Carol's Reviews > The Ballad of Tom Dooley

The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb
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's review
Oct 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in September, 2011

I have loved most of Sharyn McCrumb's books. She does everything from the ballad novels to humor. I'd recommend them all.

With this book, I was surprised and pleased. I would not have thought I would enjoy a book without any likable protagonists. I did, however, and it was a page-turner.

All of Sharyn's research with historians, librarians, genealogists, and others in the area paid off handsomely. She came up with feasible scenarios, and fleshed out a story that has been sung, but not really known. She uses local and period descriptions that make the tale even more believable - from putting dead bodies on the counter of the county store for examination and discussion to unwashed and stinky cabin-mates. It seems only too accurate. Yuck.

My only quibble is with how deeply she laid on the descriptions that demonstrated Pauline's sociopathy. She explained her behavior more often than necessary. It may just be me. I knew a little bit about sociopaths already.
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