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Review: The Outlaw Album

February 2, 2012

The Outlaw Album, by Daniel Woodrell is a collection of twelve short stories set in the Ozarks.  The stories are dark and full of despair and feature characters with few options.  I really liked most of the stories, found a few disturbing, and will admit that a few of them left me puzzled.  My favorites were:

  • Uncle – A young girl gets tired of her uncle’s sexual advances (towards her and other females) and takes matters into her own hands.  Her actions have consequences, though, so she faces another decision.
  • Black Step – After coming back from what I assumed was a military deployment, a young man struggles to fit in, but has been cleared to go back.  A young woman is making advances and his mother thinks she knows why.
  • Night Stand – When a veteran wakes up to find a naked man standing over his bed, he reacts pretty much the way you would expect.  The background of the naked man just might surprise you though.

The stories in this book evoke a strong sense of place.  Readers will feel the despair and desperation of the characters.  Pick The Outlaw Album up when you’re in the mood for something raw and gritty.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

32 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2012 4:39 am

    Sounds great I will keep an eye out.

  2. February 2, 2012 6:41 am

    I don’t read many short story collections for some reason, but from time to time, they work well. Thanks for letting us know about this one.

  3. February 2, 2012 6:58 am

    I just bought this book when I was in Chicago in December! The owner said it has been getting some good exposure because of “Winter’s Bone”, which I’m sure, based on the movie, is harrowing.

  4. February 2, 2012 7:50 am

    The stories do sound harrowing, but intriguing. I’m not a fan of short story collections, but I’ll keep this in the radar.

  5. February 2, 2012 8:25 am

    I don’t always connect with short stories but “Night Stand” caught my attention.

  6. February 2, 2012 8:49 am

    I’m on a roll with short story collections this year. I’ll have to add this one to my list

  7. February 2, 2012 9:12 am

    Sounds very raw and gritty!

  8. Sallybway permalink
    February 2, 2012 9:55 am

    This has been on my Amazon wish list since it came out! I actually really love short stories, and Daniel Woodrell is a favorite of mine. It’s also cool that his stories are set in familiar places.

  9. February 2, 2012 9:56 am

    THis one sounds like a heavy read, the stories all sound dark. I don’t realy many short story collections, but I might be interested in this one. I would have to be in a mood for a read like this.

  10. February 2, 2012 11:27 am

    From the sound of this it seems like it might be similar to Ron Rash’s work…the gritty subject matter and the evocative setting…

  11. February 2, 2012 11:28 am

    I’m not a big short story reader, I think I just need more time to get into a story. That being said this set sounds like an interesting, though tough read.

  12. February 2, 2012 11:52 am

    Great, concise review! You’ve whetted my interest in this collection, Kathy.

  13. February 2, 2012 12:11 pm

    Thank You for your suggestion.

  14. February 2, 2012 12:15 pm

    Thanks! for your review, these shot stories sound very interesting.

  15. February 2, 2012 12:16 pm

    LOL, sorry a typing error, I meant short.

  16. February 2, 2012 12:41 pm

    This sounds a bit too heavy for me, but I really enjoyed your synopses of your favorite stories! Thanks, Kathy!

  17. February 2, 2012 12:47 pm

    What an interesting and varied collection!

  18. February 2, 2012 1:18 pm

    I adore short stories and these sound really good. Thanks for the review.

  19. February 2, 2012 1:24 pm

    It does sound raw and gritty with those story descriptions.

  20. February 2, 2012 1:27 pm

    I was so excited about this book at SIBA, and it was touted as really dark and gritty by the reps, so I have been looking forward to it. I prefer my short stories to be emotionally pungent and strong, so this looks like it will be a great book for me. Thanks for the excellent review today, Kathy. It sounds like a one of a kind read!

  21. February 2, 2012 3:45 pm

    Sorry, but I hope I’m not feeling the need for raw and gritty. I’ll stay in my cocoon.

  22. February 2, 2012 4:15 pm

    Ok now I wonder about that last one

  23. February 2, 2012 4:32 pm

    I love short stories, so may give this a read whenever my TBR pile gets a little shorter.
    It does sound good!

  24. February 2, 2012 6:57 pm

    This sounds like an interesting collection. I can handle raw and gritty…most of the time!

  25. February 2, 2012 9:30 pm

    OMG…it’s kind of scaring me…isn’t this the area where Deliverance was filmed?
    I think I would have nightmares…lol…I can read a million vampire books and sleep like a baby but the cover of this book is mildly freaking me out!!!

  26. February 3, 2012 8:57 am

    I am not a big fan of short stories. They just don’t grab my attention but this book sounds like these stories would demand my attention. I like your description of raw and gritty!

  27. February 3, 2012 9:27 am

    I’m really curious about the naked man’s story! 😉

  28. February 3, 2012 10:32 am

    I often times finish a short story and don’t know quite what to make of it.

  29. February 3, 2012 1:51 pm

    As fun as many bloggers make shor stories sound I just don’t enjoy them. I am curious about that last story though, LOL. Maybe it was the naked man part 😉

  30. February 3, 2012 5:29 pm

    I try to stay away from stories that are dark and full of despair, so this one isn’t for me.

  31. February 4, 2012 11:03 am

    I’m not sure this is for me. But you never know. I was going to try to read more short story collections this year for something different.

  32. February 4, 2012 11:41 am

    Some books you really have to be in the right mood for — sounds like this isn’t a book for when you’re feeling delicate. But I love short stories, so it will definitely go on the TBR list.

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