The first thing that struck me about this book when i received it was how short it is. At just shy of 200 pages it seemed a little "lightweight". Having now completed reading it i can say with conviction that there's nothing lightweight about this novel set in backwoods-and some would say backwards- America. It gets you by the scruff of the neck from page 1 and doesnt let go til it's all over. The leaness of the book you discover is down to Woodrell's uncanny ability to paint a vivid picture of the places and the characters in a few sentences or so. Where some authors give you page after page of endless descriptive detail, DW cleverly manages to convey his story with a sharp, punchy writing style that while cutting to the chase gives you a real feel for the characters and the setting (the Ozark Hills, which i've never heard of but can safely say i won't be paying a visit to anytime soon). It is an utterly spellbinding read that you'll finish probably in 2 or 3 sessions but will stay with you for a long time. Im also a fan of Cormac McCarthy and this is remniscent of No Country for Old Men and The Road, and it is possibly the equal of both of those books. Best novel i've read for some time.