The Death Of Sweet Mister
by Daniel Woodrell
This novel shares a lot with Winter’s Bone: the same Ozark terrain, the same hardscrabble existence, the same concern with an absent father. Yet Winter’s Bone is wonderfully taut while this slender novel seems about as flabby as its thirteen-year-old narrator. In the end, this unsympathetic boy’s life revolves around the stellar, erotic figure of his dissolute mother, but the mother is the character we don’t see from the boy’s perspective. From the wrong angle, all love is love gone wrong.