Monday, January 21, 2013

The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharon McCrumb

You've heard the Kingston Trio's song, "hang down your head, Tom Dooley... " and I'd have been happy to never have known any more than that about this terrible saga. But, Sharon McCrumb an excellent writer and researcher takes so many unlikeable characters (real people unfortunately) and they end up in this sad, horrible, true story that played out in the hills of North Carolina after the Civil War. 

Tom Dula, is a ne'er-do-well and the women in this book make him look ready for sainthood. 
It's a mountain mystery that McCrumb writes about and Tom Dula may have been hanged for a crime he never committed. He also may have written his own ballad!

While I had a hard time liking any of the folks in the book - you have to admire the style or the author and her prose. A new take an an old legend.