Novel: Hell At The Breech

Okay, fiction fans, read this.  Really.  It’s wonderfully good.  A gripping, beautifully written novel  set during a real-life feud in 1890′s Alabama.  Author Tom Franklin won an Edgar Award for his 1999 book of short stories Poachers, which I haven’t read, but which also won high praise from Otto Penzler who despite being my editor and friend is also probably the foremost expert on crime fiction in the world.

Hell At The Breech has crime novel elements as well, which give it its unputdownable narrative drive.  It’s a sweeping historical tale of murder, deception, morality and coming of age.  Terrific stuff.

If you read it on Kindle, as I did, beware – the novel ends at 90 percent…   then there’s an appended short story, which is very good but only vaguely connected to the main story.  Don’t know if this is in the print version.

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  • jaycolle

    I just read Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin and could not read it slow enough (because it is that well written). When I saw the percentage number climbing at the bottom of the Kindle page I was sad because I knew it would end soon. I am glad to know I can grab Hell At The Breech and savor another read. Thanks for the head’s up…

  • -KH-

    Excellent book by an excellent writer. Out of curiousity though, what made you review this book that came out around eight years ago? Just now discovering it, or Tom Franklin?


  • Wemedge

    I’m reading Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter now. This Franklin guy is great. He writes slowly judged by his output, and it looks like he spends a lot of time teaching writing, which is too bad because the dude is a great prose artist. Thanks for the heads up, Andy. I read your blog on a regular basis mostly to see what you’ve come across in fiction. I appreciate your appreciation for deathless prose.