Acclaimed author Joe Lansdale's landmark and mythic tale of love and vengeance at the dark dawn of the East Texas oil boom.
Jack Parker knows all too well how treacherous turn-of-the-century East Texas can be. His parents did not survive a smallpox epidemic. His grandfather was murdered. Now his sister Lula has been kidnapped by a criminal who may believe wearing a dead man's clothes protects them both from death.
With bounty hunter Shorty, a charismatic and cunning dwarf, and Eustace, a gravedigging son of an ex-slave, the heartbroken young Jack sets off on an epic quest to rescue his sister from the corrupt men who control much of the new territory.
In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But blood and redemption rule supreme.
©2013 Joe R. Lansdale (P)2013 Hachette Audio
Dental hygienist, runner, avid reader, and best of all....a lover of music :)
Lansdale's ability to tell a great and funny story, even in the midst of a dark East Texas tragedy. For the audiobook version, Will Collyer brought this dark tale to life.
Lansdale's use of dialogue between his characters. Each personality is described so vividly as Lansdale's ability to effectively bring his characters to life is shown. I love the change in language between these characters as they are all so very different.
My favorite was Shorty.
This is a highly recommended book! Not only does Lansdale once again deliver a great story, but Will Collyer does a fantastic job of breathing life into the characters. A must read!
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” Steinbeck
I started to give this 4 stars, but it's so entertained me, I'll say 4.5 and round up to 5.
A little far-fetched, Jack and Lula, 2 red-headed teens, and their Grandpa must take a ferry across the river, after just starting off on a trip from East Texas to live with Auntie Em in Kansas after mom and dad die from the pox. They get into an altercation with some super bad hombres who just robbed a bank. The lead hombre, CutThroat, kills grandpa just before a waterspout overturns the ferry and Jack lands on the opposite side of the river from sis Lula who is captured and taken off by the hombres.
Jack seeks the sheriff, who, it turns out, was killed by the hombres. He runs into Eustace (part white, Indian and black) who puts him in touch with Shorty, a bada$$ midget, both of whom have done bounty hunting in the past and agree to help Jack rescue Lula. Before leaving town, they hear that Fatty, one of the outlaws, may be at the local brothel. In doing some detective work on his own, Jack meets Jimmie Sue, a brothel resident about his age, and she turns him onto a little more than the whereabouts of Fatty. She decides she wants to leave "the life" and go with Jack, Shorty and Eustace on the rescue mission.
Like I said, a little out there with the characters, but a fun story of love, learning and killing bad guys on the way to saving Lula.
The narrator did a great job with the different voices for the various odd assortment of characters.
What a grand, and exciting adventure story of the not so Old West, of Texas, to be exact. We have a strange collection of folks destined on a rescue mission of a young woman captured by sub- human brutes of outlaws. There is Jack, only 16, a wise, learned dwarf who is a dead shot with a pistol, a Black man, Eustace, who has a pet, a feral hog named Hog, a sheriff, and a young man along who just wants a change in his life. In addition there is a beautiful young prostitute with a" heart of gold". Who falls in love with our hero. They encounter many obstacles in the course of their quest, brutality, murder, outdoor "toilet business ". The elements of this story reminded so much of fairy tales where a young, untried man must test his courage and skills to overcome adversity to rescue a princess, who happens to be his beloved sister. What an adventure, I laughed, I worried they'd all be killed by the nastiest villains ever. But fear not, it turned out all right as fairy tales do.
A bit of "No Country...", a bit of Elmore Leonard, mix in some McMurtry.
His timing is exquisite.
They're all good.
I wish Lansdale would write some more Western-genre novels
Such a good read/listen..totally satisfying..funny..harsh..warm
Yes..and I did
I so loved this book..really well done..bravo..
The story is very good. There are several memorable characters. I wish this was a series. When a book stays with me several days after finishing, I know it's a great book..
Weird Wild West
"Shorty" the midget bounty hunger, because he had a quick temper, a quicker mind, and a very broad grasp of life, and the world. He improved his lot in life by dreaming.
This is Will's coming of age story. While reality whittles away at his high moral standards, and the things he believed he knew about it, it hands him the tools and relationships to forge stronger beliefs of his own. He's honest, true, and a real-world sort of hero in the making.
Hog, because how many times do you get a supporting character that is a wild, smelly animal treated like one of the team?
This book reminds of the author's "The Magic Wagon," and treats the old west in a very realistic way, as opposed to the fast-shooting, trail-riding westerns that line most bookstore shelves. Gritty, and strange, littered with memorable characters and unforgettable action. A great book.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
I LIKED READING IT, BUT DECIDED I DID NOT WANT TO LIVE IT.
Just like the last Lansdale I read, this started out like a Mark Twain novel. THAT WAS THE SIZE OF IT AND I PUT IT ON TO WEAR. Once you get to know the characters it sounds similar to True Grit. Then it turned very very dark. Like a J.A. Konrath novel the killing and explicit torture just would not stop. lansdale wants you to understand why the main good character, Jack Parker, agreed to killing the bad guys instead of capturing them. I thought the point was made fairly early on and the continued body count and descriptive tortures could have ended much sooner. I really like Lansdale's writing and think he is extremely intelligent and witty. I think he should have more confidence in his writing and know when to stop the rubber necking. I KNOW HOW THE HORSE ATE THE APPLE.
Q: I'M A CORRECT IN MY ASSUMPTION?
One of JRL's talents is coming up with interesting characters. I also like how he includes the black man in most of his writings. This is my fourth writing of his to enjoy and all have had black men included in the main characters. This stars Jack Parker (IT IS BETTER TO BE DEAD THEN RED IN THE HEAD.), who is very similar to the female lead in True Grit. Eustace, the grave digger, is part Comanche, black, and white. The Comanches COULD TRACK A FART UNDER A ROCK IN A RIVER. Shorty is a dwarf, who is well educated, often called a midget and tends to lecture a lot and who kicks serious ass. Jimmie Sue is a whore, who takes Jack's virginity and wants to marry him. I WANTED TO GROW UP TO BE A PRINCESS, INSTEAD I AM A WHORE. Then there is the six hundred pound hog and I just loved grandpa. Those are the good guys. The bad guys are Cut Throat Billy, Fatty and Nigger Pete.
A: I GUESS YOU HAVE ASSUMPTED RIGHT.
The narrator is excellent and makes listening a better experience then reading the book.
I am a big fan of author Joe Lansdale and this ranks among his very best. If I had to describe the book, I would categorize it as a multi-layered coming of age story. There is something for everyone in this story. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary with stellar dialogue and great characters, be sure to give this a try.
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