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Extended Audio Sample Give Us a Kiss: A Country Noir Audiobook, by Daniel Woodrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (436 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel Woodrell Narrator: Brian Troxell Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781611135039
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“My imagination is always skulking about in a wrong place.” And now Doyle Redmond, thirty-five-year-old nowhere writer, has crossed the line between imagination and real live trouble. On the lam in his soon-to-be ex-wife’s Volvo, he’s running a family errand back in his boyhood home of West Table, Missouri—the heart of the red-dirt Ozarks. The law wants his big brother, Smoke, on a felony warrant, and Doyle’s supposed to talk him into giving up. But Smoke is hunkered down in the hills with his partner, Big Annie, and her nineteen-year-old daughter, Niagra, making other plans: they’re about to harvest a profitable patch of homegrown marijuana.

Doyle takes just one look at Niagra’s flattering red boots before joining his brother’s scheme. Of course it means dealing with the law and maybe worse—the Dollys. A legendary clan of largely criminal persuasion, the Dollys have been feuding with the Redmonds for generations. Now they want a piece of Smoke’s cash crop, even if it means killing to get it. Doyle is fast realizing that yes, you can always put the country back in the boy … but sometimes that’s not smart. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Takes on a mythic quality…One is tempted to hear echoes of William Faulkner, Erskine Caldwell, or Andrew Lytle…Mr. Woodrell isn’t imitating any of them. He’s only drawing from the same well they did, but with a different take, a different voice, a sharper sense of irony and satire…slick, sparkling, stylized.”

    New York Times

  • Woodrell knows deeply the subjects he writes on . . . Most important, he knows the voices of his people, and he never sounds a false or condescending note. Pinckney Benedict, Washington Post
  • He celebrates blood kin, home country and hot sex in this rich, funny, headshakingly original novel. Woodrell is a ladystinger of a writer. Annie Proulx
  • Slick, sparkling, stylized....takes on a mythic quality. The New York Times Book Review
  • 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
  • Woodrell is a marvellous writer. Roddy Doyle
  • “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 luck for us, he’s remorseless that way.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • Give Us a Kiss is a keeper. One of those choice, quirky, written pieces that sometimes makes you whistle because it is so good…Woodrell’s Ozarks are cut as cleanly as Flannery O’Connor’s Georgia and pocked with characters just as volatile and proud and unpredictable.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A sly gem of a book…A darkly funny, lusciously written joyride into the heart of hillbilly wilderness.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A darkly comic crime dance where the mystical and the murderous make out in the corner…The result of all these genre shenanigans is charmingly (and terrifyingly) good, dirty fun.”

    Salon

  • “One of the best-written novels of the decade…Joyously vulgar and as raw as three-day-old corn whiskey.”

    Cleveland Plain-Dealer

  • “The dialog here is solid and the players unforgettable. Narrator Brian Troxell’s accented presentation brings out both the humor and the sometimes deadly seriousness of each episode. The story also has as close to a happy ending as Woodrell musters. Both raunchy and dangerous, this will have listeners demanding a sequel.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “Woodrell add[s] a smart dose of writerly in-jokes and bottom-up social analysis to his usual mix of peckerwood poetry and butt-kicking violence…Woodrell elbows his way to the forefront of tough-guy fiction.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 1/29/2014

    " I so enjoyed Winter's Bone (see review here), that I set out to read another Woodrell forthwith. In Give Us A Kiss: A Country Noir, Doyle Redmond, a published but unknown author, leaves California in a Volvo stolen from his unfaithful wife, to return to his native Missouri. He sees his parents who dispatch him to find his brother, Smoke, and to convince him to turn himself in on outstanding arrest warrants in Kansas City. Doyle finds Smoke deep in the woods near their hometown of West Table, in the Missouri Ozarks along the Arkansas border, cultivating a cash crop of marijuana. Needing money to finish his next novel, Doyle pitches in on tending and harvesting the crop, a dangerous job due to a long-standing feud between the Redmonds and another hillbilly family. The perhaps autobiographical Give Us a Kiss is both more country and more noir than Winter's Bone. Woodrell's use of language is rougher and the plot is grittier and bloodier. But, I am more convinced after reading Give Us A Kiss, that Woodrell is doing something unlike any other current author in telling heretofore untold tales of the harsh realities of life in contemporary rural America. Brilliant, albeit disturbing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Pastor | 1/20/2014

    " fantastic book-loved the story, great characters, awesome writing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 1/10/2014

    " While the subject matter is much the same as the other Woodrell books I've read lately, this one was funny as well-darkly comic, I guess I should say. The book oozes with sex, violence and colorful, strong language. Again, not for the faint of heart, but I enjoyed it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roman Sonnleitner | 1/10/2014

    " Woodrell's first novel set in the Ozarks already hints at the coming greatness of "Winer's Bone". A bit too rambling at times (when it comes to Ozark family history, or his writing career - sometimes it feels like you're inside a John Irving novel...), and the language isn't as powerful yet as in his masterpiece, but it's definitely a few steps above his earlier works. Recommended! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 1/3/2014

    " I could feel the heat of the summer, hear the swell of the crickets in the grass and smell the danger in the air. Some of the best writing I've seen in a very long time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 12/21/2013

    " It's amazing that Daniel Woodrell is not better known. This is my favorite of his books. It is to me the best of a genre I'll call "Hillbillies Behaving Badly." He calls it "Country Noir." It has sly humor, very sharp writing, great characterization, and a real feel for the people and countryside of the Ozarks. His other books are good too but I think that the greater humor of this book makes it my favorite. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brad | 12/19/2013

    " Damn that was a good book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 12/9/2013

    " The shizzle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leeanne | 11/20/2013

    " Awesome book! I really need to read it again, after I finish his other books that I haven't read yet! :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/7/2013

    " This novel just grabbed me by the collar and pulled me right into it. Although based on Missourians, it still seemed oddly familiar, the people and situations were so similar to people I knew in Central Texas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherry | 9/12/2013

    " Intriguing book. Kept me interested from the beginning. Guess it shows that you are your roots. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott Hodgson | 8/28/2013

    " This is a gritty but beautifully written story. With plenty of dirt and polish strewn about. Woodrell is becoming one of my favorite writers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 8/22/2013

    " This is a VERY strange - sometimes very funny novel. Not really a mystery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharelle | 6/22/2013

    " I love every book I've ever read by this author. Fresh. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason Howlett | 6/8/2013

    " Pretty good. But then again Woodrell's "Pretty good" is better than 85% of what's out there... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Greg Allan Holcomb | 4/14/2013

    " It's been six months since I've read a 4 or 5 star book. I grabbed the only Woodrell book left on the library shelf. I space out the good writers, but I guess I won't wait as long to read the next one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 3/25/2013

    " randomly selected from library and a hit. great language, created an image - clear cut - in my mind. Redneck! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy | 3/18/2013

    " One of Woodrell's most accessible novels, with most likeBle characters. A good read and introduction to the author's Southern noir. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 3/12/2013

    " caught the spirit of southern Missouri. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ashley | 12/4/2012

    " 4.5/5. What a fun read. This is my 5th Woodrell book and probably my favorite. Seems like it is probably semi autobiographical. Great story, easy to get into, very relatable to those of us who feel like we can't escape our genes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nate Hendrix | 8/7/2012

    " I could read about his characters talking about anything. The story was great, action and humor and a twist at the end. "

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About the Author
Author Daniel WoodrellDaniel Woodrell's five most recent novels were selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999. He lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.
About the Narrator

Brian Troxell is an Atlanta-based actor and voice talent who can be seen and heard on television, film, radio, podcasts, and the live stage. Brian is a regular cast member of the Sketchworks sketch comedy troupe, and performs regularly with the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company. He can also be heard as a cast member of the Harry Strange Radio Drama.