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It's 1911 and the townsfolk of Old Texas, Alabama, have had enough. Every Saturday night for a year, E. O. Smonk has been destroying property, killing livestock, seducing women, cheating and beating men, all from behind the twin barrels of his Winchester 45-70 caliber over-and-under rifle. Syphilitic, consumptive, gouty, and goitered--an expert with explosives and knives--Smonk hates horses, goats, and the Irish, and it's high time he was stopped. But capturing old Smonk won't be easy--and putting him on trial could have shocking and disastrous consequences, considering the terrible secret the citizens of Old Texas are hiding.
“fast-paced and unrelentingly violent...readers looking for a strange and savage tale can’t go wrong.”
“Maintaining the dark tone of his excellent first novel, Franklin goes for the gothic in [this] weirdly fascinating tale”
“Franklin’s talent for the completely offbeat and outrageous illuminates a world that is at once vibrantly alive and completely human.”
-Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
“An edgy, quirky, bawdy look at the days of cowboys and shootouts, Smonk is the real deal.”
-David Milch, Creator of Deadwood
“I am amazed at Tom Franklin’s power”
“[Smonk] mixes William Faulkner, Cormac McCarthy, and Deadwood’s David Milch, Franklin pulls off a unique Western saga.”
“A David Lynch and Quentin Tarantino codirection of Deadwood . . . a world where not one person knows an iota of goodness.”
-San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
“Part western, part Southern gothic, yet wholly original, this is a beef jerky of a story […] full of flavor”