Sunday, September 19, 2010

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

Winter's Bone: A NovelTitle: Winter's Bone
Author: Daniel Woodrell
Pages: 193
Published: 2007 Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company
My Rating: 4 stars

from the back cover:
Ree Dolly's father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dolly family will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date.  With two young brothers depending on her, sixteen-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive.
For the first time in...maybe forever, I wished that I had read the book before seeing the movie.  I actually typically prefer to see a movie before reading the book because I have a higher probability of liking them both.  Not many of the books I read are made into movies anyhow, so it isn't usually an issue.

Books, generally, are better than the movie.  With Winter's Bone it was a toss up.  Both were well done, both were unique, poetic, suspenseful.  The differences were minor, but the language of the book was so evocative that for the first time that I can recall, I wished that I didn't have the pictures of the movie already in my head.

It is a short book, but the picture painted of impoverished life in the Ozarks was impressive.  It is not a happy book, but it is somehow laced with loyalty and hope even through the parts that make you cringe.  You cannot change where you were born or raised, or who your family is, but you can change what you decide to do with those beginnings.  It is that testament to internal strength and courage that is so amazing in this story.

It isn't likely that I would have read this book if it weren't for the film, but with such a small time commitment and large payoff, it's worth it.  Be warned that it does contain some swearing, drug use and violence, but if you are interested in the culture, it is pretty fascinating.


  1. Oh wow, I didn't realize that the book had been published so recently! I actually would probably have expected the movie to be better than the book in this case, just because I thought the movie was so well done. Glad you liked the book though!

  2. I did like the movie better than the book, perhaps that's why I wished I'd read the book first! I kept wondering, though, if I would have liked the book better if I'd experienced it first. Either way, I did like them both.

  3. I guess I'm pretty out of touch because i've never heard of either the book or the movie. However, I am intrigued by your review. I'll be adding it to my TBR. Thanks for the excellent review.


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