The Outlaw Album

It seems to be the theme of 2012 – “better late than never” – but over a year after sitting slack-jawed through the cold, mournful film that is Winter’s Bone, I cracked into Daniel Woodrell’s written works.  Suffice to say he’s quickly shooting up to the top ranks of my favorite author list. It’s dark stuff, The Outlaw Album, and for someone who favors unending heavy tomes of historical fiction mixed with some Roald Dahl and the occasional chick lit, I was bit dismayed that the first of his writing I checked out from the library was a slim book of short stories. But they pack a serious, creepy punch. And if you are wondering how a punch can be serious, just picture a wizened but strong clenched fist, dirt under the gnawed fingernails, with spiderwebs.  They are exactly those types of stories.

So go get the book (thanks Boston Public Library – you are the main reason I’m lukewarm-ingly happy to pay state taxes), make sure your room is chilly enough to warrant a blanket and dark enough to need a lamp, and read this with a mug of warm, milky tea.  You could also read it on your private beach in St. John and be totally immersed while earning my contempt, but if we’re going to set the perfect reading environment, get thee to some northern environ and snuggle up.

I’m semi-inspired to check out another film based off of Woodrell’s book Woe to the Devil, if only to see the casting spectacle that includes Skeet Ulrich, Tobey Maguire (blech), and…Jewel?? Seems a little cheeseball, based on the trailer. Probably a scenario of book trumping movie, as is so woefully often the case. Would love to know if anyone has seen it and if it’s worth a view…

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