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The Maid's Version (English Edition) von [Woodrell, Daniel]
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The Maid's Version (English Edition) Kindle Edition

5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension

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Länge: 177 Seiten Word Wise: Aktiviert Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
PageFlip: Aktiviert Sprache: Englisch

Kindle Storyteller 2016: Der Deutsche Self Publishing Award
Kindle Storyteller 2016: Der Deutsche Self Publishing Award
Von 15. Juni bis 15. September Buch hochladen und tollen Preis gewinnen Jetzt entdecken



Editors' Choice, Times Book Review

A Best Book of 2013, Slate

A Best Book of 2013, Washington Post

An NPR 2013 "Great Read"

Winner of the 2014 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction

A Top Five Book of the Year, Kansas City Star

A Best Book of 2013, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Kirkus Reviews selection for the Best Books of 2013

A Best Book of 2013, Capital Times (Madison, Wis.)

An Irish Times Book of the Year

An Irish Mail on Sunday Book of the Year

A Favorite Book of 2013, National Post (Canada)

One of Amazon's Top 10 Best Books of the Month

An Amazon Best Book of the Year

A Best Work of Fiction in 2013, Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

"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

"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

"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

"The author of nine widely-praised novels is sometimes described as a master of Ozark noir, but his gripping narratives and pitch-perfect language transcend genre."―Reader's Digest, "23 Contemporary Writers You Should Have Read by Now"

"The Maid's Version is able to tell a community's history in stunning second-, third-, and even fourth-hand recollection."―Mesha Maren, LA Review of Books


In 1929, an explosion in a Missouri dance hall killed forty-two people. Who was to blame? Mobsters from St Louis? Embittered gypsies? The preacher who cursed the waltzing couples for their sins? Or could it just have been a colossal accident?

Alma Dunahew, whose scandalous younger sister was among the dead, believes the answer lies in a dangerous love affair, but no one will listen to a maid from the wrong side of the tracks. It is only decades later that her grandson hears her version of events - and must decide if it is the right one.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 780 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 177 Seiten
  • Verlag: Sceptre (15. August 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #170.806 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Less than 200 pages? How could it be that such a spare novel can lyrically relate a story revealing long held secrets that will haunt you and break your heart? It simply does. Daniel Woodrell is an accepted master who writes stunning powerful stories that pack a wallop. He chooses his words judiciously treating readers to a heady mix of a poet’s voice and backwoods vernacular. The Maid’s Version is a gem.

Set in the Ozarks the center of our story is Alma DeGeer Dunahew, an illiterate retired maid who lives in West Table, Missouri. It is in the 1960s that her grandson, Alek, is sent to spend the summer with her. Little did he know that he would be the one to hear her story, actually an unburdening of her feelings, her quest for revenge.

Alma is haunted by the death of her sister, Ruby, and 41 others in the 1929 Arbor Dance Hall Explosion. “Walls shook and shuddered for a mile around and the boom was heard faintly in the next county south and painfully by everyone inside the town limits.” This was a disaster that affected everyone in town, rich and poor. It spread sadness in every neighborhood “with an indifferent aim.”

She only speaks to Alek at any length when she is relating her memories of the horrorific event. While Ruby may not have been a woman of the highest virtue she was dear to Alma who does not believe the explosion was an accident and is determined to avenge it. Someone must bear responsibility.

Woodrell suggests many culprits including bank robbers and an Old Testament preacher who has his own way with the Ten Commandments. The chapters are short, too brief for the reader who has been gripped by Woodell’s tale. Each word and phrase commands our notice as we move to a surprising denouement.

The Maid’s Version is a work of art quite worthy of celebration.

- Gail Cooke
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) HASH(0x94703180) von 5 Sternen 245 Rezensionen
109 von 115 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x94b42f30) von 5 Sternen This book is a little gem; will be on my best of the year list 4. September 2013
Von sb-lynn - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Brief summary and review, no spoilers.

This amazing little book has as its centerpiece the mystery surrounding an explosion at a small-town Missouri dance hall back in 1929. Forty-two people were killed and many more injured. One of those killed was a young woman named Ruby, the beloved younger sister of one of the book's main characters, Alma Dunahew. We know that Ruby was having affairs with married men and we know that the town had problems with mobsters, gypsies and even a vengeful preacher who warned against dancing and partying. What we don't know until the end is just who was really to blame.

When the book first starts out we are introduced to Alma from the viewpoint of her 12 year old grandson who is briefly staying with her. From the opening line we see Alma brushing her floor-length grey/white hair and her grandson is a little apprehensive of her. We find out that Alma has had an incredibly difficult life and that she had been estranged for a while from her own son's life. The reasons for that become clear as we read on.

The story jumps around and is told from the viewpoints of many different characters at different points in time. The relevance of some of these characters can become clear at the end of their little chapter but often we don't really understand their importance until later on. For example we may meet someone in one vignette and come to briefly know them and then find out they were killed at the dance hall; and in that way we truly feel the extent of the tragedy and loss. Many of the characters we meet are central to the mystery of what happened and to our understanding of how the characters evolved into the people they are. Their histories and backstories are often brutal and heartbreaking.

In this way we almost see the story as bits and pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and it is only at the end when we have a complete picture of what went on.

I loved this book. Loved it. And if you've ever read this author before you know how beautifully he writes and how the reader gets such a feel and understanding of both place and time from the little vignettes and stories he weaves throughout the the book.

The writing and the descriptions are just out of this world wonderful. Here's just a taste:

"Alma was of a height that earned no description save 'regular,' sturdy in her legs and chest, and her hair was an ordinary who-gives-a-hoot brown, with finger waves above the ears that always collapsed into messy curls as the day went along."


"Preacher Willard accepted the Ten Commandments as a halfhearted start but kept adding amendments until the number of sins he couldn't countenance was beyond memorization."

Highly recommended. Just beautifully written from the opening line to the satisfying, chilling conclusion. I will be thinking about this book for a long time.
43 von 49 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x95969a08) von 5 Sternen "What'd did you learn today, Alek, and what use will you make of it." 3. September 2013
Von Amelia Gremelspacher - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This lovely book is breathtaking in its unadorned and precise description of a small Ozark town which had been the scene of the Arbor Dance Hall explosion of 1929. Our narrator Alek had been sent to live with his grandmother Alma at the age of 12 in order to reconcile the rift between her and his father. Over that summer, Alek learns the stories of the people in Alma's world that filled her summer forty years ago. He grows to know his grandmother as she is today, and how she was during that summer leading up to the fire. Starting from the first page, he observes a woman of precise habits whose hair is so long she must braid it to keep it off the floor. Their relationship deepens as the summer progresses and Alma talks to him about that terrible night. She has suffered mightily since then, and she had lost her way. For a time, "she was not currently within her skin, and they weren't sure who or what was.". The mystery of the explosion had never been solved, but Alma has her own beliefs on the solution. Her belief is conveyed with some tension that informs the depth of the mystery. As they grow closer, she challenges him to relate what he has learned. I think she half hoped he would intuit the truth as she saw it. Alma is one of my favorite characters in recent history, and she talks to her grandson and during the flashbacks, I came to admire this woman with many dimensions. She has braved the difficult task of seeing within herself, and has born that price of bearing what she sees.

Each person in this book is revealed in short vignettes that interact in a dance that soon appears to have been almost inevitable. Alma had known them all in her role as a servant from a poor family. Working in the big house, her observations bridge the gap in social status, and reveals the threads that bind everyone. At times the book returns to days of 1960's, and we are able to learn the harvest of those past events in the lives of Alma and her family. . This is a short book, but conveys a complex picture of a world at a certain time and place, and the echoes that reverberate for years. The setting is painted in terms that bring the reader directly to that world. With simple words, the town is portrayed exactly. As the book progresses, the actual explosion appears in the minds and actions of the characters in a way that sears the readers as well. The prose is so well crafted that I cannot point to one misplaced word. Woodrell has used his writing to weave a web of reality based on a true event. I have seldom been this impressed with a book, and fervently hope you will share it with me.
14 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x948ebae0) von 5 Sternen Sometimes knowing the truth is more painful than not knowing... 24. September 2013
Von Larry Hoffer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Certain authors have a language and a style all their own. I don't mean an invented language, like Tolkien, Pratchett, or Rowling, but rather a way of capturing language that is unique to them. Daniel Woodrell, who has written books such as Winter's Bone and The Death of Sweet Mister is one of those authors. His ability to capture the language of people in the Ozarks makes his books feel tremendously authentic and even more captivating.

In 1929, the small community of West Table, Missouri was rocked by a fire and explosion in the Arbor Dance Hall, which killed 42 people. As with any tragedy, immediately talk turned to the causes of this disaster and who was responsible. Was it caused by the local gypsies? Mobsters from St. Louis on the hunt for one of their own? The frenzy unleashed by a preacher who lashed out at the immoral behavior of the dancers and partiers? Or was it simply a tragic accident?

Alma DeGeer Dunahew knows what caused the tragedy that killed her flirtatious sister, Ruby. But Alma, who works as a maid for one of West Table's most prominent families, is viewed as crazy by the town citizens, many of whom don't really want to know what happened that night, or are willing to turn a blind eye to the truth if it protects the town from the effects of the Great Depression. Her need to speak the truth leads her to lose her job, her mind, and estranges her from one of her sons, John Paul.

Years later, Alma finally has the opportunity to tell her story from start to finish, to her grandson, Alek. And the story, populated with mobsters, hobos, preachers, local businessmen, criminals, and lawmen, not to mention brief glimpses of many of those who were killed or injured in the fire, is a complicated one, but one that utterly captures the Dunahew family's struggles. Alma encourages Alek to "Tell it. Go on and tell it." And tell it he does.

The Maid's Version is a short book--only about 170 pages--but it is packed with a powerful narrative and so many colorful characters, it's difficult to remember who everyone is. Woodrell's storytelling ability is in fine form, as is his evocative language, and while this book may not be as strong as some of his previous ones, it's still a tremendously interesting and, ultimately, tragic story. It does take some concentrating, however, because the book meanders back and forth between 1929 and 1963, when Alek is, essentially, hearing Alma's story.

Daniel Woodrell is an exceptional writer. While this book doesn't have the tension or violence of some of his other books, Alma's story is very much worth hearing.
15 von 16 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x96aeffb4) von 5 Sternen Excellent, American tale 19. Oktober 2013
Von Teresa L. Wilson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This wonderful, gorgeous, hypnotizing novel is like an epic American poem on par with Homer or Virgil. I was just blown away by this master storyteller and linguistic magician. Not only did I have to reread sections to fully understand their meaning, I reread the whole book, which is short, but jam-packed, just to savor the language. Not a strike of the pen was wasted. Every event is full of portent, each character a revelation. Please read this book. Unique and so enjoyable.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9e6eeba4) von 5 Sternen A first-rate author writes a sub-standard novel 2. Februar 2014
Von Willeford's Kid - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Okay, we all know it happens. One of our favorite writers, who consistently wins our hearts, finally turns in a book that disappoints us painfully. I love all of Woodrells books...except this one. Confused storytelling, jumpy, erratic, without enough of an emotional through-line for us to wrap our heads and hearts around. Saying this is horribly painful for me because I dig Woodrell so much, but I've got to be honest and just hang my hopes on his next novel getting him back to form.
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