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The Tilted World
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Group Reads: Post-1990 > Final Impressions: The Tilted World by Franklin/Fennelly: September 2018

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message 1: by Tom, "Big Daddy" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tom Mathews | 2749 comments Mod
Comments on this board are made with the assumption that readers have finished the book and may include spoilers.


Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments Here is my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

In the end, I could not overcome what I saw as a very weak ending. I cannot help feeling that Tom Franklin is better at his craft when practicing it alone. This felt tempered in a way that his other works do not. Did a single event at the end surprise anyone? Did it not seem ridiculously fortuitous that they should come upon Jeanette in the hospital and recover the child so easily? Did it strike anyone besides me that Dixie Clay's injuries were severe, or not, as suited the needs of the plot?

I give high marks to the writing up to the final section, the building of the characters felt rich and then they seemed to morph into stereotypes, particularly Jesse, who went from a charming womanizer and a bootlegger who would stop at nothing to protect his income to a man who would kill every person he knew, man woman and child, to obtain a political office. I liked him better as a character when he had dimension, two-sided, like his eye-color.


message 3: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
I read The Tilted World upon its original publication. Franklin's been quiet since co-writing this one with His wife. He edited Mississippi Noir which was released in July, 2016. My review is HERE.


message 4: by Laura, "The Tall Woman" (new) - rated it 3 stars

Laura | 2280 comments Mod
He has been quiet. Would love a new one from him. Mississippi Noir was good.


Camie | 105 comments I liked this book more than expected. Even though we didn't find out a lot about the great flood and a few of the details and situations as Carol mentions above did feel contrived, there were some really great characters here. Ham and Ingersoll were great ones.
Now I need to read Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.


message 6: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Camie wrote: "I liked this book more than expected. Even though we didn't find out a lot about the great flood and a few of the details and situations as Carol mentions above did feel contrived, there were some ..."

I always considered Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter Franklin's break through novel. It's a great read. Hope you will enjoy it!


message 7: by Lawyer, "Moderator Emeritus" (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lawyer (goodreadscommm_sullivan) | 2699 comments Mod
Laura wrote: "He has been quiet. Would love a new one from him. Mississippi Noir was good."

Interesting that Beth Ann Fennelly has routinely turned out successive volumes of poetry while Franklin has remained so quiet.


Cathrine ☯️  | 753 comments I finished last night and had pretty much the same response as Sara.
"Did it strike anyone besides me that Dixie Clay's injuries were severe, or not, as suited the needs of the plot?"
One of my biggest gripes! She was smacked in the head with an iron skillet, has broken ribs and other assault injuries, but feels up to having sex on a dirt mound above raging waters. Ingersoll needs to carry her through the hospital but after finding the baby and a cartoon-ish Jeanette they are both able to run (not walk) from the building.
It did have its moments but I can't help thinking that if Franklin had written this alone, events such as baby Willy surviving might not have happened. Also, for me, some of the backstories thrown in here and there made the plot sluggish.


Sara (phantomswife) | 1394 comments I also wondered if Franklin had done this alone would there have been such a bow-tied ending and doubted it. It takes strength to not have everything come out okay sometimes.


LA Cantrell | 1324 comments I hate to admit being glad to read ho-hum feedback, but it didnt thrill me either. He is capable of SO much better.


Cathrine ☯️  | 753 comments My copy was from the library. A previous borrower was not happy either as notations with his/her red pen attested. I hate when people write in library books! Some of the gripes:

●the oft used 'diddie' which should read 'didie'
●a reference to 'nylon stockings' which were not on the market until the 30's. They would have been "silk, rayon, wool, or cotton"
●a half page of writing following the love on the mound scene which was whited out by a librarian. I wonder if we were of the same mind on that?
●Ham was using his Jewish accent: “‘Oy vey, I wasn’t (vasn’t) blessing (blessink) myself, I was (vas) just (yust) making sure everything (everyting) is still here’"

It did encourage me to go looking for more of the history of this flood which I knew nothing about. Such devastation. Did you know that New Orleans leaders dynamited the Mississippi levee in St. Bernard Parish to protect their own interests?
I also discovered a song by Randy Newman titled Louisiana 1927 with a slide show of historic photos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGs2i...


message 12: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John (jwarner6comcastnet) | 156 comments The Tilted World by Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly
★★★★★ and ♥

This novel is set in the early 20th century in the days surrounding the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flood in the US, encompassing an area the size of Conn., New Hampshire, Mass., and Vermont. The flood plays such as role in this novel that you could consider it a character.

I will let the words of one of the primary characters, Dixie Clay, give a synopsis of the story:

It is time to tell you a story, a story that will surpise you. The year was 1927, and Lord, the rains did rain. Your mama was a bootlegger, and your daddy was a revenuer, so they were meant to be enemies, natural enemies, like the owl and the dormouse. But instead they fell in love.

I discovered a new favorite Southern author in Tom Frankin. And this novel won't be my last of his read.

I have one question for the group: What was the motivation for Jesse and his uncle blowing up the levee? It seemed unclear.


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