Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel (P.S.)
by Tom Franklin
Kindle Edition-

“The classic trifecta of talent, heart, and a bone-deep sense of storytelling….A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply ...

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  "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by paulagreco1 (see profile) 05/25/11

Loved this book. It was such a great read, couldn't put it down. The theme of forgiveness and looking forward was so apparent in this book.

  "Crooked Letter Crokker Letter" by MeeganS (see profile) 06/16/11

  "Good summer reading" by APHolt (see profile) 07/06/11

One of my reading group members described this book as "knock you over the head obvious"...and it was. If you're looking for mystery and suspense, look elsewhere; but if you're looking for a light summer beach book that will keep your attention, this is it.

  "Crooked Letter Crooked Letter" by Madam Secretary (see profile) 07/08/11

Interesting, well-written story about a town outcast and the background potential discrimination story behind it and how one person's actions, or inactions, led to a lifetime of self-doubt and never-ending questions.

  "Crooked Letter" by cao324 (see profile) 07/30/11

Loved the way this book was written. Plot seems very basic at beginning, but as the story goes on, more and more layers are peeled away which made it hard for me to put the book down!

  "Dramatic page-turner" by MichelleJMcIntyre (see profile) 08/23/11

This is one of the best books I've read in the past couple of years. The writing is clear and descriptive. The flashbacks are masterful. The characters are fascinating and the ending left me satisfied.

  "Enjoyed by most-- with meaty things to discuss" by KellyRenee1979 (see profile) 09/22/11

Pretty much everyone in my book club enjoyed this book and for a few of us it was a "1 day read". We don't read many of the mystery/suspense genre, but like this a lot. There were enough things to agree and disagree on to make the discussion interesting. Honestly, there were at least 10 things that I didn't notice in the book that someone else brought up at the discussion. The issues of racism, family, friendship and coming of age are all good topics. The list of questions provided in the book cover all possible topics and we made it through the whole list in about 1 hour.

  "Not a fan of this book!" by ShanaM (see profile) 09/24/11

  "Suspenseful yet Sad" by kgeldof29 (see profile) 11/07/11

It was a little slow getting started but kept my interest. I wanted to know what happened to the missing girls and Larry. I feel this book could draw some good discussions with regards to race, ethics and morality.

  "Fulfilling" by kayis2cute (see profile) 01/20/12

I enjoyed this book. Although somewhat predictable towards the end, I loved the journey. Great details in this book. I felt I was in the Crooked Letter state swatting flies and suffering from the heat. I liked the characterization, even though I wasn't exactly fond of the characters themselves. I thought the story was told very well and I think it would be a great book club selection.

  "Sad but Hopeful" by ppreeder (see profile) 04/25/12

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was an interesting read. Larry was such a pitiful character that you couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Silas was so disappointing in that he could have been a life changer for Larry but chose not to. The story was depressing but leaves you with hope. It generated lots of discussion for our group.

  "Crooked letter crooked letter" by wendy55 (see profile) 06/01/12

The group enjoyed the book overall. Some found it a slow start with difficulty keeping track of characters. However, overall we had lively discussion around the life decisions of both main characters. We would recommend it to clubs. Once it got going it was hard to put down.

  "Things are Not As They Seem" by Kathee (see profile) 09/23/12

Beautifully Written

  "Great book club choice" by mystryrdr (see profile) 09/25/12

There is so much to discuss and many interesting discussions can result. There are several moments in this book that are really pivotal and if one thing was done differently, so much could have been different. With a few plot items left unanswered or unresolved, it also leaves some things open to the reader to decide what they think occurred, adding another line of discussion.

  "Definitely worth the read!" by bookmobile (see profile) 11/27/12

This book generated lots of discussion and a few suggestions on alternative endings and thoughts on how the book differed in direction from the way our readers thought it was going to go. I have been in bookclub 10 years and have read a lot of books - this is well worth the read.

  "crooked letter crooked letter" by bhale (see profile) 04/09/13

  "Interesting Read" by grandmacline (see profile) 06/20/13

  "crooked letter, crooked letter" by bhale (see profile) 07/20/13

  "Don't look here for stereo-typical images of blacks and whites" by brightpoweruk (see profile) 08/05/13

Larry Ott is a lonely man whose isolated life leaves him little more to do than methodically tend to his hens and turn up at his car workshop that rarely attracts customers. No evidence could put him behind bars, but the nearest community in a tiny hamlet of hottest, dustiest Mississippi has condemned and ostracised Larry the schoolboy for murdering Cindy Walker who was in his class.
Silas Jones, the local policeman, returned to the area after a long absence. Years after the alleged crime a body is found in a disused shack on Larry’s land, but it is another woman who has been murdered. The most likely suspect is in no position to provide an alibi; Larry Ott lies in a critical state in hospital having been shot in the chest by a masked intruder.
Everyone in our group who started this book finished it, despite the awkwardness of reading the colloquial language. Most agreed it was predictable and slow paced. We doubted that Silas would have kept his secret safe and this is what weakens the plot most. It felt like the author was unsure what type of book he was writing and that he added one final chapter too many.
We discussed how the main characters might not represent stereo-typical images in novels of blacks and whites of the 1980s in Southern America. A brief childhood friendship provokes the misgivings of their parents. Silas evolves into a popular and successful black retired sportsman now policeman, who has done well for himself despite his humble beginnings. White-skinned Larry, son of the owner of substantial amounts of land, is the ‘born victim’, friendless and fat, he grows old prematurely.
The book handles time changes poorly and this makes them confusing and disjointed. Many peripheral characters in the story seem twisted and unpleasant but only Wallace Stringfellow, who forces his company on the infamous Larry, contributes something memorable to the plot. If this violent weirdo had been born much earlier then he might have been a suspect for the murder of Cindy, himself.
One group member has spent time in the Mississippi and vouched for the authentic descriptions of the heat, dust and small town mentality. We may not be rushing out to buy other books by Tom Franklin, but it is tempting to read reviews of future books published to see if he moves on from this lacklustre imitation of the legacies left by John Steinbeck and Harper Lee.
Score 5.5/10

  "Rich story of mystery, murder and family." by Staciele (see profile) 09/12/13

Great choice for a book club. A definite page-turner.

  "Cooked Letter Crooked Letter" by sukisu (see profile) 09/17/13

  "A Few Too Many Straight Answers in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by nbaker (see profile) 10/07/13

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was an interesting and dramatic story about two boys (one white and one black) who developed a friendship one summer. Little did either realize the invisible bonds between them and the secrets each would carry that impacted the other's life. Larry has been under suspicion for years over the disappearance of a young teenage girl. Silas has returned to the town of his mid-teens as a constable when, 25 years later, another young girl comes up missing. Naturally Larry is the first suspect on the list. I thought the author did a good job presenting a very vivid image of each character and I felt both compassion and disgust for each. I was expecting a few more twists or plots within the story and felt it had a pretty predictable ending. I would have much preferred a bit more mystery and felt the ending was weaker than the rest of the story. Even with that being said, I think that it provides much in the way of a good discussion book.

  "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by greenwave (see profile) 02/12/14

We loved the mystery and liked the Author's way of describing things very much.

  "Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter" by CW (see profile) 05/14/14

Very interesting of the way things were in the South. Did not won't to put it down.

  "Eerily appropriate for our club during this month!" by mabook (see profile) 08/17/14

All members of our book club really enjoyed this book. We spent much time discussing the racial tension in this book, especially as it related to the recent events in St. Louis MO (August 2014). The mystery around the actual murderer was not discussed, since we spent so much time discussing the relationship between 32 and Larry and their parents.

  "" by Readextensively (see profile) 07/28/15

  "Our book club like and gave it 4 stars." by cldando (see profile) 02/16/16

Was very true to the area, and the time. True to small towns also. Well written.

  "Not for everyone" by BookDivasReads (see profile) 02/23/17

Don't read this if you're looking for a traditional mystery or whodunit read. Do read this if you're looking for a simple Southern pseudo-gothic read. I found this to be equals parts coming-of-age and relationship exploration. This is a story that highlights the notion of "innocent until proven guilty" and leaving with the stigma of being accused of a crime. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, even though others in my group found it a bit slow, wordy, and a difficult read. This may not be the book for every book group, but it provides a lot of subjects to discuss.

  "" by laurajohnson (see profile) 08/16/17

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