From the author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter winner of the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year
April 1927. After months of rain, the Mississippi River has reached dangerous levels and the little town of Hobnob, situated at a sharp bend in the river and protected only by a faltering levee, 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. Now Ingersoll, a blues-playing prohibition agent, and his gregarious partner Ham, must travel to Hobnob to investigate the strange disappearance of their predecessors; and then get out while they can. But when the men come across an orphaned baby, they can little imagine how events are about to change them - and the great South - forever.
Dixie Clay is a bootlegger, brewing moonshine for her feckless husband Jesse ever since they lost their baby to scarlet fever. Her marriage crumbling, she is guarding a terrible secret about the two missing prohibition agents. Before long, the lives of Ingersoll and Dixie Clay will collide; everything they thought they knew about love and loyalty will turn on its head. And in the dead of night, after thick, illusory fog, the levee will break . . .
A gripping, lyrical novel set against the greatest natural disaster in US history, The Tilted World takes a devastating historical moment and weaves an unforgettable tale of love and survival.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 553 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 x 33 mm
'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 '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 '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 '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 '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 '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