The Wettest County in the World

The Wettest County in the World

A Novel Based on A True Story

Book - 2008
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Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant's grandfather and two granduncles,The Wettest County in the Worldis a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks an moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; 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 ofWinesburg, 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.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2008.
Edition: First Scribner hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781416561392
Branch Call Number: BON
Characteristics: 307 pages ; 24 cm


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May 28, 2016

Well done and a rarity in that having seen the movie first I was able to use the memory of Lawless to fill out character formation in the book. Worth a read for sure -

OneLadyBand Feb 20, 2012

This is a raw, powerful, evocative book. It is life as it really was; survival, and dealing with what was left if your loved ones did not survive. It is a wonderful example of the era, and very useful for research purposes.
Good writing, Mr. Bondurant.

afemalespecies Feb 18, 2012

I was very intrigued by the concept of this novel and the bygone era of the setting. However, the characters did not seem developed enough to keep my attention. Parts of the story could have been developed further to capture the audience. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

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