The Outlaw Album: Stories

( 4 )

Overview

Twelve timeless Ozarkian tales of those on the fringes of society, by a "stunningly original" (Associated Press) American master.

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 ...

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The Outlaw Album

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Overview

Twelve timeless Ozarkian tales of those on the fringes of society, by a "stunningly original" (Associated Press) American master.

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. And, as ever, "the music coming from Woodrell's banjo cannot be confused with the sounds of any other writer" (Donald Harington, Atlanta Journal Constitution).

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Editorial Reviews

Chris Talbott
He's chipped an impression of the Ozarks and its people in stone that will endure time....Let these stories be your Bible.
Associated Press
Donna Seaman
An intense volume of fury and blood in the Ozarks, The Outlaw Album crystallizes Woodrell's slicing wit and unflinching confrontation with criminality and tragedy.
Kansas City Star
From the Publisher
"He's chipped an impression of the Ozarks and its people in stone that will endure time....Let these stories be your Bible."—Chris Talbott, Associated Press

"An intense volume of fury and blood in the Ozarks, The Outlaw Album crystallizes Woodrell's slicing wit and unflinching confrontation with criminality and tragedy."—Donna Seaman, Kansas City Star

"Ozark writer Daniel Woodrell's first collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album is a stunner. Woodrell has the rare ability to tell compelling stories rooted in familiar soil that are simultaneously simple and complex, local and universal, funny and tragic."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Best Books of 2011"

Chris Talbott - Associated Press Staff
"He's chipped an impression of the Ozarks and its people in stone that will endure time....Let these stories be your Bible."
Donna Seaman - Kansas City Star
"An intense volume of fury and blood in the Ozarks, The Outlaw Album crystallizes Woodrell's slicing wit and unflinching confrontation with criminality and tragedy."
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Ozark writer Daniel Woodrell's first collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album is a stunner. Woodrell has the rare ability to tell compelling stories rooted in familiar soil that are simultaneously simple and complex, local and universal, funny and tragic."
Publishers Weekly
In his eight novels, Woodrell (Winter's Bone) has been doing for his native Missouri Ozarks what William Faulkner did for rural Mississippi: introduce readers to a region whose rural residents are too often summarily dismissed in our American consciousness with simplistic stereotypes. The characters in collection of short fiction, Woodrell's first, lead hard, desperate lives that can erupt into violence and tragedy. Despite the simmering tensions among family members, between friends and neighbors, and, especially, towards strangers, however, the criminals in these 12 tales always maintain a simple code of honor as they seek their own brand of justice against those who've crossed them. A man brutally avenges the shooting of his wife's beloved dog by his snobby neighbor; a rapist is incapacitated and then cared for by a young woman until she realizes he's completely beyond redemption; an outsider's splendid new house is torched by an angry neighbor. 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. (Oct.)
Benjamin Percy
Despite the roughness of the content, Woodrell has a poet's sense of how to turn a phrase. . . . Seek him out now, throw down fifteen bucks, and bend your face to the page. You'll come away as I do—darkly changed, begging for another.
Esquire
David Bowman
Woodrell's Old Testament prose and blunt vision have a chilly timelessness that suggests this novel will speak to readers as long as there are readers.
The New York Times Book Review
Denise Hamilton
The lineage from Faulkner to Woodrell runs as deep and true as an Ozark stream in this book...his most profound and haunting work yet.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
David Bowman - The New York Times Book Review
"Woodrell's Old Testament prose and blunt vision have a chilly timelessness that suggests this novel will speak to readers as long as there are readers."
Benjamin Percy - Esquire
"Despite the roughness of the content, Woodrell has a poet's sense of how to turn a phrase. . . . Seek him out now, throw down fifteen bucks, and bend your face to the page. You'll come away as I do--darkly changed, begging for another."
Denise Hamilton - Los Angeles Times Book Review
"The lineage from Faulkner to Woodrell runs as deep and true as an Ozark stream in this book...his most profound and haunting work yet."
Library Journal
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 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. [See Prepub Alert, 5/16/11.]—Donna Bettencourt, Mesa Cty. P.L., CO
Kirkus Reviews
Twelve spare, haunting and brutal slices of country noir from the genre's most gifted practitioner.

From Woodrell, author of the brilliantWinter's Bone, which was richly adapted into the Oscar-nominated 2010 film, now comes a collection of short fiction, previously published in outlets ranging fromThe Missouri ReviewandEsquireto hard-hitting anthologies likeA Hell of a Woman. And boy, does Woodrell have a way with words. The first sentence of the first story captures its essence: "Once Boshell finally killed his neighbor he couldn't seem to quit killing him." In a sort of redneck therapy, one of the locals takes a squirrel rifle to his Northerly neighbor, then buries him back in the woods where he can take a hatchet to the man whenever he's feeling ornery. The Edgar Award–nominated "Uncle" is even worse. When a country girl tires of her uncle's raping and murdering lost tourists, she takes a pick-axe to him. There is "Twin Forks," in which a man tries to recapture his youth only to stare murder in the eyes. And "Florianne," which delves into a man's paranoia over his daughter's disappearance. There are war vets in "Night Stand" and "Black Step," reeling in a world where violence follows them home, and even a brief visit to the old outlaw Jake Roedel in "Woe to Live On." Woe, indeed.

Hard words and harsh trials from a writer who knows all too well the frozen ground he occupies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316019002
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 167
  • Sales rank: 475,347
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.59 (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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Bad news!

    Don't waste your money. The author must have gotten more and more wasted as he struggled to complete this. Winter's Bone was his one good shot.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Unsettling and Eerie, but excellent

    Description:
    The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell is a set of 12 short stories describing "those on the fringes of society". These include a man who seeks revenge for the murder of his wife's dog; a girl who makes her rapist uncle pay for his sins, and a jealousy that could be deadly to a hitchhiker.

    Review:
    Being a fan of the film version of Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone, I had a feeling I would enjoy a set of his "backwoods" short stories. Each of the twelve stories was chillingly realistic and gritty. I love the detail and the dialogue, especially in the most twisted tales, like in The Echo of Neighborly Bones. I also really like the cover art, it adds to the overall dark, twisted, and broken feel of the stories. My only complaint was that there weren't more stories since they were all between 7 and 28 pages each. I would recommend The Outlaw Album to anyone in the mood for some seriously unsettling and eerie stories of the "invisible" outlaws.

    Rating: On the Run (4.5/5)


    ***I received this book from Little, Brown and Company (Hachette Book Group) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Lyrically Haunting

    I highly recommend this book of captivating short stories of the fringes of the down and out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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