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The Outlaw Album review - Daniel Woodrell

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TORTURE YARNS The Winter's Bone author delves even deeper into backwoods noir with this collection of stories

The Outlaw Album

Current Status:
In Season
Daniel Woodrell
Little, Brown and Company
Short Stories

We gave it a B+

”Once Boshell finally killed his neighbor he couldn’t seem to quit killing him.” That’s the opening line of The Outlaw Album, a collection of country-noir stories by the author of Winter’s Bone, and it’s also a warning: People don’t just die in the book. Instead, they go insane (as a Vietnam vet does in ”Night Stand”) or get viciously tortured (as a rapist does in ”Uncle”) — and then they die. At times, Woodrell seems too eager to punish his characters. But in his best tales, the human desperation behind the violence is gripping. If anyone understands what motivates a man to keep shooting a corpse with a squirrel rifle, it’s Woodrell. B+