THE BAYOU TRILOGY by Daniel Woodrell

Trade paperback by Mullholand books ($16.99)
Unabridged audio by Blackstone Audio ($21.95)

Daniel Woodrell has, in recent years, gained a bit of notoriety for the film verision of WINTER’S BONE. While he has long been a favorite of authors and critics, his work has largely flown under the radar of the public at large.

THE BAYOU TRILOGY features three books ( Under the Bright Lights, Muscle for the Wing, and The Ones You Do) from the 80s and early 90s.  His recent success has them being released in this collection.

In The Bayou Trilogy, Mr Woodrell took me to a foreign land. One that was exotic and treacherous with strange and fascinating folk plotting and planning for bigger and better things.

Rene Shade sits in the middle of these tales. A former prize fighter turned police officer that prides himself on being unbuyable. He does his job with a sort of blue-collar pride and deals with people that he grew up with. Had one or two decisions in his past been different, Shade might have been right with them in the middle of many of these dark deeds.

The fictional town of St. Bruno is richly described. The different ethnic groups inhabiting different areas of the town, often living and dying within a mile or two of their birth place. The criminal element and government regularly cross paths and as often as not, business is done.

By the time I completed these tales, I was completely smitten with Woodrell. His writing is rich and alluring and transports the reader into his world. Over the course of the three books, I have a very strong sense of St. Bruno and could imagine it in my head.

Fans of audio books will not want to pass up Blackstone’s release. Reader Bronson Pinchot does a stellar job with voices and accents. He truly enhances the “reading” experience.

Whether you choose book or audio, THE BAYOU TRILOGY is not to be missed. Now that this review is at an end, you should acquire a copy ASAP. Your life will be richer for it.

Jeremy Lynch