1. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston

    WF Book Club Selection for July/August: Winter's Bone

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by thirdwind, Jul 5, 2011.

    For the months of July and August, we'll be reading and discussing Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone. So please get a copy and begin reading as soon as possible.
     
  2. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Here's the U.S. book cover -

    [​IMG]

    And the captions at the bottom say:

     
  3. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    Just got my copy today. I've heard good things about this book, so I'm really looking forward to reading it.
     
  4. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    My copy's on order at the library. I'll be joining when it comes in.
     
  5. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Great, I'm looking forward to everyone's observations. When you do start, tell me which genre you think this book best fits. Is it the more obvious YA genre or not?
     
  6. Sundae
    Offline

    Sundae Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Astral Weeks
    I'll probably start this weekend. Just got my copy two days ago.
     
  7. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Copy in hand. First points of note - the dialect obviously. I'm guessing it's fairly faithful to the region? Seems to well observed and not too heavy handed. And secondly, quite liked how Ree pulled headphones out of her pocket (even though they were attached to a cassette walkman) when otherwise the environment seemed very much like one of yesteryear - powerful little trick.
     
  8. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    The headphones do stick out amidst a landscape of people who seem older and more primitive. They serve a dual purpose, though, in that they remind you that Ree is only a teenager, even though she is carrying the burdens of a 40 year old.

    The thing I noticed right away was the lyrical prose. Such keen observations, but with words that evoke the harsh realism of the story and setting:
     
  9. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I like the way the dialect was handled. It's easy to read and takes little effort to understand.

    I also noticed the subtle way Woodrell describes his characters to things we ordinarily associate with as being depressing (Sonny, whose hair is the color of a fallen leaf, etc.). This technique is used for describing other things as well, not just characters. This may be a way to set a tone for the rest of the novel, or, in the case of the characters, it may be done to draw sympathy. This might just be me, but I tend to be more sympathetic towards characters that are not good looking or have a particular deformity. This is sort of the opposite of how characters are portrayed in literature from the Middle Ages, where bad looks or deformities were associated with bad/immoral character and vice versa.

    By the way, there's a movie adaption of Winter's Bone. I'm probably going to watch it after I finish reading the book.
     
  10. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    I'm planning on watching the movie after I finish the book, too.

    I really enjoy the way the book is written so far. It's fairly simple and straightforward, but still managed to pack quite an emotional punch for me.
     
  11. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    I'm a bit baffled by the "fish" religion. Anyone care to shed any light on this? Is this some odd strain of christianity that the Ozark people brought with them many generations prior?
     
  12. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    The movie version was fantastic. It seems that the book's dialogue was especially well suited for film since a good bit of it is in there. No changes were made to the story other than the ending of the movie not making clear what we know, from the book, to be the natural outcome of events. I'm being purposely vague here :)

    I have no idea about fish and the beliefs of the Ozark people. At first I was fascinated by the bit of religion/folkore with the sparkling fish and the prophet, Haslam (Teardrop's name is actually Haslam). But Woodrell only brings it up to then promptly dispense with it a few pages later. He tempts you with it by making you think that Teardrop will be a modern-day prophet of the Dolly clan, and that the bitterness the relatives have for Ree's family goes beyond her father's snitching but is actually rooted in ancient myth.

    Anyway, I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts on the movie when you see it. And if you've read The Hunger Games, you'll be interested to note that the actress playing Ree Dolly will be playing Katniss in the movie adaptation coming out next year.
     
  13. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Haven't seen the film, nor probably will I since I've read the book now ;)

    Anyway, impressed by the gritty reality of the consequences of the sound beating Ree took. Powerful stuff. And we walked something of a tightrope at towards the end with the will-(s)he-won't-(s)he dilemma. Had the readabilty of a throw-away crime novel, but with a very keen eye for the region. Enjoyed the book.
     
  14. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Just finished it. In regard to the whole fish religion thing, I'll be honest and admit that I just kind of skimmed that part. It seemed to come out of nowhere, and I was sick when I read that part, so I couldn't really concentrate on it. However, I'm planning on rereading it before I bring it back to the library, so hopefully I'll be able to pay more attention to it the next time around.

    When I first started reading, I found the writing really simple, and in a way, this book is a very easy, fast read (ignore the fact that it took me almost a month and a half to read it...that's just because I haven't had much time for reading). However, it definitely isn't a book that you can just skim through and forget about...Woodrell's writing really packs a punch.

    Edit: Also, I've just discovered that the film version is available instantly through Netflix. Hell yeah!
     
  15. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    No one has mentioned characters. Ree Dolly has got to rank up there with the ultimate literary heroines, right alongside Scarlett O'Hara and Hester Prynne. Her courage in dealing with the terrifying Dolly men (and women, yikes, they can sure beat the crap out of you in a five-on-one!) in order to protect her home and family, and the way she would never back down were inspiring. Ree is such a twin to Katniss, the protagonist in Hunger Games. [I'd love it if we did that book in December, just a few months before the movie releases.]

    EDIT: I forgot to ask, what did she mean when she would say she was a Dolly, "bred and buttered"? Contextually I understood it to mean she, like the Dolly clan, are self-reliant and loyal to the clan.
     
  16. Gannon
    Offline

    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    3,977
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Manchester, England
    Not so sure I'd go this far. She was smarter than most of her community but not smart enough to avoid an obvious beating, unless she thought the beating would definitely ellicit the whereabouts of her father, and I'm not so sure that connection is assured.

    I think it's just a regional extension of "born and bred" taken one step further as "bre(a)d and buttered". Regional emphasis, I'd say.
     
  17. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    ^I don't think it's her intelligence (or lack thereof, in the case of not being smart enough to avoid the beating) that puts her up there with other admirable female characters, though. She was not only brave, she was tenacious and never stopped fighting, even when people tried to bully or intimidate her into dropping the whole thing. I thought she was a really inspirational character.

    As for the whole "bread and buttered" thing, I interpreted it the same way as Gannon. A regional version of "born and bred."
     
  18. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Right, her tenacity and independent spirit coupled with her protectiveness of her siblings all the while dealing with a checked-out mother, terrifying Dolly clan, law enforcers preparing to take away her house, and a father who might be dead, marks her as one of the great feminist heroines in literature, not to mention one of the youngest. Scarlett O'Hara, though, is incomparable with her complexity and flaws adding that extra dimension.

    But people say they're born & bred in a particular place, but for her when she says she's a Dolly, bred & buttered, she's saying she comes from/is grounded in her ancestors? Forgive my thickness.
     
  19. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    ^Yes, I think that's what she was saying. She's a Dolly, bread and buttered, meaning she's got the Dolly spirit and attitude.

    I watched the movie today, and I thought it was really good. I found their decision to change her youngest brother into a sister a very...intriguing?...one. The movie stayed so close to the book, I was very curious about why they made that call.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I finally got a chance to watch the movie. It was great, probably one of the best film adaptations I've ever seen. The shaking camera technique worked well for the film.

    As for the "bred and buttered" thing, I agree with Gannon's and Hidden's interpretation, though I wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility that there might be some regional nuances we may have missed.
     
  21. marina
    Offline

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    Seattle
    Oh, I love it when people like movies I like, ha.

    The end of the movie, though...they keep it pretty vague regarding Teardrop's next move, I think.
     

Share This Page