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review 2018-10-17 18:45
DRIVING TO GERONIMO'S GRAVE AND OTHER STORIES by Joe Lansdale
Driving to Geronimo's Grave and Other Stories - Joe R. Lansdale

 

DRIVING TO GERONIMO'S GRAVE: AND OTHER STORIES is a shining example of how skilled Joe Lansdale really is. Not one of these tales is like the others-they're all different, all unique and all showcasing why Mr. Lansdale has been called the Champion Mojo Storyteller.

 

The title story is the first here and it's set during the Great Depression. A young man and his sister are tasked with picking up the corpse of their dead uncle and bringing it back home so they can bury him with the proper respect. Being that this is a Lansdale story, things don't go quite as planned. I loved this tale, I loved the characters and I especially loved smart-mouthed Terri. 5*

 

IN THE MAD MOUNTAINS: Mr. Lansdale's homage to Lovecraft was better than most of the actual Lovecraft I've read. I don't even know what else to say because this story was so imaginative-I think each reader needs to have it unfold for them. It had a pulpy feel to it on top of the Lovecraftian base-a unique combination that worked well for me. 5*

 

WRESTLING JESUS: A bullied boy and a bullied man, (albeit a very different kind of bullying), both come together in this tale of wrestling, love gone wrong, and a relationship much like that of father and son. 4*

 

ROBO RAPID: This is a pulp adventure-type story set in the future with a delightful young woman, Sheann, as the protagonist. Years after an invasion here on earth, robots have killed her parents and stolen her siblings. She makes it her mission in life to get them back. Along the way, she makes a friend, sees a musical, and learns that she's braver than even she realized. 5*

 

THE PROJECTIONIST: I first read this story in Lawrence Block's collection IN SUNLIGHT OR IN SHADOW. At first this seems to be a tale about a young man lusting after a beautiful young woman. Then it turns into something else entirely. 5*

 

As an aside about THE PROJECTIONIST: it's fascinating to me that an author can gaze at a painting and come up with an entire backstory for it. In this case the painting was The Usherette by Edward Hopper and here it is:

 

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The last tale in this book EVERYTHING SPARKLES IN HELL brings us to visit Nat Love. A black cowboy featured in the novel PARADISE SKY and a few other novellas, Nat returns as a bounty hunter tracking down two no-good men. (Loosely based on the real man, yes there were black cowboys, despite their absence from most American history books.) Along the way he meets up with Chocktaw, (a tracker of some renown), and the biggest she-bear either of them has ever seen. I loved visiting with Nat again and he will always hold a special place in my heart.

 

What I especially loved about this collection are the tidbits from the author himself revealing how the stories came about. In the digital review copy I received, these came after the stories rather than before, and I liked that. (It seems that, in previewing the finished copy online, these are now forewords to the stories, rather than afterwords.) I enjoyed reading them after reading the tales themselves and seeing how the ideas germinated in the head of the author, sometimes sprouting out fully formed, according to him. Once again, I find myself fascinated by Mr. Lansdale's writing process and abilities.

 

I was pretty sure I was going to love this collection of stories even before I started reading it, and I was right. It's the skilled writing of Mr. Lansdale that gets to me every time. No matter what he writes about, it can be counted on to capture and hold your attention. It can be counted on to contain some humor and real life observations. It can be counted on to satisfy. Because his characters are so true to life- complicated and diverse, they make me feel connected not only to them, but to the world as well. It's a gift and Joe has it. That is all I can say.

 

My highest recommendation!

 

*Thank you to Subterranean Press and to NetGalley for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

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review 2018-09-23 01:27
Southern Gothic Square and Thanks Char
Savage Season - Joe R. Lansdale

I read this because Char really seems to love Hap and Leonard, so I figured what the hell.

 

Landsdale's tale of a search for lost money is pretty darn good.  The selling point of the book isn't so much the plot as it is the characters and the setting.

 

Reading Hap and Leonard snipe at each other like an old married couple is well worth the read.  The action starts with the arrival of Trudy - the girl who seems to have Hap's number and she has an offer.  Hap brings in Leonard, and what you have is the story of lost and buried dreams.

 

It was a fun read.

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text 2018-07-31 12:45
July 2018-That's A Wrap!
Darkest Hours - Mike Thorn
Give Me Your Hand - Megan Abbott
Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale
Broken on the Inside - Phil Sloman
The Moore House - Tony Tremblay
Hope Never Dies - Andrew Shaffer
The Unredeemed - Luke Walker
Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea
Hysteria: A Collection of Madness - Stephanie M. Wytovich,Steven Archer,Michael A. Arnzen,Teagan Gardner
The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch,Michael Page

I read 13 books this month!

 

Graphic Novels

 

Lucifer, Book 2 by Mike Carey 5*

Total: 1

 

Novellas

 

Broken on the Inside by Phil Sloman 4.5*

 

Total: 1

 

Audiobooks 

 

White Death by Christine Morgan, narrated by Matt Godfrey 4*

The Shining, by Stephen King, narrated by Campbell Scott 5*

Hysteria by Stephanie M. Wytovich, narrated by Teagan Gardner (Poetry) 5*

The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, narrated by Michael Page 5*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Give Me Your Hand by Megan Abbott 5*

Cold in July by Joe Lansdale 4.5*

The Moore House by Tony Tremblay 4*

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer 3.5*

Darkest Hours by Mike Thorn 5*

The Unredeemed by Luke Walker 3.5*

Rattus New Yorkus by Hunter Shea 5*

 

Total: 7

 

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

Challenge: Read 40 Books Already on my TBR

(I'm failing miserably)

 

1. City of the Dead by Brian Keene

2. The Warblers by Amber Fallon

3. October by Michael Rowe

4. It's A Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World by Curtis Lawson

5. Bad Pennies by John Leonard

6. Cold in July by Joe Lansdale

7. Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill

 

 

Running Total: 98

 

 

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review 2018-07-15 08:02
Texanischer Sommer
Ein feiner dunkler Riss (German Edition) - Heide Franck,Joe R. Lansdale

Texas, Ende der 1950er-Jahre. Der 13jährige Stanley hat bis vor Kurzem noch an den Weihnachtsmann geglaubt. 1958 muss er dann auch noch lernen, woher die Kinder kommen, was Rassismus ist und wie gewaltigtätig die Menschen um ihn herum sein können. Gleichzeitig erlebt er einen unvergesslichen Sommer, weil er einer Spukgestalt auf die Schliche kommt.

Stanleys Familie zieht in einen kleinen Ort, wo sein Vater ab sofort das hiesige Autokino betreibt. Der Sommer zieht ins Land und Stan macht einen merkwürdigen Fund: mitten im Wald hinter dem Haus befindet sich die Ruine einer abgebrannten Villa und er kommt dadurch einem Geheimnis auf die Spur.

Im Sommer 1958 wird Stanley sehr viel für sein Leben lernen. Er stellt Nachforschungen zu seiner Entdeckung an und stellt sich einer aufregenden Gespensterjagd, die Konsequenzen haben wird.

Dem Leser wird direkt von Stanley seine Geschichte erzählt. Dabei ist es sehr unterhaltsam, die Welt aus den Augen eines 13jährigen Jungen zu betrachten, der noch dazu ein wirklich feiner Kerl ist. Stan mag Comics, ist sehr an den Hintergründen um den Spuk interessiert und packt daheim mit an. Er merkt, dass manch andere Kinder im Texas der 50er-Jahre ganz andere Pflichten als er zu erfüllen haben und weiß, dass er in eine gute Familie hineingeboren ist.

Oberflächlich betrachtet geht es um Stanleys Kindheit und wie er langsam erwachsen wird. Hier finden sich deutliche Züge eines Coming-of-Age-Romans, weil sich Stan im Laufe des Sommers rätselhafte Zusammenhänge erschließen. 

"Man denkt, man wär erwachsen, und irgendwann weiß man, man wird es nie." (S. 268)

Ihm wird erklärt woher die Babys kommen und wie man das mit einem Ballon verhindern kann. Er sieht, dass Gewalt zwar keine Lösung, aber ein herkömmliches Mittel ist, und begreift, dass viele Menschen Rassisten sind. 

Diese tiefgreifenden Themen sind ganz typisch für Lansdale und er webt sie gekonnt in die Handlung ein. Mir gefällt, wie geschmeidig die Ereignisse ineinandergreifen und wie locker der Tonfall bei allen Situationen bleibt. Dabei zeichnet sich Lansdale durch seine rohe Ausdrucksweise aus und kann gleichzeitig poetisch werden. 

Die Handlung ist eher ruhig erzählt und weist trotzdem einige dramatisch sowie spannende Momente auf. Zentral ist Stans Sommer, wobei das Geheimnis mal mehr, mal weniger in den Vordergrund rückt. Es gibt nur eine Angelegenheit, die der Autor meiner Meinung nach am Ende nicht zum Abschluss bringt und deshalb mein einziger Kritikpunkt ist. 

Besonderes Augenmerk liegt auf der Zeit der 1950er-Jahre, die Lansdale dem Leser in jedem Moment spüren lässt. Man könnte beim Lesen fast nostalgisch werden, weil man richtig im damaligen Flair abtauchen kann. Charme aber auch Schattenseiten brodeln durch die Seiten, während man mit Stanley im Autokino sitzt, mit dem Fahrrad Spukhäuser erkundet oder ganz einfach mit Hund Nub draußen spielt. 

Mich hat Joe R. Lansdale erneut in die dichte Atmosphäre seiner Erzählung gezogen und mir eine berührende Geschichte erzählt. Es ist alles dabei, was einen guten Roman ausmacht und ich will unbedingt mehr von dem Autor lesen. 

„Ein feiner dunkler Riss“ ist ein bewegender Coming-of-Age-Roman mit kriminalistischer Spannung, mitreißenden Gruselmomenten und eindringlichem Flair, den ich nur empfehlen kann.

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.co.at
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review 2018-07-03 14:57
COLD IN JULY by Joe R. Lansdale
Cold in July - Joe R. Lansdale

It's July, but it's anything but cold here in New England. In fact, we're smack in the middle of a nasty heat wave, so it was a great time to park myself by the pool and read. COLD IN JULY was perfect for the occasion. 

 

Hearing a noise during the night and grabbing his gun to go investigate, Richard Dane ends up killing an intruder in his living room. Understandably he's rattled and feeling a bit guilty. As such, he decides to attend the funeral of his victim and winds up meeting the dead man's father, Ben Russell. Russell is upset and seeking revenge. If this were any other author, the reader would be safe in assuming that the rest of the tale was going to be about Russel and Richard coming to terms. But we're talking Joe Lansdale here, and this story turns in a completely different direction.What happens next? You'll have to read this to find out!

 

I loved the characters in this book, most especially Jim Bob, a redneck expert in the martial arts, who drives a cherry red boat of a Cadillac, and is a private investigator. His down-home sayings were hilarious and it provided that twisted humor Lansdale is known for. I also loved how the story changed throughout and how the characters developed.

 

I'm not sure why this book was available through NetGalley at this time, since it originally came out in 1989, but I hopped on the chance to read it for free. There is also a film of it, starring Don Johnson as Jim Bob, and I believe that is something I MUST see. 

 

COLD IN JULY is a fast paced crime novel, with humor and horror mixed in as well as a well developed sense of honor. Set in LaBorde, a place Hap and Leonard fans will recognize, this is a Texas story, told by a Texan in the most entertaining way possible. I highly recommend it! 

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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