Page Updated: 01/10/01
Daniel Woodrell
Daniel Woodrell
Ride with the DevilRide with the Devil
Tomato RedTomato Red
Give Us a Kiss: A Country NoirGive Us a Kiss: A Country Noir
Under The Bright LightsUnder The Bright Lights
Buy at By Daniel Woodrell
About the Author

British Pbk Original - No Exit Press (1999)
Ride with the Devil
Set in the border states of Kansas and Missouri during the American Civil War Woe to Live On, now filmed as Ride with the Devil by Ang Lee, explores the nature of lawlessness and violence through the eyes and thoughts of Jake Roedel. During the winter of 1861 Roedel grows up quickly experiencing a brutal, lawless parody of war without standards or mercy.
Ride with the Devil (originally published as Woe to Live On) is a renegade western in the style of Thomas Berger's Little Big Man that celebrates the genre while at the same time bushwhacking some it's most celebrated traditions.
Ride with the Devil is directed by Ang Lee (Ice Storm, Sense and Sensibility), written by James Schamus (Ice Storm) and stars Skeet Ulrich, Tobey Maguire, Jeffrey Wright and Jewel with co-stars, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Simon Baker-Denny

'Woodrell has certainly found the voices, the cadences, the feelings of the chaotic time and place he depicts, carrying it all along with a rich dialogue that is exactly right.' Dee Brown
'Woodrell is a genius' Time Out

Paperback - No Exit Press (2000)
First British Edition No Exit Press (1999)
Buy at Tomato Red
In small Ozark towns like West Table, Missouri, what you are is where you're born and in Venus Holler what you are isn't much. For Bev Merridew who can turn a trick as easily as roll a joint, life in Venus Holler is tolerable. For her 19 year old and angry daughter, a life like Bev's isn't good enough. Jamalee Merridew with her tomato red hair and her barely suppressed rage has plans and they don't include Venus Holler or especially Bev. In fact they depend on her drop dead beautiful brother, Jason, the object of adoring libidinous attention from every West Table female. Jamalee thinks he's her ticket out. But Jason may just be the country queer and in the hills and hollows of the Ozarks that is about the most dangerous and also the most courageous thing a man could be.
Into their midst comes Sammy Barlach, a man with too many file numbers on his record who is passing through West Table on the way to nowhere, looking to be a loser in fresh surroundings. Jamlaee thinks he might just be the muscle she and Jason need.
But Sammy is better at botched burglaries than security and when Jason turns up dead and the cops cal it an accident even Bev is roused from her easy going acceptance of the system. Pooling their talents the misfit threesome set out to expose the solid citizens who thought it was no harm, no foul to kill a country queer...

Praise for Daniel Woodrell
"Daniel Woodrell is stone brilliant, a bayou Dutch Leonard steeped in rich Louisiana language." James Ellroy
"Faulknerian relationships, ripe dialogue and a dark, dim view of human nature.... as mean and dirty as they come." Kirkus Reviews
'Woodrell beautifully evokes the bayou, both places and people, with his poetic prose and raw dialogue.' Washington Post Book World
'A wonderfully funny and tragic tale of blighted white trash dreams, a country noir every bit as sharp and twisted as the best of Jim Thompson or Charles Williams. Woodrell has written some of the finest, toughest books in American fiction today' John Williams, Time Out

British Pbk Original - No Exit Press (1998)
Give Us a Kiss: A Country Noir
See Review by John Baker
See Review by Val McDermid - Gold Dagger winner & creator of Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan & Tony Hill
I was on the drift from California to someplace that didn't have any bench warrants out on me…
Wild passion, old fashioned feuding, and rich dialogue combine to make Give Us A Kiss one of the most original novels around.
Doylie Redmond is on the drift from a failed marriage and a floundering life, moving east in the Volvo stolen from his soon to be ex wife, heading home to the Ozarks where Redmonds have been farming and fighting since the Civil War.

"Woodrell alternates between reaming the language with a dry corncob and practising a particularly skilful kind of literary cabinetwork. Tongue in cheek (and most other orifices) he celebrates blood kin, home country and hot sex in this rich, funky, headshakingly original novel." - E Annie Proulx
"I read Give Us A Kiss and loved it. Woodrell is a marvellous writer" Roddy Doyle
"Dan Woodrell can tell me stories anytime. He can come to my house, pull up a chair on the porch, pour himself a long drink or whatever it is he's fond of, scratch my dog between the ears and let fly. I don't know that I'll let him around my wife and daughter, though, unless he's closely supervised." Pinckney Benedict
'Every now and again a novel jumps head and shoulders above the crowd. Daniel Woodrell's exotic and evocative Give Us a Kiss is a perfect example… Rich, raunchy and riotously readable, Daniel Woodrell is one of the most exciting writers I've discovered in a long time' Val McDermid
'Dan Woodrell does for the Ozarks what Raymond Chandler did for Los Angeles' Los Angeles Times

Paperback - No Exit Press (1999)
Under The Bright Lights
See Review by Liz Lees
Jewell Cobb had come to St.Bruno to climb on the big city gravy train. His cousin Duncan set little Jewel up to do the killing. The boy was hillbilly raw but country tough, and pleasingly expendable.
It seemed a simple enough case for the authorities. Too bad the dead man was a prominent black city council man. But for police detective Rene Shade it all looked too neat. Shade takes on the city hall as he follows a twisting trail through the sleazy streets of the Cajun quarter into the murky swamps and bayous that ring the city. It is a trail that leads to corruption, betrayal and yet more murder.

'Vitality pulses from this perfectly paced book' San Francisco Examiner
"The luxurious meander of Woodrell's prose is both beguiling and menacing. Like the best crime fiction, this striking novel grows from a sense of how places and people fit together, or not" Nick Kimberley The Guardian
The Ones You Do is the most wonderful novel I've read in a long, long time. I am reminded of the best work of writers I dearly love - Walter Percy, Harry Crews & Charles Willeford - but Woodrell has his own fine lyrical version of the south. And he knows things, terrifically wonderful and funny and degenerate things that speak to the best of the human soul in the worst of circumstances. Read it and weep. And laugh. And wonder. I flat out loved this novel and wished it had been twice as long" James Crumley
'Woodrell is on the cutting edge of mean… a born writer. His style is both brutal and touched with poetry' Philadelphia Inquirer
'A writer with a special talent. His brooding first novel is as steamy as the bayou country that is its setting… a tale of corrupt politics and violent racial tensions… a chilling chase through a treacherous swamp of leeches and cottonmouths…' Washington Post

About The Author
Dan Woodrell comes from a long line of Ozarkers that stretch back before the Civil War. A high school dropout he joined the marine corps at 17. The military and he saw things differently. A period of post military drifting ended up at the University of Kansas and a Michener fellowship at the Iowa Writers School, where he was definitely the odd man out. His first novel, Under the Bright Lights,, used the noir form and brought him high praise and recognition from fellow writers. He has also written two other noir novels featuring the Shade family, Muscle for the Wing and The Ones You Do, the civil war novel, Woe To Live On (filmed as 'Ride with the Devil' by Ang Lee, due for release in 1999), and the country noir, Give Us A Kiss. He lives in West Plains, Missouri with his wife, the writer, Katie Estill.


N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • Ride with the Devil (No Exit Press Pbk, 1999)
  • Tomato Red (No Exit Press, 1999) No Exit Press Pbk Feb 00
  • Give Us a Kiss: A Country Noir (No Exit Press Pbk, 1998)
  • Under The Bright Lights (No Exit Press, 1996) No Exit Press Pbk Mar 99 (Rene Shade)
  • Muscle for the Wing (Rene Shade)
  • Ones You Do (Rene Shade)
  • Woe to Live On

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