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Extended Audio Sample The Maid’s Version: A Novel Audiobook, by Daniel Woodrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 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: September 2013 ISBN: 9781478924579
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Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the forty-two people killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The embittered local gypsies? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident?

Alma thinks she knows the answer and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair. Her dogged pursuit of justice makes her an outcast and causes a long-standing rift with her own son. By telling her story to her grandson, she finally gains some solace—and peace for her sister.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Daniel Woodrell is the American writer we increasingly look to for the latest urgent news on the American soul. The Maid's Version is a beautiful engine of a novel, whose cogs were not entirely made by human agency, one might hazard to say. As regards the level of reading pleasure, the highest. As regards the level of literary achievement, the highest. Sebastian Barry
  • The Maid's Version is stunning. Daniel Woodrell writes flowing, cataclysmic prose with the irresistible aura of fate about it. Sam Shepard
  • I'd gladly sign a petition to see Mr. Woodrell included on any roll call of America's finest living writers. He conveys a sense of the past with the stringent affection of Katherine Anne Porter; his turns at bedlam humor are worthy of Charles Portis; and his gorgeously tangled prose is all his own. Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
  • Woodrell is, like every truly great novelist, a mythmaker with both eyes on the absolute....The Maid's Version is one more resplendent trophy on the shelf of an American master. William Giraldi, The Daily Beast
  • Compact and soulful....The Maid's Version's worth is also in its luminous prose. Woodrell's sentences bristle with finely tuned language and almost biblical rhythms of his characters' speech....Further proof, as if we needed it, that Woodrell is a writer to cherish. Adam Woog, Seattle Times
  • Woodrell's language echoes melodically with the vernacular of the Ozarks, traces of folk song, the cadences of the Bible. Sometimes he offers, seemingly with little effort, as if from a bottomless repository, pithy similes. This of Alma: "grief has chomped on her like wolves do a calf". At other times, sentences leisurely unspool: "The Missouri river floated sixty yards from the street, and there was a small crotchety tavern on the corner." [Woodrell] belongs within a great, predominantly male tradition of American writing that stretches back to Mark Twain and runs on through Willa Cather, William Faulkner, James Dickey, Larry McMurtry to Cormac McCarthy. From the vantage of their willed exile they have produced, down the generations, some of their country's finest fiction and poetry. Peter Pierce, the Australian
  • “Woodrell sets a spooky tone in his ninth novel. Based on a true story…this is an entirely original, brutal, and darkly elegant book, and Woodrell is a storyteller at the top of his game.”

    Amazon.com Review

  • The Maid's Version shows one of America's best writers at the top of his game. Kevin Nguyen, Grantland
  • For readers new to Daniel Woodrell's work, The Maid's Version is a perfect introduction and an invitation to read more. It's a short book...but there are lifetimes captured here....Throughout this remarkable book, Woodrell is an unsentimental narrator of an era that is rendered both kinder and infinitely less forgiving than our own. Ellah Allfrey, NPR Books
  • “The hunger for truth, and to a lesser extent justice, is the grand theme of The Maid’s Version. Yes, Woodrell shows us the consequences and reverberations of a tragedy down through the generations. But he also shows us, more to the point, that unanswered questions will always torture us more than the tragedy itself.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “Exquisite…Woodrell orchestrates a captivating, almost operatic narrative of how tragedy and grief can transform places and people…Woodrell delivers a stunning story of one small town and all of its profound complexities and opaque mysteries. It’s a considerable achievement and a pleasure to read.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “I’d gladly sign a petition to see Mr. Woodrell included on any roll call of America’s finest living writers. He conveys a sense of the past with the stringent affection of Katherine Anne Porter, his turns at bedlam humor are worthy of Charles Portis, and his gorgeously tangled prose is all his own.

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Compact and soulful...The Maid’s Version’s worth is also in its luminous prose. Woodrell’s sentences bristle with finely tuned language and almost biblical rhythms of his character’s speech...further proof, as if we needed it, that Woodrell is a writer to cherish.”

    Seattle Times

  • “From an economy of poetic prose springs forth an emotionally volcanic story of family, justice, and the everlasting power of the truth.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This may be a minor work for this major American writer, but no craftsman toiling away in a workshop ever fashioned his wares so carefully. A commanding fable about trespass and reconstruction from a titan of Southern fiction.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book for September 2013
  • A 2013 Washington Post Notable Book
  • A 2013 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2013 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books in Fiction
  • A 2013 Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book for Fiction
  • A Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A 2013 NPR Best Book
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • A 2013 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for Fiction
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About the Author
Author Daniel Woodrell

Daniel Woodrell lives in the Missouri Ozarks near the Arkansas state line. His 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. Two novels have been adapted as major motion pictures: Woe to Live On, filmed in 1999 by Ang Lee as Ride with the Devil, starring Tobey Maguire and Skeet Ulrich, and Winter’s Bone, a 2010 film accepted to the US dramatic competition category at the Sundance Film Festival.

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.