Kate's Reviews > Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
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's review
Aug 22, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

Hey. Tom Franklin. I owe you an apology.*

I actually took a mousey bookstore clerk up on a reading recommendation, and I am very glad I did. (Also, I am equally surprised as I am glad that bookstore clerks still give good recommendations.)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is about two boys whose parallel lives in southern Mississippi ride on parallel rails, much like the train tracks of Delta music lore. One white, one black. One poor, one poorer. One made it to Oxford, one was left behind to languish as an outcast in a small town that has imprisoned him without bars.

There is so much to like about this book. First, it depicts the race dynamics of the South as I know them, rather than the crrrazy exagerrated way that most people still think of them. Second, he got the dialect just right -- respectful, but accurate. Third, you really wonder who killed those girls... was it one person or the whole community's eagerness to jump on an outrageous story? Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth = read it yourself.

Welcome to the southern canon, Mister Franklin. I am very glad to know you.

* = I used to work at Page & Palette. Remember that botched signing for Poachers?
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