Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
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 pal...more
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it is totally okay to float old reviews when you suddenly have a picture of yourself and the author to attach to them. also, when you are bored. but only once a day. anything more than that becomes boring. or desperate.
one of the best books i have read, ever.
and exactly what i was looking for when i posted my query in my very own readers' advisory group. so, thank you, james, this is a perfect suggestion to the kind of book i was looking for. and i am going to immerse myself in tom franklin's ba ...more
Gorgeous and dripping with emotion and ache...
This story OWNED ME from the opening page and LARRY OTT is among the most endearing, heart-wrenching characters I've come across in a long, long time. That I connected so well with both the story and its main character surprised me because, being born and raised in Vegas, my own life experience is so vastly different from both Larry and the town of Chabot, Mississippi, where the story takes place. I give heaping mounds of credit to author ...more
My wife's family is from Prentiss, Mississippi not far from where the action of this book takes place. When my wife's grandmother died a few years ago we went down for the funeral. This was my first time in Mississippi and I remember a couple of things about the experience. First, this is small town USA and there were two funeral ho ...more
This is a profoundly sad book about sadness in life, which is sad. And I'm not even being a brat here when I say that. There's nothing about this story that's even remotely optimistic, even the quasi-hopeful ending is very sad, if you think about it.
And why wouldn't ...more
But Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter tells of two twisted lives. As a ki ...more
It was Kemper's review that made me add this book to my shelf. It was Stephen's that made me rush to the library after work and grab a copy.
After reading Shine and Winter's Bone, I was hesitant about reading another depressing story set in the south, but I’m so glad I did.
Larry Ott had a tough childhood growing up in rural Mississippi. He was sickly and he had a stutter. He never quite fit in among his classmates, usually the butt of a joke or the target of a bully. Hi ...more
And yet he doesn't lose his sweetness or optimism, even after his only childhood friend, Silas, ditches him out of fear of losing his own newfound popularity. Silas has to accept how poorly he used to treat Larry while they ...more
Guys, I can’t review books anymore. I don’t know if “reviewer burnout” is a real thing or if I’m just miserable because it’s only the second week of July and I am going to die from this heat, or if I’m rip roaring drunk (which I somewhat am), but I came home from visiting some frien ...more
The point of view alternates between Silas Jones & Larry Ott, flashing back to their boyhood friendship - a friendship that ends when Larry is suspected of murder. Now Silas is back in ...more
"The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house."
Read that first sentence. What? It doesn't grab you? Keep reading. It's like that long slow climb up to the peak of that first drop on the roller coaster. Hear the click of the chain pulling you to the top? After you hit the top, you're in for a ride.
First came this mean little collection of a novella and ...more
I was so sad -- so emotionally invested -- that I found the reading painful to bear at times. Franklin's descriptions of human isolation and loneliness are so raw and uncompromising I forced myself to take breathers between readin ...more
In a few years I see you with a house, wife, and babies.
They will be stupendous, and we'll still be friends.
What I liked, besides the kid's use of the word "stupendous," was the "still be friends" part.
Will they still be friends? Who knows? Like much o ...more
The white man is Larry Ott, the only child of a lower class family. His father was a mechanic who seemed to have little pat ...more
For Silas Jones, or '32', as he was known as a high school baseball hero, it could have been different if ...more
Imagine a life in ruins, simply because a person has been misunderstood. Imagine having a friend you could never publicly claim, a girlfriend you would always keep hidden, because of a small town's shortsighte ...more
Back in high school, Larry, on his first date, takes a hot local girl to the drive-in and she never returns home. Although not charged with murder, Larry is ostracized by his community for the rest of his life. ...more
Is this one of those books?
I see gushing reviews for this. And I went into expecting to ...more
It was one of the very rare occurrences where I finish a book in bed without another one to pick up right away. You see, I hate being between books. When I finish one, I immediately choose another and begin it right away. But last night was an anomaly. Just the way things worked out.
So. Turning out the light immediately after finishing this left me
thinking about the whole thing for much of the night. I kept going over what it was that Franklin did that made me care ...more
Look guys, I love detective novels. I love seeing how an author puts together a crime, presents the circumstances, and shows us the investigation process while disguising the real solution until the moment they're ready to give us the answer. It's fun to read about mysteries, so when I get a book that features a mystery but tries to distrac ...more
Silas is his one time black friend who is now constable in the town they life in. One time friends. But this story is of their friendship and the way we a ...more
What makes a novel a classic? For me the answer is great writing, realistic characters, a good story and a social and/or philosophical message.
I'm not usually a fan of writing that uses colloquialism outside of dialogue (and sometimes it irks me even then), but Tom Franklin employs it so realistically in this novel that it became one of the things I admired about it. It's a very well d ...more
I almost didn't finish this one. I struggled through the first few chapters trying to become comfortable with the way the author writes and his sometimes long-winded sentences.
I'm so glad I persevered. This is a wonderful story, although sometimes dark and often depressing.
For me, these types of stories are not so much about the mystery/murder or even the ending. They're about the people and the places the author introduces me to. This is a book filled with wonderful characters that were with m ...more
New York: HarperCollins, Publishers
$24.99 - 274 pages
“MI crooked letter, crooked letter I, crooked letter, crooked letter I, humpback, humpback, I”
(how southern children are taught to spell Mississippi.)
How many times have you heard the lament, “They don’t write southern novels the way they used to”? This statement is usually followed by a catalog of classics like To Kill a Mockingbird along with a few reverent references to Truman Capote, Carson McC ...more
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