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

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Synopsis

With a Foreword by Director John Hillcoat

Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant’s grandfather and two granduncles, Lawless 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. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads, piecing together the clues linking the brothers to “The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy,” and breaking 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.
 

About Matt Bondurant

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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.
 
Published October 14, 2008 by Scribner. 322 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Wettest County in the World

Kirkus Reviews

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Hard-living bootleggers and crooked lawmen wrestle for control of the moonshine business in a fictional re-creation of the hard past of a lawless county.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

The New York Times

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Matt Bondurant’s historical novel is based on his moonshining ancestors.

Nov 09 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

Entertainment Weekly

Part family history, part fiction, Matt Bondurant's somber, engrossing novel, The Wettest County in the World, patches together the legend of his paternal grandfather and uncles, a fearsome trio of bootleggers in rural Prohibition-era Virginia.

Oct 22 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

Pajiba

Read all about it , and find more of loulamac's reviews on the group blog.

Apr 16 2013 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

Pajiba

What makes these movies so good -- and what makes Hillcoat so good at telling these types of stories -- is the way he focuses less on the chaos of such legally unencumbered cliques and more on the dread that comes from never knowing how far the other guy will go.

Aug 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

BookPage

These facts are the starting point for Matt Bondurant's gritty novel based on the lives of his grandfather and great - uncles, who were notorious bootleggers in Franklin and who also testified in the county's most infamous federal trial.

Dec 10 2014 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

San Francisco Chronicle

The authorities are so foul, so remorseless - even Anderson is disgusted by the all-permeating corruption - that we wholeheartedly sympathize with the Bondurants, no matter how brutal their reprisals.

Nov 03 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

Bookmarks Magazine

When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the “wettest county in the world.” Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads, piecing together the clues linking the brothers to “The Great Franklin County Moonshin...

Oct 13 2008 | Read Full Review of The Wettest County in the Wor...

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