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Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture, Lawless, starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.

Based on the true story of his grandfather and two granduncles, Matt Bondurant's novel is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder.

The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County during Prohibition and after. The brothers played a central role in a major conspiracy trial and its violent end. In 1935, Sherwood Anderson, working on a magazine story, finds himself driving along the dusty red roads trying to find the brothers and break the silence that shrouds Franklin County.

In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men - their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires - to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.

©2008 Matt Bondurant; (P)2008 BBC Audio

Critic Reviews

"Bondurant endows this gritty story with all the puzzle-solving satisfactions of a mystery. It's a gripping, relentless tale, delivered in no-nonsense prose." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rich
  • United States
  • 08-18-12

Just outstanding!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend The Wettest County to anyone. It will appeal to history buffs, people who like mystery and intrigue, and it has its tense, suspenseful, heart-stopping moments as well.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Though a semi-minor character my favorite is Howard Bondurant. The reason? It is clear he is a tortured soul, but the author never really elaborates in detail the reasons why. Interestingly, though clearly very troubled, Howard exudes a level of morality that is truly striking considering his chosen profession.

What does Erik Steele bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His cadence and delivery are very strong - it is obvious why he does what he does. What he brought to this story was a wide variety of accents and drawls common to the region and era making the listen truly authentic. Plus, in the few spots where he performs female dialogue he doesn't try to sound like a woman. I really hate it when narrators attempt this. Erik is top notch in the Wettest County.

Who was the most memorable character of The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless and why?

Clearly it is Forrest... Can people, like they say with cats, have 9 lives?

Any additional comments?

The name of this very solid novel is "The Wettest County in the World", period. Just because it has been adapted to a screen play and the forthcoming movie is called "Lawless" let's not be disrespectful and confuse the issue. Do legitimate readers of literature refer to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as Blade Runner? Audible... have some class.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • RH
  • 08-07-10

EXCELLENT!

I literally (no pun intended) went back to the beginning of the book the instant I finished it, to "read" it again, and am enjoying it just as much the second time around. There's much more here than just bootlegging--the time it takes place in itself; illness, culture, the Great Depression, farm life in general. It's a real history lesson. Bootlegging was not just a pasttime, but a career. The brutality that went on amazes me. From beginning to end, I was glued.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

For Once

Would you listen to The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless again? Why?

A movie that was better than the book. The screen adaptation was an easier version to follow and enriched the characters far better than the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A tale worth telling.

If you could sum up The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless in three words, what would they be?

The reader does a remarkable job telling this brutal tale. I was pulled back to that time and felt as if I was viewing the poverty, the greed, and the tragedy first hand. Well worth taking the time to read/listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Dark, Unlikable Characters

Great writing, but the story is dark and none of the main characters are likable.

Not that this is always a necessary ingredient, but Bondurant's fine writing draws the reader into the individual lives very well. But when you get there it's an uncomfortable place to be. Like a 1930 version of meth complete with the dealers, and the addicts, and you wind up thinking the whole cast needs to wipe each other out like some classic Tarantino movie.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • janet
  • United States
  • 04-01-13

So-So

What would have made The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless better?

Hard to follow along at times as the author "jumped around" in time from Chapter to Chapter. Listening on the road was distracting trying to keep a timeline of the story.

Has The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless turned you off from other books in this genre?

no

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Enjoyed the movie much more than the book

I purchased this book to listen to because I loved the movie. Usually, the book is better than the movie, but, unfortunately, that was not the case here for me. The story had unnecessary characters, primarily the reporter, and just was not that enjoyable to listen to, especially with the narrator chosen for this book, who sounded much too formal except when he did impersonations of certain characters. Overall, quite a disappointment for me.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Why did it take me so long to find this? Amazing

This is a piece of modern history literature and it's Good! Having known someone that lived during this period in this county really made me love it even more. The beautiful land descriptions, the characters, truly one of the best books I've ever read.

  • Overall
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  • Richard
  • McAllen TX/ Yuma AZ
  • 09-04-16

Grate story can't get enough

I've listened too this book 4 times already love the narrator puts you in the moment.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of the best stories of all time!

Excellent story. I have read the book and listened to the audible version. The audible version really brings it to life!

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