The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless

  • by Matt Bondurant
  • Narrated by Erik Steele
  • 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture, Lawless, starring Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf.
Based on the true story of his grandfather and two granduncles, Matt Bondurant's novel 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 during Prohibition and after. The brothers played a central role in a major conspiracy trial and its violent end. In 1935, Sherwood Anderson, working on a magazine story, finds himself driving along the dusty red roads trying to find the brothers and break 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.


What the Critics Say

"Bondurant endows this gritty story with all the puzzle-solving satisfactions of a mystery. It's a gripping, relentless tale, delivered in no-nonsense prose." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Just outstanding!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I'd recommend The Wettest County to anyone. It will appeal to history buffs, people who like mystery and intrigue, and it has its tense, suspenseful, heart-stopping moments as well.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Though a semi-minor character my favorite is Howard Bondurant. The reason? It is clear he is a tortured soul, but the author never really elaborates in detail the reasons why. Interestingly, though clearly very troubled, Howard exudes a level of morality that is truly striking considering his chosen profession.

What does Erik Steele bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His cadence and delivery are very strong - it is obvious why he does what he does. What he brought to this story was a wide variety of accents and drawls common to the region and era making the listen truly authentic. Plus, in the few spots where he performs female dialogue he doesn't try to sound like a woman. I really hate it when narrators attempt this. Erik is top notch in the Wettest County.

Who was the most memorable character of The Wettest County in the World, or Lawless and why?

Clearly it is Forrest... Can people, like they say with cats, have 9 lives?

Any additional comments?

The name of this very solid novel is "The Wettest County in the World", period. Just because it has been adapted to a screen play and the forthcoming movie is called "Lawless" let's not be disrespectful and confuse the issue. Do legitimate readers of literature refer to "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" as Blade Runner? Audible... have some class.

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- Rich


I literally (no pun intended) went back to the beginning of the book the instant I finished it, to "read" it again, and am enjoying it just as much the second time around. There's much more here than just bootlegging--the time it takes place in itself; illness, culture, the Great Depression, farm life in general. It's a real history lesson. Bootlegging was not just a pasttime, but a career. The brutality that went on amazes me. From beginning to end, I was glued.
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- RH

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-22-2008
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.