemic of meth in rural areas. Ree has an inner strenth that is subtle yet profound. She's a heroine who would deny doing anything special. Truly this book is amazing with a great mystery element that is resolved brillantly....and I can say with authority very real to what many Americans outside of suburbia experience. There's a whole other America out there and this book can take you there.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2012

    Spooky scary and informative...great insight

    I have to say this is quite a read...Describes in detail the life of the Ozarks and how scary things can be in the isolated world of cooking crank and inbred relationships. Don't go looking unless you want to find the answer...This is a tale of courage, caring, and survival...Daniel Woodrell tells the story in a fascinating and detailed fashion..Well worth the time. Be ready to shake and have your eyes opened wide!

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2011

    Winter's Bone

    This is an exceptional read. I couldn't put it down.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2013

    This is just an excellent book. Not a "fun" read, but

    This is just an excellent book. Not a "fun" read, but there is more to life that is interesting than "fun". But, don't get me wrong, I found the book to be very interesting.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Love this book

    Now want to see movie

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Fantastic read

    The author paints a setting so real the reader can see it. A heart wrenching tale beautifully told.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Amazing

    This short little book is truly a tour de force of Southern gothic writing. I saw the movie a couple years ago and was blown away. This haunting, dark, yet inspiring novel blew me to smithereens. If you haven't yet read Woodrell, do yourself a huge favor and start now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2014

    Great book

    Awesome

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    Excellent read. He captures the setting and the people so well,

    Excellent read. He captures the setting and the people so well, so realistically, as a reader you feel you are part of the story. I highly recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Scarstar

    He nods

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2014

    Wonderful book!

    Exceptionally well-written book, that I delibrately slowed down reading to enjoy every paragraph. Characters that you will care about and remember long after you have finished reading it. I recommend it highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    J law

    I love jenifer lawernce!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Fatalgrin

    Me to, had to go to store)) *nods* (gonna go make bio, might not be on after that, has to go to grandma an grandpas house)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    I mean i reported to b&n

    Dumbo

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Stormclaw

    The muscular dark grey tom with striking yellow eyes pads in. "Can i jo..." his voice cracks as he notices winterstars coughing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Icestatic

    Runs in and starts to heal her (dont do it or youll truely regret it winterstar)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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