Daniel Woodrell was born right here in Springfield, MO, and still resides in the vicinity of West Plains. With fast paced narratives, gritty prose, and spot-on geo-political Ozark insight, Woodrell's books are guaranteed to entertain. Start with any book on the list, and we bet you'll read them all.
The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell
In the parish of St. Bruno, sex is easy, corruption festers, and double-dealing is a way of life. Rene Shade is an uncompromising detective swimming in a sea of filth. As Shade takes on hit men, porn kings, a gang of ex-cons, and the ghosts of his own checkered past, Daniel Woodrell's three seminal novels pit long-entrenched criminals against the hard line of the law, brother against brother, and two vastly different sons against a long-absent father.
The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell
Peels the lid back on a dysfunctional Missouri family as infidelity threatens to consume their world in violence and terror.
The Maid's Version : A Novel by Daniel Woodrell
Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?
Tomato Red by Daniel Woodrell
In the Ozarks, what you are is where you are born. If you're born in Venus Holler, you're not much. For Jamalee Merridew, her hair tomato red from her rage and ambition, Venus Holler just won't cut it. Jamalee sees her brother, Jason, blessed with drop-dead gorgeous looks and the local object of female obsession, as her ticket out of town. But Jason may just be gay, and in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks, that is the most dangerous and courageous thing a man could be.
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell
Ree Dolly's father has skipped bail on charges that he ran a crystal meth lab, and the Dollys will lose their house if he doesn't show up for his next court date. With two young brothers depending on her, 16-year-old Ree knows she has to bring her father back, dead or alive. Living in the harsh poverty of the Ozarks, Ree learns quickly that asking questions of the rough Dolly clan can be a fatal mistake. But, as an unsettling revelation lurks, Ree discovers unforeseen depths in herself and in a family network that protects its own at any cost.
Woe to Live On by Daniel Woodrell
Includes reading group guide. During the Civil War, fifteen-year-old Jake Roedel joins the First Kansas Irregulars and after coming face to face with unrestrained violence, comes to question his loyalties.
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