Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

Paperback | May 17, 2011

byTom Franklin

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“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<_o3a_p>

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“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<_o3a_p>

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A powerful and resonant novel from Tom Franklin—critically acclaimed author of Smonk and  Hell at the BreechCrooked 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.<_o3a_p>

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From the Publisher

“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 cele...

From the Jacket

In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard ...

Tom Franklin is theNew York Timesbestselling author ofCrooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won theLos Angeles TimesBook Prize and the Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger Award. His previous works includePoachers,Hell at the Breech, andSmonk. He teaches in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.

other books by Tom Franklin

Poachers: Stories
Poachers: Stories

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Hell At The Breech: A Novel
Hell At The Breech: A Novel

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.68 inPublished:May 17, 2011Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060594675

ISBN - 13:9780060594671

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Customer Reviews of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from atmospheric Although there is a murder mystery at the centre of Tom Franklin’s novel, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, it isn’t what kept me reading. In the late 1970s in rural Mississippi, Larry Ott lives with his parents. Larry’s an awkward kid who spends his spare time reading Stephen King novels and trying to ingratiate himself with the students at school. His father owns the local garage, and while Larry admires the way his father can tell a story, he and his dad aren’t close. Then Silas Jones moves to town. Silas and his mother live in a shack deep in the woods, property owned by Larry’s father. A tentative friendship blossoms between the boys. Then, when the boys are in high school, Larry takes a local girl to the drive-in and she’s never heard from again. There’s no evidence to prove Larry had anything to do with her disappearance, but serious damage is done to his reputation. Twenty years later, Larry operates his father’s garage but has no customers because of his tarnished past. Silas returns home to Chabot as a constable and another girl goes missing. Larry is the obvious suspect. It sounds like a murder mystery and that is part of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter‘s appeal, but the book is more than that. I felt a great deal of sympathy for Larry, for his awkward relationship with his father – a man he tried to please but never could. When the story opens, we see him lovingly tend his mother’s chickens. He’s built them a contraption, a “head-high movable cage with an open floor” which he could move around so the hens would always have new grass to graze. Not exactly the actions of a cold-blooded killer. He also forms a relationship with a petty criminal, Wallace, out of sheer loneliness. The story alternates between present-day and the boys’ shared past. Of course, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask why Larry didn’t stay away when he had the chance, or why Silas came home, but I still think Franklin handled their relationship, its secrets and revelations well.
Date published: 2011-12-26

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Editorial Reviews

“[A] terrific new novel….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.”