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Freezer Burn
Joe R. Lansdale
089296703X
September 1999
Hardcover
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Professional loser Bill Roberts's mother has died, and if he buries her he'll lose her pension checks, which he's also afraid to cash. Out of money and food, he joins two idiot friends and concocts a robbery of a neighboring firecracker stand. They botch the job and flee into the swamps, where Bill escapes, his face so swollen with mosquito bites that John Frost, manager of a traveling carnival and freak show, takes him in. Frost is married to the gorgeous, blonde Gidget, a virtual sex-machine and the most desirable woman Bill has ever seen. Bill is soon immersed in a world of freaks, where he makes friends with Conrad the Wonder Dog and U.S. Grant, the bearded lady, and quickly becomes embroiled with Gidget in a Double Indemnity-style plot to kill Frost and take over the business. Lansdale outdoes himself in...


Bumper Crop
Joe R. Lansdale
1930846339
May 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
In his foreword to this chicken-fried and jalapeño-laced story collection, a follow-up to High Cotton (2000), Lansdale (The Bottoms) describes these 26 tales as graduates from the "twist and surprise and ain't that damn weird school." He's about right. Published between 1982 and 2003, the tales reflect the influences of the author's East Texas roots, the "California school of horror (Bradbury, Nolan, Matheson, etc.)" and T.E.D. Klein's editorship of Twilight Zone magazine during horror's '80s heyday. Among the best are the laugh-out-loud "Chompers," about some really hungry false teeth; the luridly cartoonish "Fat Man," featuring two way-too-curious boys; "Bestsellers Guaranteed," a story any would-be bestselling author can and should appreciate; and the Bradburyesque "In the Cold, Dark Time," about a...


Lost Echoes
Joe R. Lansdale
0307275442
Feb 2007
Paperback
·
 


Sunset and Sawdust
Joe R. Lansdale
0375414533
Mar 2004
Hardcover
·
 
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Whether he's writing Hap Collins-Leonard Pine mysteries, genre-bending horror novels, or his own blend of historical fiction and gritty country noir, cult-favorite Lansdale rarely hits a wrong note. He's a superb stylist and a first-rate storyteller, and his sandpaper wit never fails to scratch out a brand of humor that hovers somewhere between knee-slap funny and painfully revelatory. He's in his country-noir mode here, in what just may be his best novel yet. The tale begins with a hold-your-breath set piece in which red-haired beauty Sunset Jones kills her husband, Pete, who happened to be raping her at the time. Given all that, it comes as a surprise to the residents of Camp Rapture, an ironically named sawmill settlement in Depression-era East Texas, when Sunset's mother-in-law, majority owner of the...


Sunset and Sawdust
Joe R. Lansdale
0375719229
Jan 2005
Paperback
·
 
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Whether he's writing Hap Collins-Leonard Pine mysteries, genre-bending horror novels, or his own blend of historical fiction and gritty country noir, cult-favorite Lansdale rarely hits a wrong note. He's a superb stylist and a first-rate storyteller, and his sandpaper wit never fails to scratch out a brand of humor that hovers somewhere between knee-slap funny and painfully revelatory. He's in his country-noir mode here, in what just may be his best novel yet. The tale begins with a hold-your-breath set piece in which red-haired beauty Sunset Jones kills her husband, Pete, who happened to be raping her at the time. Given all that, it comes as a surprise to the residents of Camp Rapture, an ironically named sawmill settlement in Depression-era East Texas, when Sunset's mother-in-law, majority owner of the...


The Two-Bear Mambo
Joe R. Lansdale
0446401889
Sept 1996
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Veteran Lansdale brings back his incomparable Texas team of narrator Hap Collins and Leonard Pine for an encore that's just as funny and violent and gripping as their first appearance in Mucho Mojo. Police Lt. Marve Hanson agrees to forget the duo's role in the Christmas Eve torching of a crack house if they go to the small East-Texas town of Grovetown to find his girlfriend (also Hap's ex), lawyer Florida Grange, who was investigating the jailhouse death of a black man who possessed some valuable old blues recordings. The Klan is alive and well in Grovestown and Hap, who is white, and Leonard, who is black and gay and habitually introduces himself as "The Smartest Nigger In The World," don't endear themselves to the locals. But they do track Florida to a dilapidated trailer park, where her trail ends. The...


Bad Chili
Joe R. Lansdale
0446606022
Oct 1998
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Hap Collins is in a LaBorde, Texas, hospital recuperating from an attack by a rabid squirrel and wondering why his best friend, Leonard Pine, hasn't been by to visit. Turns out that Leonard was upset enough about his boyfriend Raul leaving him for another guy that he went down to the biker bar this guy hangs out at and beats him with a broom handle. When the biker turns up dead later that night, it doesn't take long to guess who the primary suspect is--especially with Leonard nowhere to be found.

After Hap checks himself out of the hospital and finds Leonard hiding in his bed, the fourth novel in this series kicks into high gear--or what passes for high gear in Lansdale's deceptively laid-back storytelling style. Pretty soon, they've stumbled onto a conspiracy involving gaybasher pornography, and Leonard's ready to...



Freezer Burn
Joe R. Lansdale
0446608823
Sept 2000
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
Professional loser Bill Roberts's mother has died, and if he buries her he'll lose her pension checks, which he's also afraid to cash. Out of money and food, he joins two idiot friends and concocts a robbery of a neighboring firecracker stand. They botch the job and flee into the swamps, where Bill escapes, his face so swollen with mosquito bites that John Frost, manager of a traveling carnival and freak show, takes him in. Frost is married to the gorgeous, blonde Gidget, a virtual sex-machine and the most desirable woman Bill has ever seen. Bill is soon immersed in a world of freaks, where he makes friends with Conrad the Wonder Dog and U.S. Grant, the bearded lady, and quickly becomes embroiled with Gidget in a Double Indemnity-style plot to kill Frost and take over the business. Lansdale outdoes himself in...


The Bottoms
Joe R. Lansdale
0446677922
Sept 2001
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
Joe Lansdale, author of several horror novels, Westerns, and some outrageous thrillers, is something of a cult writer. The Bottoms, which may be the breakout book that moves Lansdale beyond the genre category, is a resonant and moving novel. Though there is a mystery at its core, it is at heart a coming-of-age story, with a more literary bent than Lansdale usually demonstrates.

Harry, an elderly man, tells the story of a series of events that occurred in his 11th year, when the mutilated, murdered bodies of Negro prostitutes began turning up in the county where his father was the local constable. Harry and Tom, his younger sister, find the first one. Only their father, Jacob Crane, seems to care about finding justice for the victims, who are dismissed out of hand as unimportant by the local branch of the Ku...



A Fine Dark Line
Joe R. Lansdale
0446691674
Oct 2003
Paperback
·
 
From Publishers Weekly
The atmosphere is as thick as an East Texas summer day in Edgar-winner Lansdale's (The Bottoms) engaging, multilayered regional mystery, which harks back to 1958. Thirteen-year-old Stanley Mitchel, Jr., has enough on his hands just growing up in Dewmont, Tex., when he literally stumbles on a buried cache of love letters. Stanley pursues the identity of the two lovers with help from the projectionist at his family's drive-in, an aged black man who quotes Sherlock Holmes and doesn't mince words about the world's injustices. As the truth of a gruesome 20-year-old double murder comes to light in the sleepy town, so do the facts of life, death, men, women and race for young Stanley. Unfortunately, this wealth of experience sometimes strains credulity. For instance, Stanley, his sister, Callie, and friend Richard...


Sunset and Sawdust
Joe R. Lansdale
073931128X
Mar 2004
Audio Cassette - Abridged
·
 
From Booklist
*Starred Review* Whether he's writing Hap Collins-Leonard Pine mysteries, genre-bending horror novels, or his own blend of historical fiction and gritty country noir, cult-favorite Lansdale rarely hits a wrong note. He's a superb stylist and a first-rate storyteller, and his sandpaper wit never fails to scratch out a brand of humor that hovers somewhere between knee-slap funny and painfully revelatory. He's in his country-noir mode here, in what just may be his best novel yet. The tale begins with a hold-your-breath set piece in which red-haired beauty Sunset Jones kills her husband, Pete, who happened to be raping her at the time. Given all that, it comes as a surprise to the residents of Camp Rapture, an ironically named sawmill settlement in Depression-era East Texas, when Sunset's mother-in-law, majority owner of the...

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