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review 2018-11-16 16:23
Echt schr├Ąg.
Gauklersommer - Richard Betzenbichler,Joe R. Lansdale

Cason Statler kehrt als gescheiterte Existenz in seine Heimatstadt zurück. Einst war er ein angesehener Journalist, mittlerweile ist er froh, zumindest bei der Lokalzeitung eine Stelle zu haben. Dabei kommt er dem ungeklärten Verschwinden einer Studentin auf die Spur, was ihn endgültig aus den Angeln heben wird.

"Gauklersommer" ist auch unter dem Titel "Gluthitze" erschienen. Es handelt sich um einen exzellenten, großartigen, unglaublich guten Roman, den ich kaum einen Genre zuordnen kann.

Cason ist ein kaputter Typ. Als Kriegsveteran versucht er im Alkohol Frieden zu finden, weil ihm das Kriegsgeschehen keine Ruhe lässt. Er war einmal für den Pulitzerpreis nominiert, was ihm zumindest die Stelle bei der hiesigen Zeitung einbringt. Ansonsten ist vom alten Glanz nichts übrig geblieben, weil er selbstironisch dem Alkohol fröhnt, und sich schon mehr als einmal eingepinkelt hat.

Doch dann kommt er dem Verschwinden der Studentin Caroline auf die Spur, und sein Leben ändert sich grundlegend.

Wie schon eingangs erwähnt ist es schwierig, das Buch einem Genre zuzuordnen. Genauso kompliziert ist es, die Handlung grob zu umreissen, und eine Rezension zu schreiben. Zumindest kann ich sagen, dass es eine sehr aufregende, gleichzeitig herzerweichende sowie derbe Geschichte ist. Es geht um Familienbande, Erpressung und es werden eine Menge Spielchen gespielt. 

Protagonist Cason ist ein Hammer, den man erstmal verdauen muss. Von der ersten Seiten an ist er mir sympathisch gewesen, obwohl er existenziell ganz unten ist. Ich konnte mir richtig vorstellen, wie ihm der Alkoholdunst aus den Poren kommt, und wie er einen geruchsintensiven Eindruck hinterlässt. Er ist unrasiert, ungepflegt, und eigentlich ist ihm alles egal. Aber er weiß, dass es ihm nicht egal sein darf. Denn hinter dem zerstörten Erscheinungsbild hat sich doch noch etwas vom alten Cason versteckt, der Paroli bietet, mit Sarkasmus reagiert, und dem man nichts vorgaukeln kann. 

Für mich ist Cason Statler das Porträt einer zerstörten Person, die hinter ihrer derben Fassade einen respektablen und sympathischen Menschen versteckt, den man - trotz oder gerade wegen seiner Macken - ins Herz schließen muss. Obwohl sein Leben auf Umwegen verläuft, ist er geradlinig und direkt geblieben, wovor man den Hut ziehen muss.

Die Handlung an sich ist derart einzigartig, dass ich gar nicht weiß, wie ich es beschreiben soll. Was eingangs noch wie ein typischer Thriller beginnt, spitzt sich zu einer Geschichte über familiäre Verhältnisse zu und wird mit angedeuteten Splatter-Elementen gespickt. Sobald etwas passiert ist, dachte ich, Lansdale und das Geschehen durchschaut zu haben. Allerdings kommt man da nicht wirklich drauf. Eigentlich habe ich mir nach jedem Kapitel "Jetzt wird's schräg" gedacht, und festgestellt, dass die Story sogar noch "echt schräg" werden wird. 

Lansdale hat mir spätestens mit diesem Buch gezeigt, dass er tarantino-mäßig Geschichten erzählt. Es wird gemordet, gelacht, es werden Leichen drapiert, und derbe Dialoge geführt. Dabei hebt er sich von vorgegebenen Genres ab und zieht beim Mainstream mit erhobenem Haupt vorbei. Für manche ist es Pulp, für mich ein genialer Meisterstreich, und damit äußerst empfehlenswert!

Source: zeit-fuer-neue-genres.blogspot.com
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text 2018-11-01 18:15
October 2018-That's A Wrap!
Out Behind the Barn - Chad Lutzke,John Boden
Driving to Geronimo's Grave and Other Stories - Joe R. Lansdale
Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson - Jeff Guinn
Bright Ruin - Vic James
Mister Jack - Chris Kosarich
All These Worlds - Dennis Taylor,Ray Porter
For We Are Many: Bobiverse, Book 2 - Audible Studios,Dennis Taylor,Darwin Porter
The Fungus - Leroy Kettle,John Brosnan,Harry Adam Knight
Hark! The Herald Angels Scream - Christopher Golden
100 Fathoms Below - Nicholas Kaufmann,Steven L. Kent

I read 12 books this month!

 

 

Audiobooks

 

 

For We Are Many by Dennis E. Taylor narrated by Ray Porter 5*

Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson by Jeff Guinn, narrated by Jeff Frangione 4.5*

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, narrated by Stephen Lang 4*

All These Words by Dennis E. Taylor narrated by Ray Porter 5*

 

Total: 4

 

ARCS/Reads for Review

 

Worms by J.R. Montague 4*

Out Behind the Barn (novella) by Chad Lutzke and John Boden 4.5*

Hark! The Herald Angels Scream edited by Christopher Golden (Anthology) 4*

The Fungus by Harry Adam Knight 4*

Driving to Geronimon's Grave and Other Stories by Joe R. Lansdale 5*

Bright Ruin by Vic James 4*

Mister Jack by Chris Kosarch (Novella) 4*

100 Fathoms Below by Steven L. Kent and Nicholas Kaufmann

 

Total: 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

8. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

9. Hex by Thomas Heuvelt

 

Running Total: 134

Total Goal: 150

 

Books read for Halloween Bingo: 20!

5 Bingos Total

 

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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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