Smonk by Tom Franklin

>> Monday, March 10, 2008

Genre: Fiction
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 251
TBR 2008 #4, A-Z Reading #15 (S Title), Eponymous Challenge #2

I loved Tom Franklin’s first novel Hell at the Breech, and it’s still one of the best books I ever read. I’d described that one as a brutal story, beautifully told. This second novel was just brutal. I only finished it because it was short and I was hoping that there would be enough at the end to make up for the disgust I felt reading the first part. There wasn’t.

Franklin can be a wonderful writer and I still want to read Poachers, which is a collection of short stories.


Eleanor 3/10/2008 5:53 PM  

I have been DYING to read your review of this -- I couldn't make it past the first couple chapters.

When Tom came to the store for the signing for this, I was relieved to know he didn't hold that against me. He knew it was out there, but he had a ball writing it.

I was THIS close to warning you off, but my SIL/boss read it, and once she got in the groove she thought it was hilarious, in a particularly weird way. That was weird because she has a much lower threshold for that sort of thing than do I, usually!

But Poachers - AWESOME, and I am not even a fan of short stories.

SuziQoregon 3/10/2008 6:00 PM  

El: It's defiintely "particularly weird" but unlike Lindsay's Dexter and Hell at the Breech - there wasn't anyone I could find who I felt was doing the right thing even if it was the wrong way to go about it.

I remembered that you said that it hadn't been as good as Hell at the Breech. It just didn't do it for me. There was nobody to root for - everyone was awful. By the time you got to the last 50 pages or so and you had someone to pull for, it was too little too late.

Sometime when you have the chance - pick up the book and page back from the end. I started noticing that 3 out of 4 section breaks opened with the word "meanwhile" - it became really annoying and obtrusive to the story.

I still think he CAN write beautifully and I remembered that you'd said Poachers was good. I'll get around to reading that one of these days.

Joy 3/10/2008 7:48 PM  

YIKES! Although I'm happy to have you weed it out for me. :) Thanks.

SuziQoregon 3/11/2008 7:41 PM  

Joy: yeah - don't bother with this one, but it sounds like we need to read Poachers.

Framed 3/15/2008 8:57 PM  

I'm always relieved to read a review of a book that I'm not compelled to read.

____Maggie 3/15/2008 9:33 PM  

You sold me on Hell at the Breech! Thanks! :)

SuziQoregon 3/16/2008 3:08 PM  

Framed: glad to be of service - we gotta look out for each other to leave room for the good stuff.

Maggie: Hell at the Breech is definitely not an easy read due to the subject matter, violence and brutality, but it's so beautifully written that it's one I highly recommend.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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