Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Best Short Stories of Daniel Woodrell's THE OUTLAW ALBUM

The Outlaw Album is a collection of short stories by one of my favorite authors in Daniel Woodrell. The vast majority are very short (5 to 10 pages) and in some instances this is too short, but the length generally works.  

The Echo of Neighborly Bone is a tale of a deranged and violent individual in a rural setting who becomes a serial killer of one. murdering his neighbor time and time ago. The ending was a little of for me, and threw the story making it not feel complete.

One of my favorites, Uncle is about a sexual predator; a menacing figure who has his way with young women on vacation. He's a predator who not only takes what he wants from strangers but family too. Woodrell writes a clever and evocative tale of revenge with prolonged satisfaction for the sufferance of the man who ultimately gets his comeuppance.

Twin Forks is a small town campers delight that touches upon the rural noir Woodrell writes so well without quite giving up the goods to satisfy this reader. The story itself felt like it was just getting started before ending. 

Florianne is an emotional tale which lacks depth of a missing daughter not found. More of a thought provoking narrative than deep and meaningful mystery. 

The Night Stand was strange and engaging. Woken by a man standing over a couple as they slept, the recently startled awake male contributes to a seemingly premeditated intruder suicide. Good depth and back-story - it would make a great novel. 

Some of the stories in the middle of the collection felt flat; one about a Chinese whisper that grew and got murky over time and another about a man in prison with a knack for poetry, while well written didn't really engage the reader. The later stories also didn't do it for me which is disheartening as the collection got off to a relatively strong start.

Fans of Woodrell will no doubt have read this. I was left with mixed feelings - perhaps my exceptions were too high but for some reason the majority of the stories just didn't connect with me; I'd rate this book a 2 out of 5. 

No comments:

Post a Comment