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April WPL Book Club Selection: From the very first sentence I loved this book (my maiden name is Rutherford!)....predictable outcome, but sweet.
loved everything about this novel - writing, setting and memorable characters.
Great writing. Sparce but descriptive. You can almost smell the places and feel the people. Would love the library to stock more of his novels.
Two very different boys were friends in the late 1970s. When a girl disappears, one is blamed and one leaves town. Twenty years later, another girl disappears. Is history repeating itself?
Thornhill Village Thursday Evening Book Club
Thursday, November 10th, 2016
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
I sped through this book and once it was over I re-read a few of the descriptions again. He is a beautiful writer, and his characters are heartbreakingly real. I have just put another book of his on hold.
I am always up for dramatic Southern fiction. Are Southern writers just touched with something special, or do they have better writing teachers down there? Tom Ford's story is so beautifully written and engrossing, you don't even have a chance to stop and wonder if you CARE. There is no question: you will care. If the story of Larry and Silas doesn't rip your heart out, check to see if you have one! A very satisfying story about friendship, race, and secrets that separate us from one another.
I don't know that I've read a book where I felt more sympathy toward a main character as I did while reading Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Larry Ott's story broke my heart to the point I often had to remind myself it was just fiction! In my mind, that's a good sign of powerful, skilled storytelling by Tom Franklin.
Enjoyed the story and the characters. It did feel that the story was an edited version made for TV or the movies where there is only so much time to develop the characters and certain scenes have been edited out. You know that movie you watched and want to read the book to find out what you missed
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin is much more than a simple mystery, this atmospheric story touches on the racism that is still very prevalent today and tells the story of two men of different races that share a past and secrets that are about to come bubbling to the surface.
Surprised to find out that this is an Edgar-Award-winning writer. The murder mystery is the weakest aspect to this novel of a rural southern town which still holds a grudge against poor misfut Larry Ott, suspected-but-not-convicted of the disappearance/murder of a teen girl many years before and still admires the high school baseball skills of Silas '32' Jones who has returned as constable. Very slow narration, unsatisfying 'solution' to the mystery, and mostly unlikable characters make this one hard to go down. Interesting that the black/white dynamic is turned inside out here as the pariah is white and the 'hero' is black. Haunting, tragic portrait of Larry is the only thing that saves this mostly mess of a read.
Sometimes you come across a book that not only you enjoy, but one that really stays with you for a while. CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is a wonderful, haunting, elegantly written novel about two boys who cross paths in rural Mississippi and how their lives connect back again as adults. The main character, 32 Jones, was a baseball star in high school but is now a local constable, at the bottom of the police ladder, directing traffic and writing parking tickets after being raised by a single mom who worked double shifts to keep the family afloat. Childhood friend Larry Ott grew up in a two-parent home, and now runs his father's auto repair shop, but lives a solitary existence after being the main suspect in the disappearance of a teen girl years ago that was never conclusively proven - he's lived under the shadow of that ever since. The two reconnect after another local girl goes missing, digging up loads of history and hidden connections between them as 32 gets drawn into the case. Franklin has an immaculate sense of place - rural Mississippi is a character unto itself, and Franklin creates characters and speech that feel genuine and real. Like I said, this book is one of those that sticks with you long after you put it back on the shelf, and is worth seeking out. If you're interested in other literary mystery novels with strong characters and an equally strong sense of place, check out THE NIGHT GARDENER by George Pelecanos or THE POACHER'S SON by Paul Doiron.
This is a being billed as a mystery, and if that gets people to read it, fantastic, because it is much more than that. Tom Franklin knows this slice of the rural South, its weaknesses and its grace, and he writes beautifully about the woods, the food, the auto repair shop no one patronizes, the police department with its token black officer.
The book goes back and forth in time between a girl's disappearance when the main characters were in high school and a possibly related shooting in the present, a couple of decades later. His characterizations are pitch perfect, heartrending - the horror-fiction-obsessed nerd's disastrous first and only date, the star athlete's failure of courage. It is ultimately a meditation on race, ostracism, and friendship, and Franklin packs a lot of humanity into 300 pages.
A very enjoyable and interesting story and characters, set in rural Mississipi.
This novel's two main characters are very well developed, and the story line is compelling. The sense of place is well portrayed - very small town Mississippi. The relationship between Larry and Silas is complex and touching. This would be a great summer weekend read.
Really great read. I couldn't put it down. It was a great mystery that makes you really care about the characters, and I couldn't wait to find out what had really happened.
Start with a complicated friendship between two young boys, a series of murders, some false accusations and a lifetime of secrets and you end up with a great little mystery. This story offers a couple of well formed characters, some suspense and just a touch creepy. Very good.
This book pulls the reader in, right from the beginning. The two main characters are compelling and real. Both are lonely, though in very different ways.
Good writing that flows.
The author paints a complete and compelling picture of the main characters but the twists in the plot could be predicted far ahead of time. Overall a good weekend read.
A good book but missing that sense of humor that both Hell at the Breech and Smonk had. Still a nice writing style and he even punctuates in this one.
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was very well written. I appreciated how even the tiniest details were woven together. I'd highly reccomend this.