Synopses & Reviews
It's 1911 and the townsfolk of Old Texas, Alabama, have had enough. Every Saturday night for a year, E. O. Smonk has been destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, cheating and beating men, all from behind the twin barrels of his Winchester 45-70 caliber over-and-under rifle. Syphilitic, consumptive, gouty, and goitered—an expert with explosives and knives—Smonk hates horses, goats, and the Irish, and it's high time he was stopped. But capturing old Smonk won't be easy—and putting him on trial could have shocking and disastrous consequences, considering the terrible secret the citizens of Old Texas are hiding.
“Maintaining the dark tone of his excellent first novel, Franklin goes for the gothic in [this] weirdly fascinating tale” Kirkus Reviews
“A David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino codirection of Deadwood . . . a world where not one person knows an iota of goodness.” San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“fast-paced and unrelentingly violent...readers looking for a strange and savage tale cant go wrong.” Publishers Weekly
“I am amazed at Tom Franklins power” Philip Roth
“[Smonk] mixes William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and Deadwoods David Milch, Franklin pulls off a unique Western saga.” Entertainment Weekly
“Part western, part Southern gothic, yet wholly original, this is a beef jerky of a story […] full of flavor” Tampa Tribune
“Franklins talent for the completely offbeat and outrageous illuminates a world that is at once vibrantly alive and completely human.” Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“An edgy, quirky, bawdy look at the days of cowboys and shootouts, Smonk is the real deal.” David Milch, Creator of Deadwood
About the Author
Tom Franklin is the award-winning and New York Times
bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
, which was nominated for nine awards and won the Los Angeles Times
Book Prize and the prestigious Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award. His previous works include Poachers
, whose title story won the Edgar Award, as well as Hell at the Breech and Smonk
. The winner of a 2001 Guggenheim Fellowship, he teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.
Beth Ann Fennelly has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and United States Artists, as well as a Fulbright grant to travel to Brazil. Her honors include the Kenyon Review Prize and three inclusions in The Best American Poetry. She has published three volumes of poetry as well as a work of nonfiction, Great with Child. She directs the University of Mississippi's MFA program, where she was named the 2011 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Beth Ann and Tom live in Oxford, Mississippi, with their three children.