Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell, Rare now, Oscar Nominated Film May Win Adapted Screenplay Academy Award

Anne and I watched Winter's Bone, nominated for best film, writing (adaption), and lead actress, the other evening in preparation for tonight's 83rd Academy Awards.  A solid film, adapted for screen from the novel, Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell, Little Brown and Company, Boston, 2006 (and Sceptre Books, London, 2006).  Recent Oscar gossip suggests that this Sundance 2010 honored film (grand jury prize for American dramas and the Waldo Salt screenwriting award) may pick up the writing Oscar, a minor upset for this low budget, low grossing film.

Original Cover 2006 Little Brown Edition

After watching the movie, a haunting tale of life in Southeast Missouri amidst, clan, kin and meth lab culture, I began wondering about the book.  I have to admit, I have a bit of Missouri in my blood as my paternal Grandfather hails from there, so the focus on clan and kin was as interesting to me as it was disturbing.  Luckily my heritage is more Central/Northeast Missouri and I hope, a bit removed from the Missouri of the movie.  But still, after watching the movie, I wondered about the book.

Original Cover 2006 Sceptre Books Edition

A little research turned up only 7 copies of the first edition, first printing hardcover available via my preferred Internet book site, 6 of the preferred, Little Brown edition and 1 of the Sceptre edition.  The scarcity of this title, at this time, is intriguing.  Perhaps the scarcity is a prediction of 2011 Oscar glory and booksellers, doing their constant research, have stockpiled copies of the Little Brown edition to await tonight's results.  If Winter's Bone wins for adapted screenplay expect to see additional copies flood the market tomorrow-maybe, maybe not.  Perhaps the book itself is such a powerful read that anyone who bought the original release is keeping it safe and sound in their library.  I would guess that Little Brown printed 10,000 copies of this novel, the second by Woodrell.  Since Winter's Bone, the movie, was honored at the 2010 Sundance Festival, movie tie-in book collectors may have done their best to acquire all available copies before the Oscar madness spikes the price.  If you would like to place a bet, and purchase a copy now it will cost you minimum $99+ for the Sceptre edition and $300 to $500 for the Little Brown release. 

David Woodrell is a veteran author but, if price lists are any indication, his other books are not in great demand.  I'm sceptical of the scarcity of Winter's Bone and I plan to await the outcome of tonight's Oscar award announcement and then, keep my eye on non-searchable, non-connected, local used book stores in the Boston area for a copy at short money.  Just for reading sake, the paperback is widely available.

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