The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do

The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do

3.7 17
by Daniel Woodrell
     
 

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A hard-hitting, critically acclaimed trilogy of crime novels from an author about whom New York magazine has written, "What people say about Cormac McCarthy ... goes double for [Woodrell]. Possibly more."

In the parish of St. Bruno, sex is easy, corruption festers, and double-dealing is a way of life. Rene Shade is an uncompromising detective

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Overview

A hard-hitting, critically acclaimed trilogy of crime novels from an author about whom New York magazine has written, "What people say about Cormac McCarthy ... goes double for [Woodrell]. Possibly more."

In the parish of St. Bruno, sex is easy, corruption festers, and double-dealing is a way of life. Rene Shade is an uncompromising detective swimming in a sea of filth.

As Shade takes on hit men, porn kings, a gang of ex-cons, and the ghosts of his own checkered past, Woodrell's three seminal novels pit long-entrenched criminals against the hard line of the law, brother against brother, and two vastly different sons against a long-absent father.

THE BAYOU TRILOGY highlights the origins of a one-of-a-kind author, a writer who for over two decades has created an indelible representation of the shadows of the rural American experience and has steadily built a devoted following among crime fiction aficionados and esteemed literary critics alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Collected in a single volume for the first time, Woodrell's three stellar novels featuring Det. Rene Shade, an ex-boxer turned cop, provide entrée into the Louisiana swamp town of Saint Bruno, a place where "tempers went on the prowl and relief was driving a hard bargain." Woodrell (Winter's Bone) injects Shade's life and various cases with both humor and brutal violence. In Bright Lights (1986), the investigation into a city councilman's murder mushrooms into a corruption scandal, with Shade feeling pressure from above for a quick—and predetermined—result. Muscle for the Wing (1988) finds Shade up against a gang of ex-cons, hell-bent on wrestling control of Saint Bruno's less-than-legal action. Shade and his two brothers—bar owner Tip and district attorney Francois—are reunited with their long-absent paterfamilias, John X., in The Ones You Do (1992), in which John X. returns to Saint Bruno with a 10-year-old daughter and a killer on his trail. There's poetry in Woodrell's mayhem, each novel—and scene—full of gritty and memorable Cajun details. (Apr.)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Woodrell writes drolly and pungently of rednecks and swamp rats with the affection and exasperation of a man who has spent his life among them ... The Bayou Trilogy stands with the best crime fiction of its period."
Chicago Tribune
"Daniel Woodrell writes in sentences that could be ancient carvings on a tree."
PulpSerenade.com
"The Bayou Trilogy is more than a landmark of crime fiction; it is an impressive and important addition to American letters. Bravo, Daniel Woodrell, and long live Rene Shade."
New York Magazine
"What people say about Cormac McCarthy . . . goes double for [Woodrell]. Possibly more."
Los Angeles Times
A backcountry Shakespeare . . . The inhabitants of Daniel Woodrell's fiction often have a streak that's not just mean but savage; yet physical violence does not dominate his books. What does dominate is a seasoned fatalism . . . Woodrell has tapped into a novelist's honesty, and lucky for us, he's remorseless that way."
Dennis Lehane
"Woodrell is the least-known major writer in the country right now."
Washington Times
"Daniel Woodrell has quietly built a career that whould be the envy of most American novelists today."
Washington Post Book World
"Poetic prose and raw dialogue . . . dark-hued suspense."
San Francisco Examiner
"Vitality pulses from this perfectly paced book . . . a flawless novel."
John D. MacDonald
"Sly and powerful."
James Ellroy
"Daniel Woodrell is stone brilliant--a Bayou Dutch Leonard, steeped in rich Louisiana language. Muscle for the Wing is vicious, colloquial, dark and--most surprisingly--brutally funny. To read it is to enter a superbly realized universe of surprises."
The Washington Post Book World
"Off-the-wall characters, quirky and bizarre, yet as authentic as any I've ever met in a novel. Woodrell succeeds--in fact triumphs . . . and spins a hell of a yarn to boot."
The New York Times
"The colorful characters and piquant tongues in which they speak . . . really have us swooning . . . All offer hot-breathed testimony to the human gumbo that is St. Bruno."
LA Times
"Woodrell does for the Ozarks what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles or Elmore Leonard did for Florida."
The Chicago Tribune
"Deeply atmospheric and oozing with the mojo of the swamp . . . Woodrell's work echoes that of William Kennedy, William Faulkner, and Walter Mosley . . . Fine writing."
Barry Gifford
"The pages snap, crackle, and pop. Woodrell's writing reminds me of the late, great John D. MacDonald, the kind of keen eye for the local detail, but he walks his own walk and talks his own talk."
From the Publisher
"Woodrell writes drolly and pungently of rednecks and swamp rats with the affection and exasperation of a man who has spent his life among them ... The Bayou Trilogy stands with the best crime fiction of its period."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch"

Old fans and new readers alike out to be grateful....The novels showcase Woodrell's evolution as a writer....Woodrell's The Bayou Trilogy supplies all the pleasure of hard-boiled noir: laconic cynicism, casually colorful characters (a diner owner, for instance, is described as having 'slightly more than a basic issue of a nose') and a hero whose feet of clay make his dedication to law and order all the more admirable."—Chicago Tribune"

There's poetry in Woodrell's mayhem, each novel-and scene-full of gritty and memorable Cajun details."—Publishers Weekly, starred review"

Really cool . . . Jump on these three top-shelf books."—Library Journal"

The Bayou Trilogy is more than a landmark of crime fiction; it is an impressive and important addition to American letters. Bravo, Daniel Woodrell, and long live Rene Shade."—PulpSerenade.com"

What people say about Cormac McCarthy . . . goes double for [Woodrell]. Possibly more."—New York Magazine

A backcountry Shakespeare . . . The inhabitants of Daniel Woodrell's fiction often have a streak that's not just mean but savage; yet physical violence does not dominate his books. What does dominate is a seasoned fatalism . . . Woodrell has tapped into a novelist's honesty, and lucky for us, he's remorseless that way."—Los Angeles Times"

Daniel Woodrell writes in sentences that could be ancient carvings on a tree."—Chicago Tribune"

Woodrell is the least-known major writer in the country right now."—Dennis Lehane, USA Today"

Daniel Woodrell has quietly built a career that whould be the envy of most American novelists today."—Washington Times"

Poetic prose and raw dialogue . . . dark-hued suspense."—Washington Post Book World, on Under the Bright Lights"

A gritty, atmospheric slice of crime fiction . . . a superior piece of narrative noir."—Kirkus, on Under the Bright Lights"

Vitality pulses from this perfectly paced book . . . a flawless novel."—San Francisco Examiner, on Under the Bright Lights"

Sly and powerful."—John D. MacDonald, on Under the Bright Lights"

As steamy as the bayou country that is its setting."—The Washington Post Book World, on Under the Bright Lights"

Daniel Woodrell is stone brilliant—a Bayou Dutch Leonard, steeped in rich Louisiana language. Muscle for the Wing is vicious, colloquial, dark and—most surprisingly—brutally funny. To read it is to enter a superbly realized universe of surprises."—James Ellroy, author of LA Confidential and Blood's A Rover"

Off-the-wall characters, quirky and bizarre, yet as authentic as any I've ever met in a novel. Woodrell succeeds—in fact triumphs . . . and spins a hell of a yarn to boot."—The Washington Post Book World, on Muscle for the Wing"

The colorful characters and piquant tongues in which they speak . . . really have us swooning . . . All offer hot-breathed testimony to the human gumbo that is St. Bruno."—The New York Times, on Muscle for the Wing"

Woodrell does for the Ozarks what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles or Elmore Leonard did for Florida."—LA Times, on Muscle for the Wing"

Characters as screwy and dangerous as any in Elmore Leonard, as a sense of pace and language that never warns you whether a scene or sentence will end in a burst of poetry or a hail of bullets."—Kirkus, on The Ones You Do"

Deeply atmospheric and oozing with the mojo of the swamp . . . Woodrell's work echoes that of William Kennedy, William Faulkner, and Walter Mosley . . . Fine writing."—The Chicago Tribune, on The Ones You Do"

The pages snap, crackle, and pop. Woodrell's writing reminds me of the late, great John D. MacDonald, the kind of keen eye for the local detail, but he walks his own walk and talks his own talk."—Barry Gifford, on The Ones You Do

Library Journal
Combining three earlier works (Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do), all set in the lowdown parish of St. Bruno, this paperback should prove to readers of crime fiction everywhere that the author of Winter's Bone is a sharp and wondrous writer. From Mulholland, a new thriller imprint.
Library Journal - BookSmack!
Here's something really cool: Mulholland, a fledgling imprint of Little, Brown, is launching its first list with Woodrell's noted crime novels Under the Bright Lights (1986), Muscle for the Wing (1988), and The Ones You Do (1992), all featuring detective Rene Shade. Set in the Ozarks, the tales have received mondo praise from critics, one of whom dubbed him a combination of William Kennedy, William Faulkner, and Walter Mosley—no slouches. He's also either won or been short-listed for several top awards, including an Edgar, the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and a PEN USA award. Jump on these three top-shelf books on the cheap. Note that the film version of Woodrell's Winter's Bone was just nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, so this guy is going places. — "Classic Returns," Booksmack! 2/3/11

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316133654
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
04/28/2011
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
467,165
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Five of Daniel Woodrell's eight published novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.

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The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights; Muscle for the Wing; and The Ones You Do 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
Three crime novels are collected in this book chronicling the gritty life of Detective Rene Shade. His portion of hell on earth is the Parish of St. Bruno, Louisiana. A place where the wildlife on the streets is ever bit as dangerous as that in the bayou. Shade is part French and part Irish with the temperament of a Louisiana gator. He got his education on the streets and in the ring. The fact that he turned out working for the law instead of against it is still a subject of talk in many corners of the parish. Shade has more twists and moods than the Mississippi winding through the bayous. One minute he is tender and reflective, the next he is smashing someones face in with his fists. The author, Daniel Woodrell is a master of the turn of a phrase. He can paint a picture with words that makes you feel the bayou swamp water seep through your cloths and into your shorts. You can feel the pressure of the heavy rays of the sun beating down on you, squeezing the sweat from your pores, like juice through a cheesecloth. If you want a thrill ride through the bayou, latch on to Detective Rene Shade as he fights crime Louisiana style. This book provided for review by the good folks at Library Thing and Mulholland Books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for these novels after reading Winter's Bone but the narrative just fell apart. Skip these and spend your time instead reading worthwhile fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No where close to the depth of Winter's Bone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great prose and strong story line
Zipcat More than 1 year ago
Lots of local color and laid-back style. I enjoyed it. Interestingly enough, I bought this book because President Obama did. Don't that beat all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this collection, however, I found myself struggling to finish it. The stories did get better as the collection evolved, with the third story being the best with the most well fleshed out characters. obviously, we see the writer develop through the stories and even though they are brief with very abrupt endings I wish there was just a bit more falling action to each story rather than ending almost immediately following the climax.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*follows*