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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Cover

ISBN13: 9780060594664
ISBN10: 0060594667
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Staff Pick

In this story of race and youth, of tragedies that time alone cannot heal, and the ways we still need each other even when it seems too late, Franklin beautifully captures human relationships in both their simplicity and unutterable complexities.
Recommended by Kelly L., Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Tom Franklin's extraordinary talent has been hailed by the leading lights of contemporary literature — Philip Roth, Richard Ford, Lee Smith, and Dennis Lehane. Reviewers have called his fiction ingenious (USA Today) and compulsively readable (Memphis Commercial Appeal). His narrative power and flair for characterization have been compared to the likes of Harper Lee, Flannery O'Connor, Elmore Leonard, and Cormac McCarthy.

Now the Edgar Award-winning author returns with his most accomplished and resonant novel so far — an atmospheric drama set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county — and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town.

More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades.

Review:

"A ripping good mystery, this novel also has depth and a subtle literary side.... Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Edgar Award winner Franklin renders luminous prose and a cast of compelling characters in this moody, masterful entry." Starred Review Booklist

Review:

"The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling.... A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind." David Wroblewski

Review:

"If you're looking for a smart, thoughtful novel that sinks deep into a Southern hamlet of the American psyche, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is your next book" Washington Post

Synopsis:

In a small Mississippi town, two men are torn apart by circumstance and reunited by tragedy, in this resonant new novel from the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Hell at the Breech.

Synopsis:

“The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling….A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.”
   — David Wroblewski

 

“A new Tom Franklin novel is always a reason to get excited, but Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is more—a cause for celebration. What a great novel by a great novelist.”
—Dennis Lehane

 

A powerful and resonant novel from Tom Franklin—critically acclaimed author of Smonk and  Hell at the Breech—Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter tells the riveting story of two boyhood friends, torn apart by circumstance, who are brought together again by a terrible crime in a small Mississippi town. An extraordinary novel that seamlessly blends elements of crime and Southern literary fiction, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a must for readers of Larry Brown, Pete Dexter, Ron Rash, and Dennis Lehane.

About the Author

Tom Franklin is the author of Poachers: Stories and Hell at the Breech. Winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program and lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, and their children, Claire and Thomas.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

Mary Bess, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Mary Bess)
Precise, evocative detail, prose to hug with joy,
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Harriet Stay, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by Harriet Stay)
The title caught my attention, and made me smile remembering the tricks we used in grade school to memorize long words. And you don't have to love mysteries to appreciate this captivating novel; it was shortlisted for the Best Edgar Allan Poe Award. I read them all and considered it the best of the lot.

It begins with a shooting in Gerald County, Mississippi. What Tom Franklin brings to life is a festering in the Deep South moving his story from the 1970s to today. The protagonists, and there are two, Larry Ott, white boy, and Silas Jones, black boy, experience events that follow them forever. One runs from them; the other is perpetually shunned and withdraws from society.

Franklin draws vivid pictures of the beauty and squalor of the South and externalizes the injustice that permeates a mind-set of those raised on television, cola, and beer. Two disappearances, assumed to be murders, are at the core of this story, one a quarter of a century ago, one nine days prior to the opening of your first page.

Weeks after reading this, the story still lingered; it was thought-provoking, dense with details but never grandiose. It was and is poetry...and a darn good whodunit to boot!
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
papanammy, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by papanammy)
Different than most I read and enjoyed it.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060594664
Author:
Franklin, Tom
Publisher:
William Morrow & Company
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20101031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 5.28 oz

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Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages William Morrow - English 9780060594664 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

In this story of race and youth, of tragedies that time alone cannot heal, and the ways we still need each other even when it seems too late, Franklin beautifully captures human relationships in both their simplicity and unutterable complexities.

"Review" by , "A ripping good mystery, this novel also has depth and a subtle literary side.... Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Edgar Award winner Franklin renders luminous prose and a cast of compelling characters in this moody, masterful entry." Starred Review
"Review" by , "The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling.... A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind."
"Review" by , "If you're looking for a smart, thoughtful novel that sinks deep into a Southern hamlet of the American psyche, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is your next book"
"Synopsis" by , In a small Mississippi town, two men are torn apart by circumstance and reunited by tragedy, in this resonant new novel from the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Hell at the Breech.
"Synopsis" by ,

“The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling….A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.”
   — David Wroblewski

 

“A new Tom Franklin novel is always a reason to get excited, but Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is more—a cause for celebration. What a great novel by a great novelist.”
—Dennis Lehane

 

A powerful and resonant novel from Tom Franklin—critically acclaimed author of Smonk and  Hell at the Breech—Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter tells the riveting story of two boyhood friends, torn apart by circumstance, who are brought together again by a terrible crime in a small Mississippi town. An extraordinary novel that seamlessly blends elements of crime and Southern literary fiction, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is a must for readers of Larry Brown, Pete Dexter, Ron Rash, and Dennis Lehane.

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