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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

A Novel

By Tom Franklin

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2010,
    288 pages.

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There are currently 26 reader reviews for Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
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Jane H. (Owensboro, KY) (09/30/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
The clever title drew me to request this book and I was happy I received it. I found the overall story absorbing and unique. I think whoever edited this story will keep it from being a huge hit. The first 100 pages of the book were sloppily edited ... maybe with a view to "the art" of the book rather than keeping to what was clearly a compelling story on its own. I ALWAYS finish a book, no matter what the contents, and that's all that kept me wading through the hodgepodge at the beginning. If the reader can hold on and make it that far, the book takes off with an intoxicating Southern murder mystery and is well worth the read.

[Editor's note: BookBrowse member-reviewers received an advanced readers copy of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter to review. ARCs are produced some months before publication before the final editing process has been completed, so some of the issues Jane found with the opening pages may not be present in the finished book.]
Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI) (09/29/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
This book grabbed my attention immediately. The story unfolds of two men, one African-American and one white, who meet as young boys. Their lives entwine and then diverge due to one being accused of a horrific crime. Through a series of flashbacks we learn how their friendship formed and how it fell apart. Now in a crucial moment of desperation, Larry Ott reaches out to his old friend Silas "32" Jones. It is a well told tale of relationships and betrayal. Franklin spoke to me on every page through his keen sense of verbal timing. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who have reconnected with someone from their childhood.
Carol N. (Indian Springs VIllage, AL) (09/28/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Reading this book took me back to my own youth in rural south Mississippi during the 1970's. So much of the book rang true, and I remember the kids who were considered as 'strange' because they were not like everyone else. At times I felt a little confused because of the abrupt switching between the time frames but I did enjoy the central story of the murders.
Harriette K. (Northbrook, IL) (09/28/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
The title puts us in the place. Who doesn't remember the way we were taught to spell Mississippi? The jacket then gives the reader an idea of what to expect, a mysterious disappearance and hidden secrets revealed. Immediately the reader is pulled into the story and learns about most of the events that transpired in 1970. When we are brought back to the town 20 years later, we do indeed start learning the secrets as they are revealed by the author bit by bit. After a young girl goes missing, everything changes for two young men. Their lives go in different directions until they meet again 20 years later.

That's all I will say about the plot. I know it's very little, but I would like other readers to discover the events the way I did, knowing very little. I love mysteries, and this is one of the best that I've read in a long time. Not only does the author peel away the layers of the story slowly, his characters develop very well. We learn in a very graphic way how events in our youth not only shape us but define the rest of our lives. The author, Tom Franklin, mentions Dennis Lehane in his acknowledgments. I can only say that whatever he learned from Lehane, he learned well. Franklin doesn't take a backseat to any mystery author. I'm on my way to the bookstore to choose one of his previous books....I loved it.
Sharon A. (Gainesville, FL) (09/27/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Tale
The story starts with a hidden friendship between 2 boys of different races in the Old South and twists its way into adulthood. The adult characters and their interactions did not seem believable in present day rural Mississippi. The "mystery" was a little transparent. The abrupt time shifts between past & present interfered with the flow of the story. Loved the title.
Karen L. (Troy, IL) (09/27/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
Fast read with great characters. The author had me wanting to know more about the two boys from different ethnic backgrounds. Interesting to note that it was an ethnic reversal of sorts from what you usually see in this type of story line. Enjoyed the book and am recommending it to my book club for a future selection.
Frederick Meine (Wilmington, NC) (09/24/10)

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter
I greatly enjoyed this novel. I happened upon Tom Franklin's first novel, "Hell at the Breech", soon after it was released and absolutely loved. When "Smonk" came out, I snapped it up as well, but was disappointed-- I never felt compelled to force it upon my family members as Christmas/birthday gifts as I had with his first novel. However, with the release of "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter", once again, all of my close family members will be getting copies of Franklin's work for upcoming holidays!
Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL) (09/21/10)

Friendship and all of its consequences
The characters in this book are very real. A strange friendship develops between a black boy and a white boy and continues into their adult years with serious consequences. This book held my attention from beginning to end and is certainly well worth reading.

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