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The Tilted World
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April 1927. After months of rain, the Mississippi River has reached dangerous levels and the little town of Hobnob is at threat. Residents fear the levee will either explode under the pressure of the water or be blown by saboteurs from New Orleans, who wish to save their own city. But when an orphaned baby is found the lives of Ingersoll, a blues-playing prohibition agent, and Dixie Clay, a bootlegger who is guarding a terrible secret, collide. They can little imagine how events are about to change them - and the great South - forever. For in the dead of night, after thick, illusory fog, the levee will break . . .
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The breathtaking new novel from Tom Franklin, the Gold Dagger Award winning author, writing with his wife, prize-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly

About the Author

Tom Franklin is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter which was nominated for nine awards and won the prestigious Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Beth Ann Fennelly's honors include the Kenyon Review Prize and three inclusions in The Best American Poetry. Fennelly has published three volumes of poetry, along with her non fiction book, Great With Child. She directs the University of Mississippi's MFA program. They live in Oxford, Mississippi with their three children.

Reviews

`The Tilted World is a captivating Deep South drama that unfolds in the spring of 1927 as the rising, roiling waters of the Mississippi River head toward an epic and catastrophic flood. It also is a beautifully written, smartly crafted thriller that offers many delights, among them its hard-luck heroine, Dixie Clay . . . With romantic twists and tense scenes that make it hard to put down, the book is a pleasure to read. The writing is deft and memorable, at times potent with emotional punch. Collaborating on a novel might seem to create prickly problems, but Franklin and Fennelly write almost seamlessly, rarely allowing the rhythm of the narrative to shift when the writer's baton is passed from one to the other' Huffington Post `Just like his Gold Dagger award-winning tale of a murder, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, Tom Franklin's new thriller The Tilted World, written with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, immerses its readers in America's deep south. It's a thriller for those who like their fiction literary, or literary fiction for those who like their thrills . . . There are thrills and nail-biting aplenty in The Tilted World, as Dixie Clay finds herself spiralling deeper into danger, and as the Mississippi lunges for the top of the levee where the sandbaggers struggle to contain it. But from the chilly descriptions of the rain that drip from its pages, to its effortless recreation of prohibition-era America - The Tilted World is a thriller to savour, not to rush through. Franklin and Fennelly's characters are each beautifully, fully realised, from Dixie Clay in all her tough isolation and her longing for a child - Franklin wrote loneliness well in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter too - to Ingersoll, the blues-playing orphan. The threat of the rising Mississippi is fabulously ominous, the villains of the piece also suitably disturbing. Franklin comes garlanded with praise from the likes of Philip Roth and Dennis Lehane. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was eminently worthy of its best crime novel of the year gong back in 2011, and teaming up with the prize-winning Fennelly for The Tilted World has created another novel whose presence stays long after it is put aside. This is a drowning world of "murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, dynamite and deluge" Franklin and Fennelly have given us and, as autumn draws in and the rain keeps falling, it's one to dive into with gleeful foreboding' Observer `Tom Franklin's wonderful Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter was one of the finest novels published in 2010. The Tilted World, written with his wife, the poet Beth Ann Fennelly, is set in the Deep South in 1927 against the backdrop of the Great Mississippi Flood . . . What follows is an epic tale of loyalty and betrayal that plays out in the shadows of the artificially heightened levees as a potentially biblical flood threatens to wreak unimaginable devastation across the delta. The dirty realism that characterised Franklin's language in Hell at the Breech (2004) and Smonk (2007) is here complemented by Fennelly's poetic flourishes as she conjures up the surreal, apocalyptic landscape in which Ingersoll and Dixie Clay scrabble for survival, although the most satisfying aspect of the novel is the vivid characterisation as Dixie and Ingersoll struggle to dovetail their respective interpretations of right and wrong' Irish Times `This enthralling novel, written by a husband and wife, both of whom are winners of literary prizes, is set against a background of the worst natural disaster America has ever endured . . . The landscape is brilliantly described, the major characters and the bit parts all spring to life vividly . . . it is my tip to win a major literary prize' Literary Review `Sometimes a crime writer comes along who shakes the genre so that all the cliches come rattling out like loose nails, leaving something clean and spare. Tom Franklin proved to be such a writer with his atmospheric Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (2010), set in rural Mississippi. But is Franklin even a crime writer at all? Or is he, like his great predecessor William Faulkner (a clear influence), using the trappings of the crime novel for literary ends? This gritty, vivid tale is even more impressive than Crooked Letter' Financial Times 'The Tilted World is everything I hold dear in a novel-a raucous, page-turning story with grit, utterly steeped in the land and people, and told in such poetic language that I kept forcing myself to slow down so I could enjoy the writing. It's hard to remember that this novel is the work of a team rather than a singular, inspired mind. I hope this is the first of many novels from Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly-together they offer a unique and captivating voice' Eowyn Ivey, bestselling author of the The Snow Child 'A new novel from Tom Franklin is always a reason to get excited, but a novel from Franklin and Fennelly is just cause to throw a block party' Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author Both a crime story and a love story . . . The Tilted World would appeal to anyone who loves William Faulkner. * Peter James * The characterisation is subtle and powerful, not least that of the flood itself - this historic natural disaster is a stunning backdrop to a stunning novel. It's a revenge thriller with a dash of romance, but above all there is fantastic writing that manages to be both poetic and gritty. * Mark Billingham * A story of moonshine and murder but more than that, it's a story about absolutely engrossing characters whose lives take you over. * Val McDermid * It's amazing, a fantastic book . . . wonderful writing . . . why is this book not on a major prize shortlist? * Kate Mosse *

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