We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
 >   > 
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel | [Tom Franklin]

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel

Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again.
Regular Price:$19.56
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Tom Franklin’s Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter begins with one of the most compelling first lines I’ve heard in a while: “The Rutherford girl had been missing for eight days when Larry Ott returned home and found a monster waiting in his house.” From there, Kevin Kenerly’s expert narration winds us through the empty storefronts, rusted out mailboxes, and weeded trailer lots of Chabot, Mississippi, where Ott pays the price every day for a 25-year-old crime no one can prove he committed. Silas “32” Jones lives on the opposite side of the law as the sheriff of this “hamlet”, where he continues to build on his hero status (earned on the high school baseball field) by doing expert police work.

In addition to the murder, Franklin has woven into this tale a Faulknerian family mystery complete with unexplained photographs, hand-me-down coats, and shotguns earned in fistfights. 32’s efforts to solve the Rutherford girl’s murder lead him much further back into his past than he is prepared to go, back to a one-room cabin on the Ott property where he lived as a child with his mother.

Kenerly speaks in a journalistic tone showing neither judgment of Ott’s isolated, suspicious lifestyle nor admiration of 32’s heroism. A vehicle for the story in earnest, Kenerly allows us to follow Franklin’s carefully placed clues about the Rutherford girl’s murder and Larry and 32’s mysterious and tangled past. Kenerly does this not only without giving anything away, but by adding a detached detective tone, carving out a space in the story for our emotions.

To the open-minded listener, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter is an opportunity to atone for our playground sins — not necessarily to straighten out our crooked letters, but to be redeemed into something more whole. —Sarah Evans Hogeboom

Publisher's Summary

In a small Mississippi town, two men are torn apart by circumstance and reunited by tragedy in this resonant new novel from the award-winning author of the critically-acclaimed Hell at the Breech.

Larry Ott and Silas “32” Jones were unlikely boyhood friends. Larry was the child of lower middle-class white parents, Silas the son of a poor, single, black mother - their worlds as different as night and day. Yet a special bond developed between them in Chabot, Mississippi. But within a few years, tragedy struck. In high school, a girl who lived up the road from Larry had gone to the drive-in movie with him and nobody had seen her again. Her stepfather tried to have Larry arrested, but no body was found and Larry never confessed. The incident shook up the town, including Silas, and the bond the boys shared was irrevocably broken.

Almost 30 years have passed. Larry, a mechanic, lives a solitary existence in Chabot, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion, the looks of blame that have shadowed him. Silas left home to play college baseball, but now he’s Chabot’s constable. The men have few reasons to cross paths, and they rarely do - until fate intervenes again.

Another teenaged girl has disappeared, causing rumors to swirl once again. Now, two men who once called each other friend are finally forced to confront the painful past they’ve buried for too many years.

©2010 Tom Franklin (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A masterful performance, deftly rendered and deeply satisfying. For days on end, I woke with this story on my mind.” (David Wroblewski, New York Times best-selling author of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1291 )
5 star
 (409)
4 star
 (513)
3 star
 (273)
2 star
 (58)
1 star
 (38)
Overall
4.0 (718 )
5 star
 (241)
4 star
 (286)
3 star
 (139)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (27)
Story
4.2 (711 )
5 star
 (307)
4 star
 (282)
3 star
 (87)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Rena Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-13-12
    Rena Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-13-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "AWESOME IN EVERY WAY"
    If you could sum up Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter in three words, what would they be?

    Compelling, Thought Provoking, Hopeful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Larry, Tom Franklin has said that he based the character on himself and you can tell. You literally feel like you get a first hand account of a misunderstood person's side of the story.


    Which character – as performed by Kevin Kenerly – was your favorite?

    All of them. He is a phenomenal talent!!! Great jobs for every character especially considering he was dealing with different races and ages.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Silas driving Larry home from the hospital.


    Any additional comments?

    Excellent piece of literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Freeland, PA, United States 11-25-12
    Lisa Freeland, PA, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Crooked Letter - Really Good"

    Got this book because it was on sale for 7.95.. did not think I would enjoy it as much as I did. I would recommend the book 100%. The narrator was great. The story line caught your attention. I was disappointed when it ended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julianne Petersburg, AK, United States 10-15-12
    Julianne Petersburg, AK, United States 10-15-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"

    Very interesting story, beautifully written and well read. I recommend, and hope to find other books by this author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Ithaca, NY, United States 10-15-12
    James Ithaca, NY, United States 10-15-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good character development"
    What made the experience of listening to Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter the most enjoyable?

    The easy unfolding of the story and a narrative that flowed logically and in expected order. I felt the reader, although he didn't read with a Mississippi accent, had an easy going cadence that fit with the flow and feel of the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how the author developed his characters to be believable humans. Both were flawed yet you found yourself as a reader, understanding their feelings and the conflicts in doing what they did and you wanted both of them to do the right thing and succeed in the end. The story line is a bit obvious but it unfolds logically and you are still left wondering how it will be resolved and exactly how we will get there. I was very impressed with the writing style of the author who gave us a believable feel of a small, rural, southern town and the people who would live there.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Paynesville, MN, United States 10-05-12
    Laura Paynesville, MN, United States 10-05-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story"

    I enjoyed this story, however, I felt like as the book got closer to the end the author raced to finish it. The end of the book was disappointing for me; it was predictable and anti climactic. It was still an enjoyable book to listen to, up to that point and I would still recommend listening to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eva United States 09-30-12
    Eva United States 09-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More twists than a Mississippi copperhead!"
    What did you love best about Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter?

    The story and character development were craftily done.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I haven't stayed up half the night in a long time listening to a book, but this one kept me listening to just a bit more throughout the night.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Can't pick just one.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    More twists than a Mississippi copperhead!


    Any additional comments?

    My mother was from Mississippi, and I so fondly recall her teaching my sister and I how to spell it.

    The narration by Kevin Kenerly was excellent! What a rich and smooth voice he has.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Turtle NYC 09-28-12
    Turtle NYC 09-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great"
    Any additional comments?

    This book has it all. mystery, social commentary, human interest, psychology and sadness caused by the terrible people who torture their families for generations, and do so without the community bothering to interfere .
    the audio version is excellent, the narrator expertly got under the skin of the characters - literally! bravo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JustMe Chicago, IL USA 09-13-12
    JustMe Chicago, IL USA 09-13-12 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best I've listened to!"
    Where does Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. The story had enought twists and truns to keep the listener intrigued, the narrator was really fantastic (it was magical the way he was able to do the tones and dialects of variety of characters--really amazing). I'd highly recommend this book--in fact, I already have!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Absolutely! I could not guess where the story was going--and I pride myself on being able to figure out plot points early.


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Kenerly’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No but I will definitely look for more of his work. Very impressed with his talent.


    Who was the most memorable character of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter and why?

    Larry was the most interesting, he was such a tragic character.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Lenhardt texas 09-02-12
    M. Lenhardt texas 09-02-12 Member Since 2012

    great reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but hoped for more"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I don't feel like listening to this was a waste of time but it is not a book/audio recording I would recommend.


    What aspect of Kevin Kenerly’s performance would you have changed?

    There was not enough difference between the character's voices. Silas and Angie's voices were excellent, every other woman and man sounded exactly alike.


    Do you think Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I would enjoy a prequel more than a sequel with the story of Alice, Carl and Ina being fleshed out.


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted to love this novel but only liked it. Franklin blatantly telegraphed all of the revelations. There was no a-ha moment, nor was the resolution of either murder all that interesting.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianna ANNAPOLIS, MD, United States 08-27-12
    Marianna ANNAPOLIS, MD, United States 08-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Complex Characters, Gripping Polot"
    Would you listen to Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter again? Why?

    Probably not. But I'm still thinking about the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The moral ambiguity and complexity of the characters.


    What about Kevin Kenerly’s performance did you like?

    Great voice. Evoked a sense of place.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I don't understand this question.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 31-40 of 105 results PREVIOUS134511NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.