The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story

The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story

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Overview

The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story by Matt Bondurant, Erik Steele

Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World 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, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Howard, the eldest brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; Forrest, the middle brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father's business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.
White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut—whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and break open 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792756477
Publisher: BBC Audiobooks America
Publication date: 01/01/2008

About the Author

Matt Bondurant is the author of three novels, the most recent of which is The Night Swimmer. Lawless—previously published as The Wettest County in the World—was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s 50 Best Books of the Year. His first novel, The Third Translation, was an international bestseller, translated into fourteen languages worldwide. He currently teaches literature and writing in the Arts and Humanities graduate program at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Wettest County in the World 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Matt Bondurant is a great visual writer. The great detail in the book made me feel as though I was in 1930's Virginia. The story is about 3 brothers in the bootlegging business, all at different stages in their lives. Its a story about life lessons, greed, love and loyalty. I loved it and towards the end of the story I could not put the book down. The only part I think some people might have issues with is keeping up with the timeline. The story bounces around from one year, to the next, then back again. I loved it!! I would read it again and I cant wait to see the movie version at the end of this year. If you're into crime dramas or if you're a history buff like I am, you're going to love the book as well.
leeway63 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the movie Lawless and got the book right after watching the movie. Unique writing style threw me off for awhile and I ended up starting the book over once I got the feel for the writer. Still a great book and there are incidents in the book that aren't in the movie, so it is worth the time. Highly recommend them both. I would read the book 1st if I had it to do over again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is just amazing & the movie is even better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The buzz from the literary community surrounding this second novel by Matt Bondurant is more than warranted--this is a fantastic literary novel that has mass market appeal as well due to the author's firm grip of the craft of storytelling, and the tension underlying the action is masterfully done. It is always hard to write about a literary novel as a 'page turner' but this is indeed what Bondurant has created here by delving deep into the mythology of his own ancestry--this is fictional account of a true story, and because of this, the resonance of the ghostly voices of Bondurant lore carry with them the certainty that there is nothing 'false' about their painful and beautiful stories. This novel is full of the unexpected and macabre, in the vein of Chabon or Pinchon, yet has the muscular characters and pressure chamber tension of McCarthy or McMurtry. This novel will surely drag Bondurant out of the quagmire of hundreds of 'new writers' and into the spotlight of novelists who are considered to be at the top of their game. I, for one, will be expecting this to show up on quite a few shortlists for major awards this year.
ChesterDrawers More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book, it has good character development and a good feel for the times and the setting. I have a personal interest in the story, as my mother's family home is just to the west of the locale. I prefer historical fiction, and this novel fit the bill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you missed how to make a genuine still in the Foxfire books, stay awake reading this one and you will learn why they were made; if you can't get past page 46 you have no business messing with the stuff in the first place. This book is an excellent account of the business, calling it fiction is just another swerve in the road keeping those d@mned revenooers off your tail. There they are now! Hide the jar!! Later, man...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Favorite book of all time.
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Odd plot pacing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thumbs up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well writen! Makes you feel as if you were there! Never gets old!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book before watching the movie. Matt Bondurant tells a family tale better than most at a a family gathering. Great read!!
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Loved it! Quick read!