Marci's Reviews > The Ballad of Tom Dooley

The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb
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's review
Apr 14, 2012

really liked it
Read in April, 2012

I found it unexpectedly exhilarating reading a book in which every character was singularly unlikeable, and the predominant narrator is a sociopath. Had this not been written by the very talented Sharyn McCrumb, I'm sure I could not have stood it, but I found myself liking it more and more and more as it went on. I thoroughly enjoyed being free from the temptation to peek at the ending, knowing it from history and folklore, so that I could concentrate on McCrumb's extremely logical and imaginative retelling of what must have happened. She is one of my favorite authors, and this book enhances her reputation in my eyes. I completely understood the Wuthering Heights connection, and I appreciated the literary device of the narrator Vance continually looping his testimony, retelling his tale in different words, as if acting somewhat like a chorus that adds information with every supposed repetition.

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