Monday, July 18, 2016


I enjoyed this story collection by respected author Daniel Woodrell but it unfortunately suffers from the thing that threatens to plague many collections: the stories might not be very consistent in quality. There were several tales that really stood out, will definitely appeal to fans of his work, and really encompassed the themes Woodrell tackles throughout the whole collection. "Florianne" and "Uncle," two great tales of rural revenge, as well as "Black Step" and "Night Stand," two stunning sketches of PTSD in veterans, were very impressive, but many of the other stories were simply not that memorable. Also, many of the characters in this collection don't engage and stick with you the way other Woodrell creations do, like Shug or Glenda in The Death of Sweet Mister, or Ree in Winter's Bone. Fans of the author's poetic prose and the way he conjures environment and atmosphere should give this a go though!
Her chest had been cut away from her first, both sides, but she fell sick in other parts too, and the sick didn't rest; it prowled her body, salting her with ruin you couldn't see in her face for a good long while. Now the ruin just stares out at me, all the time, from those eyes that know about hope and that body that can't offer any.

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