Book Reviews of Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone
Winter's Bone
Author: Daniel Woodrell
ISBN-13: 9780316057554
ISBN-10: 031605755X
Pages: 208
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 17

3.8 stars, based on 17 ratings
Publisher: Little, Brown
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

16 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Winter's Bone on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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 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.

Winter's Bone has been developed into a film, which recently won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 89 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Waay back in the mid-seventies I spent a long weekend touring the Arkansas Ozarks. I'd never seen such abject poverty in my life! In WINTER'S BONE, Weedrell flawlessly captures what the place is like.

Recently, I read BLOODROOT which gave a view into life in the mountains and hollers of Appalachia, but this book made that one look like a picnic on a summer's day. It was cold, raw and violent. So, why read it? The author writes SO well! His sentences are amazing and his descriptions come from someone who knows of what he speaks.

This is a tough read to take, but it was worth it
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really enjoyed this book. The author uses beautiful language to describe bleak surroundings and situations, and the characters are interesting and well developed. Highly recommended.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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 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.

Winter's Bone has been developed into a film, which recently won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A wonderful novel full of rich descriptions, well developed characters, and a captivating story. Part mystery, part character study, this book tugs at the heart and pulls the reader deep into the life of Ree Dolly.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 328 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The author wrote this novel in the vernacular of the Ozarks, a place where he grew up. It is a portriat of the "poor and desperate," about a world where methamphetamine cooking has replaced moonshine brewing. I found it almost painful to read at times, but I'm glad I stayed with it, it was worth it!
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 13 more book reviews
Very interesting book. Quick read. Hard to get through with the manner of speaking/dialect but once you get into it, it is good.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 119 more book reviews
Stark, bleak, & brutal. Not quite the suicide-inducer that The Road was but certainly reminiscent of that novel. Woodrell is a writer of exquisite prose, that cannot be denied ... but this was a difficult book to get through. The brutality Ree is subjected to is horrifylying -- if the kid had the time I'm sure she'd sink into a PTSD fugue. I'm interersted in reading some of this author's other works, but I need to go soothe my soul first and re-read something like The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane first. Then maybe I'll try another Daniel Woodrell novel. Maybe.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 6 more book reviews
This was a real page turner! Short chapters and not too many characters to keep up with. The author kind of goes on and on in a few places but it is a good book! I cannot wait to see the movie.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 902 more book reviews
For me, this is one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. And since I think of the movie as two hours of my life that I will never be able to get back, I dont have much to say about the book that is positive. I read this because my book club assigned it. Otherwise, I would have gladly passed it up.

This is one of those books (or movies, for that matter) that leaves you with very little, if anything, to celebrate. The plot is an exercise in depravity on all levels. There is a palpable chord of poverty and desperation and despair that rings a sour note on every page, and the characters leave you with very little in the end to reward you for the time you spent among the wreckage of their unfortunate lives.

I found Ree to be a very well done and complex character, a glimmer of light among so much darkness. But all of the other characters seemed far less developed, appearing as slightly different versions of the same sad, uneducated, and excessively hostile person. This was a book with no compelling mystery and no significant ending. It was a frigid trudge through ignorance and isolation, and I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

Some will praise this book for its prose, others for its harsh look at the reality of lives lived on the brink of self-destruction. I was not particularly impressed with either, and for those two reasons alone this is not a book that I would recommend.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 32 more book reviews
Read the first time for the story and hopefully a second time for the prose. I rarely do that.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 58 more book reviews
A mystery and a slice of life that is lived by few.

The descriptiveness was vivid, you can feel the cold outside, the heat from the fire and the pain the characters to through - physically and emotionally.

Will look for other titles from Woodrell because of this book.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 902 more book reviews
For me, this is one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. And since I think of the movie as two hours of my life that I will never be able to get back, I dont have much to say about the book that is positive. I read this because my book club assigned it. Otherwise, I would have gladly passed it up.

This is one of those books (or movies, for that matter) that leaves you with very little, if anything, to celebrate. The plot is an exercise in depravity on all levels. There is a palpable chord of poverty and desperation and despair that rings a sour note on every page, and the characters leave you with very little in the end to reward you for the time you spent among the wreckage of their unfortunate lives.

I found Ree to be a very well done and complex character, a glimmer of light among so much darkness. But all of the other characters seemed far less developed, appearing as slightly different versions of the same sad, uneducated, and excessively hostile person. This was a book with no compelling mystery and no significant ending. It was a frigid trudge through ignorance and isolation, and I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

Some will praise this book for its prose, others for its harsh look at the reality of lives lived on the brink of self-destruction. I was not particularly impressed with either, and for those two reasons alone this is not a book that I would recommend.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 902 more book reviews
For me, this is one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. And since I think of the movie as two hours of my life that I will never be able to get back, I dont have much to say about the book that is positive. I read this because my book club assigned it. Otherwise, I would have gladly passed it up.

This is one of those books (or movies, for that matter) that leaves you with very little, if anything, to celebrate. The plot is an exercise in depravity on all levels. There is a palpable chord of poverty and desperation and despair that rings a sour note on every page, and the characters leave you with very little in the end to reward you for the time you spent among the wreckage of their unfortunate lives.

I found Ree to be a very well done and complex character, a glimmer of light among so much darkness. But all of the other characters seemed far less developed, appearing as slightly different versions of the same sad, uneducated, and excessively hostile person. This was a book with no compelling mystery and no significant ending. It was a frigid trudge through ignorance and isolation, and I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

Some will praise this book for its prose, others for its harsh look at the reality of lives lived on the brink of self-destruction. I was not particularly impressed with either, and for those two reasons alone this is not a book that I would recommend.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 902 more book reviews
For me, this is one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. And since I think of the movie as two hours of my life that I will never be able to get back, I dont have much to say about the book that is positive. I read this because my book club assigned it. Otherwise, I would have gladly passed it up.

This is one of those books (or movies, for that matter) that leaves you with very little, if anything, to celebrate. The plot is an exercise in depravity on all levels. There is a palpable chord of poverty and desperation and despair that rings a sour note on every page, and the characters leave you with very little in the end to reward you for the time you spent among the wreckage of their unfortunate lives.

I found Ree to be a very well done and complex character, a glimmer of light among so much darkness. But all of the other characters seemed far less developed, appearing as slightly different versions of the same sad, uneducated, and excessively hostile person. This was a book with no compelling mystery and no significant ending. It was a frigid trudge through ignorance and isolation, and I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

Some will praise this book for its prose, others for its harsh look at the reality of lives lived on the brink of self-destruction. I was not particularly impressed with either, and for those two reasons alone this is not a book that I would recommend.
reviewed Winter's Bone on + 902 more book reviews
For me, this is one of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. And since I think of the movie as two hours of my life that I will never be able to get back, I dont have much to say about the book that is positive. I read this because my book club assigned it. Otherwise, I would have gladly passed it up.

This is one of those books (or movies, for that matter) that leaves you with very little, if anything, to celebrate. The plot is an exercise in depravity on all levels. There is a palpable chord of poverty and desperation and despair that rings a sour note on every page, and the characters leave you with very little in the end to reward you for the time you spent among the wreckage of their unfortunate lives.

I found Ree to be a very well done and complex character, a glimmer of light among so much darkness. But all of the other characters seemed far less developed, appearing as slightly different versions of the same sad, uneducated, and excessively hostile person. This was a book with no compelling mystery and no significant ending. It was a frigid trudge through ignorance and isolation, and I cannot say that I particularly enjoyed it.

Some will praise this book for its prose, others for its harsh look at the reality of lives lived on the brink of self-destruction. I was not particularly impressed with either, and for those two reasons alone this is not a book that I would recommend.