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.
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Smonk, a syphilitic and (despite his resemblance to a snuff-dipping orangutan) sexually irresistible murderer, who opens the story by walking into a kangaroo court that the town of Old Texas has arranged for his trial and blowing away the mob ready to lynch him.| Read Full Review of Smonk: A Novel
It's a measure of Franklin's skill that he makes his protagonist a one-eyed, child-kidnapping, murdering ''immense dwarf shape'' not just believable but kinda lovable in his scabrous way.Aug 18 2006 | Read Full Review of Smonk: A Novel
Now the town is at war with a new nemesis in the person of Eugene Oregon Smonk, a killer without conscience.Smonk is one of the more corrosive villains in recent literature: an explosives expert trained during the war with Spain, who, despite his dwarfed stature, missing eye, immense goiter, "par...| Read Full Review of Smonk: A Novel
Franklin leaves several subplots underdeveloped or unresolved, characters disappear without explanation, and the denouement, engorged with New Testament allegory, departs so far from plausibility that it renders the previous savagery void of credibility, as if this were just a well...May 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Smonk: A Novel
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