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The Tilted World

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  5,018 ratings  ·  800 reviews
Set against the backdrop of the historic flooding of the Mississippi River, The Tilted World is an extraordinary tale of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, and a man and a woman who find unexpected love, from Tom Franklin, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and award-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly
The year is
Hardcover, First edition , 303 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by William Morrow (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  5,018 ratings  ·  800 reviews

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Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-from-work
this was just beautiful. i knew i was going to love it, having read two books by franklin and one by fennelly (and for me to give four stars to a poetry book is unusual), but it really exceeded my expectations. and for those of you who are wary, as i usually am, of books written by two authors, know that in this case, when both of the authors are excellent at their craft, it can be a really magical experience.

it takes place in 1927, when the mississippi river is about to burst through its levees
Will Byrnes
Dixie Clay woke past noon, and even waking she noted that the world sounded different from when she’d retired at dawn. As she swung her feet off the bed and into rubber boots, she looked out her window. The rain lashing Hobnob had slowed, now just fat drops plopping from greasy-looking leaves. By the time she was drinking instant coffee in her kitchen, the sun was coming out. This had happened a few times since the big rains had started in November, but Dixie Clay no longer ran to the door. S
The year is 1927, the year of the Great Mississippi Flood. "The levee at Mounds Landing, near Greenville, Mississippi, collapsed, and a wall of water one hundred feet high and with twice the force of Niagara Falls scooped out the Delta. It flattened almost a million homes, drowning twenty-seven thousand square miles, sometimes in up to thirty feet of water, and the water remained for four months. Over 330,000 people were rescued from trees, roofs, and levees. At a time when the federal budget wa ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
The Tilted World by the husband and wife team of Tom Franklin and Beth Fennelly is the southern literary trail read for September 2018. Set against the background of the 1927 Great Mississippi Flood in Hobnob, Mississippi, readers go back to a time where moonshining and jazz music were prevalent. Although the country had been modernized, not so in the Deep South where people rode horses as much as automobiles and Jim Crow laws were still the way of the land.

Hearing about Tom Franklin as a gritt
1927. Hobnob Landing, Mississippi, population 3244. The town was nestled where the Mississippi doubled back like a black racer fixing to bite its tail.

Who could have predicted, when the engineers corseted the river, straightened it out, that a flood of this magnitude would reclaim the original flow, destroying the government levees which was suppose to defy God's ideas about this mighty river?
"It is time to tell you a story, a story that will surprise you. The year was 1927, and Lord, the rains
Diane S ☔
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Tilted World The 1920's was a time for a great many changes, it also ushered in a tremendous opportunity for crime. Prohibition, bootleggers, saboteurs, and revenue men all have a prominent role in this book. There was also one of the greatest natural disasters to ever strike the United States which happened in 1927 and affected those along the Mississippi River, from Cairo, Illinois all the way to Mississippi.
Loved the history behind this book, but also loved the characters. The Civil War h
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer by: If Franklin writes it, I read it. Now if Franklin and Fennelly write it, I read it.
The Tilted World: Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly's Tag Team Novel

I've followed the career of Tom Franklin from his initial anthology Poachers. He is a dizzying wonder of the genre that has become known as "Grit Lit." These are the stories of the Rough South hearkening back to Harry Crews, Tim McLaurin and others. He's provided the introduction to Grit Lit: A Rough South Reader that gives about the best explanation of this growing subgenre of Southern Literature I've read.

Read through his colle
Nov 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This novel is set in 1927 during the Mississippi Flood, about which I knew nothing. It is a wonderful story of two federal revenue agents, Ted Ingersoll and Ham Johnson, who find an orphaned infant boy at a crime scene. The agents are on a mission to track down two other agents who have gone missing while trying to locate some bootleggers in Hobnob Mississippi. Ted, an orphan raised by nuns himself, takes the baby to place it with an orphanage before continuing with their mission. Instead he giv ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've consistently sung the praises of Tom Franklin's lofty brand of deep Southern (US) fiction. From his Grand Guignol splatter-fest historical fiction (Hell at the Breach and Smonk), to his short stories (Poachers), to his contemporary look at race relations, cloaked in a murder mystery (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter) I've enjoyed everything he's written. I was really leery, though, about The Tilted World, and put off reading it for nearly a year, mostly because I just could not envision a co ...more
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Tom Franklin's books have always pleased me, and this one did not disappoint. Living in New Orleans, the idea of massive levee failures and widespread flooding is something that I can relate to, and the background tension that Franklin built in to the novel was palpable. The basic facts are all correct here, describing the massive flooding of the Mississippi River in 1927, a time when TV news wasn't around to communicate the risks. These were the days of Prohibition, where bootlegging moonshine ...more
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The history of the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River was fascinating, and evidence that Mother Nature knew how to wreak havoc back then same as today. The writing and word choices were delightful. I loved the Revenuers' stories, the bootlegger/antagonist, and his wife Dixie Clay, "a woman married to the wrong husband, who died a little every day." The flood is a major part of the story, what these people were doing leading up to it and after, "sandbagging and sabateurs, dynamite and deluge. ...more
Matt Brady
Moonshine and murder in backwoods Mississippi on the eve of the Great Flood of 1927, one of the worst natural disasters America has ever suffered, an event that has been largely forgotten today. It's a great setting for a novel, which is part of the reason I was annoyed that so much of the page count was taken up describing a goddamn baby. You know what's cool and interesting? Redneck moonshiners matching wits against undercover revenue agents on the banks of a rapidly swelling river threatening ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Such a beautiful story, a love story between a revenue agent and a bootlegger. I borrowed the book from the library, but I also had the audio version with the plan of listening at work and read at home. But, I ended up listening to the book since the narrator (Brian D'Arcy James) and the story worked so well together. I just love listening to a great book that becomes even greater with the right narrator.

As for the story. I love reading stories set in the 20s, and in this case, the story ta
The Tilted World is a collaborative effort between Tom Franklin, the masterful author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and his wife Beth Ann Fennelly. The plot plays out against the backdrop of the 1927 Great Flood of the Mississippi River, in which 27,000 miles were inundated and hundreds of lives were lost.

Dixie Clay (okay, I admit that I loved that name) is a bootlegger. She distills the best hooch in the state while her charming husband, Jesse, conducts PR and sells. Ingersoll is a vetera
Aug 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great job Tom.....or great job Beth Ann.....who knows? Regardless of the author, or combination, I liked it. My guess is that the Mrs. had much to do with this work. Tom has proven to me he can rip my guts out and make me smile (Poachers is a personal favorite) and he has a soft side as well (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter has emotions out the wazoo), but something about this one gave me a different take? Did the barrel age on a different rack or was it a different mash bill? I suspect a little ...more
Sonja Arlow
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Set against the backdrop of the Mississippi flood of 1927 for some reason I expected a much heavier read but there was a lot of feel-good to be had here. The story is set in Hobnob, 3,000-odd people "nestled where the Mississippi doubled back on itself like a black racer fixing to bite its tail"

This is a place full of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge and all the characters leapt off the pages. The telling is split between Dixie Clay, a bootlegger who lost her
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Even though I read and loved Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, I wasn’t sure that this one would be as interesting because it’s about a 1927 flood in Mississippi. I shouldn’t have been concerned. Tom Franklin is a wonderful storyteller. Apparently his wife is too. They collaborated on this novel. This was a well-researched historical novel about a natural disaster that forever altered the lives of countless flood victims along the banks of the Mississippi. Surprisingly, it is also an unlikely but ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
If you need a calm, southern book this might be for you. For some reason I thought this was going to be more about the big flood of 1927 but it’s just part of the story. I might even call this a southern love story. Quick read!
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story featuring Dixie Clay and her philandering, ruthless husband Jesse Holliver, both bootleggers who are being hunted by two "larger than life"
revenuers Ham and Ingersoll, takes place during the pretty much forgotten Mississippi Delta flood of 1927.
Here's a quote straight from the book that pretty much covers it all : (possible spoiler alert)
"This is a story with murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge. A ruthless husband, a troubled uncle, a dangerous flapp
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
The historic locale and dire flood in hard, hard times tone was perfect. But that's about the only thing that was, for me. The writing was conducted in this novel by the current fad mode of using continual or alternating time and place hops. And with different focus of "eyes" description and dialog styles in varying chapters on top of it. Well, it ruined the entire connection of interest and plot tension as a reader, in my case. Beyond that, the story was so contrived and unrealistic in the time ...more
Mississippi Library Commission
Sometimes books by two authors seem choppy or poorly written. This is far from the case with The Tilted World. It's no longer business as usual for a husband and wife pair of bootleggers when revenuers come to town. They're following rumors of a big still and looking for their fellow agents who have mysteriously disappeared. Set against the backdrop of the Great Flood of 1927, the story is intriguing, the language is downright lyrical, and the characters captured our attention from the first pa ...more
(3.5 stars for story, 4.5 for narration, 4 for history.) I listened to narrator Brian D'Arcy James. This is fictionalized history with a strong romance thread.

A Tilted World is set in April of 1927, when moonshine was prohibited and the Mississippi River flooded seven states -- to date the worst river flood in US history. The town in this photo (Greenville, Mississippi) features prominently in the book. It's located 30 miles from the book's fictional setting of Hobnob Landing.

Contents include
Jane Stewart
Good story. Engaging. Interesting characters and conflicts. But too many flashbacks.

This could have been 4 or 5 stars, but the frequent use of flashbacks was annoying and kept making me angry. Who is telling authors to use flashbacks?????? It’s criminal. “Stein on Writing” is my authoritative source which says: “Flashbacks break the reading experience. They pull the reader out of the story to tell what happened earlier.”

Here’s how the flashbacks went. When I say current day, I mean Ap
Diane Barnes
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I gave this book 3 stars, but would like to add another 1/2 star. The reason I didn't rate it higher was because I loved Franklin's previous book, "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" so much that I very unfairly compared the two novels, and this one suffered for it. Larry Ott of Crooked Letter is one of my favorite fictional characters ever.
I'm not sure how Franklin and Fennelly (a married couple) divvied up the writing chores, but I never really saw a great difference in style. I agree with anoth
Rob Slaven
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
As usual, I received this book free in exchange for a review. Despite that kind consideration, my candid thoughts appear below.

Our story begins with a bootlegger's wife in the 1930s. Her world is a city on the brink of disaster as the flooding Mississippi threatens to surge over its banks and turn her home into a lake.

In general I tend to be rather hard on historical fiction. A lot of what is on offer from that genre is rather forced and authors seem to just be decorating a modern story with a f
Thank you William Morrow, for the ARC.
Aug 02, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of the historic 1927 Mississippi Flood, a story of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge-and a man and a woman who find unexpected love-from Tom Franklin, author of the bestselling Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and his wife, Pushcart Prize-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly

The year is 1927. As rains swell the Mississippi, the mighty river threatens to burst its banks and engulf all in its path, including federal revenue agent Ted Ingersoll an
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Cheryl by: Advanced Reader Copy
Started slow but before I knew it, I was absorbed into the story. The authors seemed to intend this as a romance but I really felt the romance was really just background for the real story. A very good read for a cloudy day after a long, busy week. One problem, am now very, very hungry for a great rack of ribs!

Since the book did let us know the information about that era and its bootleggers was based on facts (the town and people are fictional), I learned something too. It reminded me that desp
LynnDee (LynnDee's Library)
Nothing pains me more than when an adult novel features instalove. Also, the ending wrapped up a little too nicely for my liking. I did enjoy the writing and the setting, but with the instalove, too nice ending, and seemingly flat (IMO) characters, I can't give this more than 2 stars. ...more
4.5 rounded up to 5 stars. Partially because I love the name of the main female character, Dixie Clay.
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Tom Franklin was born and raised in Dickinson, Alabama. He held various jobs as a struggling writer living in South Alabama, including working as a heavy-equipment operator in a grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant and a clerk in a hospital morgue. In 1997 he received his MFA from the University of Arkansas. His first book, Poachers was named as a Best First Book of Fiction b ...more

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