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The Bayou Trilogy: Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do Paperback – April 28, 2011
This month's Book With Buzz: "Stranger in the House" by Shari Lapena
In this neighborhood, danger lies close to home. A thriller packed full of secrets and a twisty story that never stops - from the bestselling author of "The Couple Next Door." See more
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Collected in a single volume for the first time, Woodrell's three stellar novels featuring Det. Rene Shade, an ex-boxer turned cop, provide entrée into the Louisiana swamp town of Saint Bruno, a place where "tempers went on the prowl and relief was driving a hard bargain." Woodrell (Winter's Bone) injects Shade's life and various cases with both humor and brutal violence. In Bright Lights (1986), the investigation into a city councilman's murder mushrooms into a corruption scandal, with Shade feeling pressure from above for a quick—and predetermined—result. Muscle for the Wing (1988) finds Shade up against a gang of ex-cons, hell-bent on wrestling control of Saint Bruno's less-than-legal action. Shade and his two brothers—bar owner Tip and district attorney Francois—are reunited with their long-absent paterfamilias, John X., in The Ones You Do (1992), in which John X. returns to Saint Bruno with a 10-year-old daughter and a killer on his trail. There's poetry in Woodrell's mayhem, each novel—and scene—full of gritty and memorable Cajun details. (Apr.)
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"Woodrell writes drolly and pungently of rednecks and swamp rats with the affection and exasperation of a man who has spent his life among them ... The Bayou Trilogy stands with the best crime fiction of its period."―St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Old fans and new readers alike out to be grateful....The novels showcase Woodrell's evolution as a writer....Woodrell's The Bayou Trilogy supplies all the pleasure of hard-boiled noir: laconic cynicism, casually colorful characters (a diner owner, for instance, is described as having 'slightly more than a basic issue of a nose') and a hero whose feet of clay make his dedication to law and order all the more admirable."―Chicago Tribune
"Really cool . . . Jump on these three top-shelf books."―Library Journal
"The Bayou Trilogy is more than a landmark of crime fiction; it is an impressive and important addition to American letters. Bravo, Daniel Woodrell, and long live Rene Shade."―PulpSerenade.com
"What people say about Cormac McCarthy . . . goes double for [Woodrell]. Possibly more."―New York Magazine
A backcountry Shakespeare . . . The inhabitants of Daniel Woodrell's fiction often have a streak that's not just mean but savage; yet physical violence does not dominate his books. What does dominate is a seasoned fatalism . . . Woodrell has tapped into a novelist's honesty, and lucky for us, he's remorseless that way."―Los Angeles Times
"Daniel Woodrell writes in sentences that could be ancient carvings on a tree."―Chicago Tribune
"Woodrell is the least-known major writer in the country right now."―Dennis Lehane, USA Today
"Daniel Woodrell has quietly built a career that whould be the envy of most American novelists today."―Washington Times
"Poetic prose and raw dialogue . . . dark-hued suspense."―Washington Post Book World, on Under the Bright Lights
"A gritty, atmospheric slice of crime fiction . . . a superior piece of narrative noir."―Kirkus, on Under the Bright Lights
"Vitality pulses from this perfectly paced book . . . a flawless novel."―San Francisco Examiner, on Under the Bright Lights
"Sly and powerful."―John D. MacDonald, on Under the Bright Lights
"As steamy as the bayou country that is its setting."―The Washington Post Book World, on Under the Bright Lights
"Daniel Woodrell is stone brilliant--a Bayou Dutch Leonard, steeped in rich Louisiana language. Muscle for the Wing is vicious, colloquial, dark and--most surprisingly--brutally funny. To read it is to enter a superbly realized universe of surprises."―James Ellroy, author of LA Confidential and Blood's A Rover
"Off-the-wall characters, quirky and bizarre, yet as authentic as any I've ever met in a novel. Woodrell succeeds--in fact triumphs . . . and spins a hell of a yarn to boot."―The Washington Post Book World, on Muscle for the Wing
"The colorful characters and piquant tongues in which they speak . . . really have us swooning . . . All offer hot-breathed testimony to the human gumbo that is St. Bruno."―The New York Times, on Muscle for the Wing
"Woodrell does for the Ozarks what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles or Elmore Leonard did for Florida."―LA Times, on Muscle for the Wing
"Characters as screwy and dangerous as any in Elmore Leonard, as a sense of pace and language that never warns you whether a scene or sentence will end in a burst of poetry or a hail of bullets."―Kirkus, on The Ones You Do
"Deeply atmospheric and oozing with the mojo of the swamp . . . Woodrell's work echoes that of William Kennedy, William Faulkner, and Walter Mosley . . . Fine writing."―The Chicago Tribune, on The Ones You Do
"The pages snap, crackle, and pop. Woodrell's writing reminds me of the late, great John D. MacDonald, the kind of keen eye for the local detail, but he walks his own walk and talks his own talk."―Barry Gifford, on The Ones You Do
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Top customer reviews
The book chronicles the tales of gamblers, crooks, drunks, gangsters, cuckolds, dirty politicians, and such with a Cajun flavor.
The stories didn't hold my interest and I had to force myself to continue reading. I didn't like Rene Shade too much as a person. He was shallow, oversexed, wishy-washy and not that good of a police officer..
This book was also written in the mid to late 1980's and it is pretty dated as well.
I bought another Daniel Woodrell book and hope it is better than this one.
In this trilogy, I liked the first part least, and though all are related, felt that this one was a bit disjointed from the other two. But parts 2 and 3 are pure gold, and more because of the tawdry aspects and we leave the "city" streets for some back water back drops.
I love everything this man has written and hope there is much more to come.