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Crooked Letter Crooked Letter: A Novel by…

Crooked Letter Crooked Letter: A Novel (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Tom Franklin

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1,7752053,960 (3.97)250
Title:Crooked Letter Crooked Letter: A Novel
Authors:Tom Franklin
Info:Avon (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin (2010)

  1. 20
    A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (pdebolt)
    pdebolt: There is a similar poignancy to Larry Ott and Owen Meany as they struggle to find their place in their worlds.
  2. 20
    The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy (fuzzy_patters)
  3. 10
    A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne (aliklein)
  4. 10
    Citrus County by John Brandon (GCPLreader)
  5. 00
    Paris Trout by Pete Dexter (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Both books take place in the south, though in different states. The underlying racial tone is very similar.
  6. 00
    In the Heat of the Night by John Ball (VictoriaPL)

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(originally reviewed on 2-2-11)

I love southern fiction, and I was especially interested in reading this book as the setting is in southeastern Mississippi, which is close to where I live now in Mobile, Alabama. I use to read a lot more mysteries than I read now, particularly in the early 1990s, but I’m not a fan of gritty content, so I’ve drifted more into literary fiction over the years. I was pleasantly relieved, when, for the most part, this book turned out to be more character driven and written in a literary style without the typical gory descriptions of many modern novels. It’s a page turner and I read it pretty much straight through.

The two main characters are Larry (white), called ‘Scary Larry’ by the locals, and Silas (black), the local policeman. Growing up, the two were friends for a time when they lived in close proximity to each other. Then when Larry was in high school, he was accused by the community of killing a girl after a date, although the body was never found and Larry was never formally charged. Due to all this, Larry lives a lonely life in almost total isolation, with only his books (mostly horror) to keep him company.

Fast forward about 20 years and now another girl is missing. Naturally, the police consider Larry ‘a person of interest’ in the case, and Silas, his old boyhood friend, must get involved in trying to solve the girl’s disappearance.

This book is about a lot more than just the mysteries of the two girls’ disappearances. It’s about race, class, friendship, and family. I enjoyed it and would definitely read another book by this author, especially if Silas were one of the characters. ( )
  1morechapter | Feb 23, 2016 |
brilliant!!! ( )
  mark-f-r-ritchie | Feb 19, 2016 |
Character-study mystery focusing on life in a small town ( )
  nospi | Feb 7, 2016 |
decent plot. I found the second half of the book to move at a much more pleasant pace. The beginning was a bit slow and almost gave up on it. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
decent plot. I found the second half of the book to move at a much more pleasant pace. The beginning was a bit slow and almost gave up on it. ( )
  micahmom2002 | Jan 25, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 210 (next | show all)
If you're looking for a smart, thoughtful novel that sinks deep into a Southern hamlet of the American psyche, "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" is your next book.
added by eereed | editWashington Post, Ron Charles (Sep 29, 2010)
added by lucy.depalma | editSCIS (pay site)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Franklinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barsøe, Søren K.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, crooked letter, crooked letter, I, humpback, humpback, I.

—How southern children are taught to spell Mississippi
For Jeff Franklin
in loving memory
Julie Fennelly Trudo
For Jeff Franklin and in loving memory of Julie Fennelly Trudo
First words
The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house.
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Black and white
secret kept, secret told
brothers to behold


No descriptions found.

"...set in rural Mississippi. In the late 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry, the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, single black mother. Yet for a few months the boys stepped outside of their circumstances and shared a special bond. But then tragedy struck: Larry took a girl on a date to a drive-in movie, and she was never heard from again. She was never found and Larry never confessed, but all eyes rested on him as the culprit. The incident shook the county-and perhaps Silas most of all. His friendship with Larry was broken, and then Silas left town. More than twenty years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion. Silas has returned as a constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they've buried and ignored for decades" --Publisher description.… (more)

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