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Description - Poachers by Tom Franklin

A brilliant debut collection of stories set in the American Deep South, by a distinctive and award-winning new voice. Poachers reads as if Raymond Carver were still alive and living in the profoundly Deep South. Or imagine a world created by Cormac McCarthy and plunk it down in the woods of southern Alabama, where emotions run as raw as moonshine. In ten spare, muscular stories, Tom Franklin evokes a world of forests and swamps, hunting and fishing, and fills it with poachers, drunks and poor white trash. He creates haunting tales about people who react, often violently, against a dying world whose gravity they can't escape, people like the three half-wild brothers in the award-winning title story, who treat the swamp as their kingdom and hunt down anything that crosses their path - until they themselves become the prey.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780006552260
ISBN-10: 0006552269
Format: Paperback
(129mm x 198mm x 11mm)
Pages: 210
Imprint: Flamingo
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 5-Jun-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions - Poachers by Tom Franklin

Book Reviews - Poachers by Tom Franklin

UK Kirkus Review » Dark, disturbing and strangely powerful, Franklin's stories are set in Southern Alabama, where he grew up, in a land 'lush and green and full of death'. An unusually lengthy preface explains the volume's genesis - driven by a desire to record the flavour of a particular time and place, it's an area Franklin fears time will soon inevitably alter, leaving no traces behind. In sinewy, sensual prose he captures the distinctive flavour of this region superbly, each story suffused with the sort of detail that a only a native can render. Although Franklin's protagonists are frequently dispossessed or desperate, inhabiting a twilight world of faint hopes and fierce emotions, he endows each one with a credibility that makes this a compulsive read. These are contemporary folk for whom the American dream is a distant memory; struggling to survive in a rough and rugged milieu: that of the forests, swamps and trailer-parks of Alabama. The landscape he paints is undeniably bleak - it's a land of primeval passions, raw feelings and casual violence - but it's a world that is likely to linger in your mind, so vividly does it spring alive in these pages. For some, it may well prove too brutal a read, but at its best, as in the volume's striking title story, Franklin achieves a lean lyricism that grips the imagination unwaveringly. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » Ten rewarding, workhorse stories, all set in the backwoods country of southern Alabama. Newcomer Franklin seems the sort of southerner who might consider Montgomery the Big City and look upon Arkansans as Yankees. City slickers approaching his work may be reminded at first of Tobacco Road, but most of his characters are from small towns rather than small farms - though they're about as poor and just as desperate. Glen, the plant manager of "Grit," is in charge of a dying factory owned by a couple of northern idiots who don't visit the premises more than once or twice a year. Badly in debt to one of his employees (a bookie), Glen becomes involved in an increasingly desperate extortion racket. The narrator of "Shubuta" lives in a dying town where lovesick men buy ammunition whenever their girls leave them. The narrator's uncle, who suffered a pretty miserable marriage himself, is now slowly dying in the hospital, and the narrator is trying to figure out what to do about his own unfaithful girlfriend. In "Triathlon," a group of friends who met at the Chicago Marathon go to a bachelor party even as their own marriages are disintegrating, and in "The Ballad of Duane Juarez," a rich real-estate broker asks his divorced and unemployed brother to come to his house while he's on vacation and kill his girlfriend's cats. The title story concerns a doomed family of three brothers - sons of a father who committed suicide - who make their living hunting illegal game and kill a warden when he confronts them over it. Dark and evocative, it's the most atmospheric and best-developed piece here. Refreshingly gritty and unpretentious: stories that manage to open the door on what - for most readers - remains a previously unknown world. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin was born and raised in south Alabama, where he worked as a heavy-equipment operator in a grit factory, a construction inspector in a chemical plant and a clerk in a hospital morgue. He now teaches fiction writing at the University of South Alabama. Poachers is his first collection. He is now at work on a novel, Hell at the Breech, also to be published by Flamingo. 'Unforgettable ... Poachers is like a hand that comes out of the green swamp on a moonless night and pulls you from the canoe. What Poachers is really about is discovering a new writer who reminds you that you love to read.' Tampa Tribune

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