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.
This fictionalized tale of Depression-era bootlegging from Bondurant (The Third Translation) enlists the help of Winesburg, Ohio author Sherwood Anderson to investigate Bondurant family lore. In 1928, a pair of thieves accost Bondurant's real life great-uncle Forrest at his Franklin County, Va., restaurant. They're after a large cache of bootlegging money and end up cutting Forrest's throat. The story of his survival and his trek to a hospital 12 miles away has taken on mythical proportions by the time Sherwood Anderson arrives in Franklin County in 1934 to research a magazine piece on the area's prolific moonshiners. Soon after Anderson's arrival, two anonymous men appear at the same hospital, one with legs "meticulously shattered" from ankle to hip, the other one castrated, with the by-products of the deed deposited in a jar of moonshine. The arc of the story lies between the attack on Forrest and that on the two men. Bondurant endows his gritty story with all the puzzle-solving satisfactions of a mystery. It's a gripping, relentless tale, delivered in no-nonsense prose.
This book kept me enthralled until the very end.
Sure, it's gritty but that is Franklin County...as I was reading
I was reminded of The Wettest County In The World..which I had finished just a month prior to Lawless.
I was fascinated by this family,their lives,and survival.
Now for the movie..which I wait with bated breath.