The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell

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A thin volume of short stories by the author of Winter’s Bone, the film of which launched Jennifer Lawrence’s career.

The book is incredibly evocative of different lives lived on the fringe of society, each story focusing on a person who transgresses, or lives with someone who transgresses the law. Most of the stories are about murder, but also why we commit it. The circumstances that push us. The people are living lives that are not simple, they are on the outskirts of community.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that it’s not very long! I normally don’t like short stories, but these are all so different, so unexpected and often heartbreaking, sometimes funny, and always insightful. They’re stories about the people you so often don’t find in books, or who are parodied in movies. I would have loved to have read more and more.

Read It If: you like American literature, or crime stories, or something a bit read and different. This book is really good.

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