fredag den 4. marts 2011

Daniel Woodrell, Winter´s Bone (2006)


This novel is an American stand-alone.

Sixteen-year-old Ree Dolly is all alone with a mother ´gone daffy´ and two younger brothers. The police come looking for her father who left months ago, telling her that unless her father turns up in court, they will lose their home which her father put up as security.

Ree needs her father, dead or alive, and the only way to find him among the taciturn country folks in the Ozark Mountains is to search for him herself.

This fine, little mystery has quite a lot in common with the British novel Blacklands which I reviewed last week.

First of all there is the bleak and remote environment. The Ozark Mountain is the kind of place where you are surprised every time you are reminded that these people actually watch television. They have a long tradition of taking matters into their own hands, and you´d better obey their code of honour. Besides, producing methamphetamine is quite a common line of business.

Second, there is no stable and reliable father figure in the house, and the mothers are not exactly strong or active; thus the oldest child feels responsible for setting things right. Steven and Ree both assume the responsibility for the well-being of the whole family far too early in life.

Finally, Ree and Steven believe that by finding a missing person (Steven´s uncle, her father) they can restore some sort of order.

So there are several similarities between these two intriguing stories, yet Winter´s Bone seems even darker and more desolate than Blacklands.

I think I bought the book myself.

13 kommentarer:

Maxine sagde ...

Interesting comparison,and nice review. I liked this book too but it is very dark.

Jose Ignacio Escribano sagde ...

I'm planning to go and see the film this w/e. Winter's Bone recieved four Oscar nominations this year, not bad for an indy film with little chances.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams sagde ...

Sounds like a bleak life, landscape, and outlook! Meth..ugh. But interesting. I may have to check this one out.

Dorte H sagde ...

Maxine: thank you. I think I noticed because I read them with a few days in between.

José: I have heard it is a fantastic film.

Elizabeth: despite the bleakness, there was a certain positive note as one can imagine this strong girl will get away.

Margot Kinberg sagde ...

Dorte - What a great review! I've heard a lot about the film, and I just wonder if it's anything like the book...

Kelly sagde ...

Hmmm... I haven't heard anything about the movie version of this novel.

Ozarks could be Arkansas or Missouri. Does it state which in the book? That is the opposite end of the state from where I live, although the meth business is thriving in my area, too.

Kelly sagde ...

By the way, I did end up downloading Blacklands to my Kindle. I may save it for the RIP challenge in the fall. I'm seriously considering one you reviewed earlier in the week for that challenge, too. (the one set in Venice)

Dorte H sagde ...

Margot: Rob wrote something about the book AND the film last week (during my flu so I didn´t read his post properly).

Kelly: I think it is Arkansas, but you really shouldn´t ask me geography questions.
I think both Blacklands, The Lying Tongue - and this one for that matter - would be good choices for RIP.

Clarissa Draper sagde ...

Cool book! I sometimes love stand alone novels. The setting is cool and the plot (although similar to others) is still intriguing.

Dorte H sagde ...

Clarissa: they can´t all be series, and despite the similarities, these two stories were VERY different.

seana sagde ...

I haven't read it but the film is great, and I think very faithful to the book.

A word about meth in America, though. It would be a mistake to think that it is just a problem in the remote country this book describes. Meth is rampant here, and I think preys on the poor and vulnerable. Meth seems to be reaching into a lot of communities that might have thought themselves beyond the reach of the more 'big city' drugs of choice.

Dorte H sagde ...

Seana: I have always assumed meth was a town or city phenomenon, but I can see the advantages of producing it in an area where the police are not afraid to threaten young Ree but would never take om the local ´bosses´.

seana sagde ...

I'd have to read more before speaking with any authority on this, but it seems that the isolation and the decline of small rural towns make meth a business choice for some and a 'lifestyle' choice for others. Bad news.