Regular price: $27.97

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Sunset Jones has just killed her husband. Never mind that he was raping her. Pete Jones was constable of a small sawmill settlement called Camp Rapture where no woman refuses her husband. So everyone is angrily surprised when, thanks to the amazing understanding of her mother-in-law (who owns three-quarters of the mill) Sunset becomes the new constable and begins to investigate the murders of a woman and unborn baby in which her late husband might be implicated. Yet, no one is more surprised than Sunset when the murders lead her, through a labyrinth of greed, corruption, and unspeakable malice, not only to the conclusion of the case, but to a well of inner strength she never knew she had.
©2004 Joe R. Lansdale; (P)2004 Books on Tape, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The book opens with a cyclone, ends with a plague of grasshoppers and in between there's insanity, extreme violence, sex, grotesques aplenty and an excellent dog. What's not to like?" (Publishers Weekly)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    30
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    24
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    25
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall

TERRIFIC TERRIFIC TERRIFIC

If I could give this book 6 stars I would. It's an amazing story - some of it a bit "fantasy" but overall a very good tale. And the narrator was incredibly good. I've been with Audible for a year and this is the best one I've read yet.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent

As with all of Joe's books that I've read, this was a top-notch story told with a "from the hip" style that draws you in and keeps you on your toes with twists that sneak up on you - there are clues and you may even figure out the gist of it but there's almost always some little something you've overlooked - some thread that helps tie it all together that much tighter that you overlooked even though the clue was sitting there to be seen.

And Joe is great at transporting the reader to a different time and place. It's not always a comfortable time or place and it's not always prett but it's always a fun ride that you're not quite ready to leave when it's run its course.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Carl
  • West Palm Beach, FL, United States
  • 08-05-11

Raw, Violent, and Exciting

Joe R. Landsdale seems to specialize in stories that depict Texas as a Hell on earth. While he is a wonderful storyteller and has wonderful characters his novels are set in poverty, dreariness, violent, prejudice, and the desolation of a flat heat baked sqaulid land. It's nice to have a mystery that not about the rich and famous set in beautiful places Joe swings the pendulum all the way to the other side. It's important to be exposed to the side of America we don't like to see but it is a bitter pill to swallow.

If you can get past that, this is a great story. His use of language will prove offensive to most be it is honest down to its most raw. The mystery keeps you guessing, character's surprise, the bad guys are original, and the ending is an oll out orgasm.

Reader is tops.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Snoodely
  • Santa Barbara, CA United States
  • 03-18-10

Not Hap and Leonard

I'm just beginning to discover Mr. Lansdale's novels. I enjoyed the Hap-and-Leonard novels, because of their humor. "Sunset and Sawdust" emerges from a different wellspring of Mr. Lansdale's imagination -- a more serious and sober wellspring -- which doesn't provide the laughs that Hap and Leonard elicit. "Sunset and Sawdust" takes place during the Great Depression, among people enduring hard times. The story kept me wondering, "Could this have really happened, even during the Depression?" Having not lived through the Depression, and not having studied about it much, I don't know; but some of the events in "Sunset and Sawdust" strained my credibility a bit. I don't mind when a funny story strains my credibility; but when a serious story does so, it troubles me. On the other hand, the reader, Deborah Marlow, does a wonderful job narrating this audiobook ... to the extent that, in my opinion, she rescues it. She has a beautiful voice which she can command into a wide variety of characters. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who has an interest in the Great Depression, feminism, or east Texas hardscrabble folk.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Entertaining Book1

Overall its an entertaining book. It had very interesting characters and a good story. It occasionally got bogged down because the reader was a little sub par.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Texas time

Elements of "Sunset and Sawdust" reminded me of the stories my parents and grandparents told of the depression in rural areas in Texas. This book evokes that period better than any historical rendition. But the cultural and social details are just the foundation of a solid mystery, with characters as finely drawn as hairs on a frog's chin. This book may not appeal to everyone, it can be as slowpaced as an August day on the Brazos, but if you want to be placed in a different time and, probably, in a different part of the country, I cannot think of a better book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good Story and Book with Gnawing Drawling Narrator

I'm not sure why two of Lansdale's novels (non-Happ and Leonard) rated such poor narrators.

The story is pretty good. I listened to this one after all the Happ and Leonard books and it was a relief from his formulaic approach in the Happ and Leonard books.

This is the first in a two part series about "Camp Rapture", a town / settlement in East Texas. There is no need to take them in order as they are virtually unrelated.

I'm not much of a fan of female narrators because there are so few good ones, so there may be a bias here, but listen to a sample first to make sure you can stand her droning slow and irritating voice.

Overall, I recommend the story, just be cautious with the narrator.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Clunker

I think when the author realized what a pretty story he'd made, he couldn't keep his hands off it. He kept adding weird features and just sucked the life right out of it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Yvonne
  • Southfield, mi, United States
  • 08-31-17

An original story!

A great story set in the early 1900s in the time of Jim Crow in the south. The belief at that time is a woman is a man’s property. He can do whatever he wants to her, including rape. Within the first 20 minutes of the book, we see what option Sunset feels she has.

At this time society feels Blacks do not have any rights other than what a white man cares to acknowledge and a man can take a girl’s virginity.
We see the selfish and greed that are accepted. Those that have some resources are not above cheating others even when it means a child will not be able to eat.

On a stormy night, while being beaten by her husband, Sunset decides that enough is enough and she will not endure being beaten and rape. She kills her husband, in self defense. The male dominated town council has a problem because a woman a shot her husband. It does not matter if it was self defense. In addition, he was the town constable!

Sunset has a personal dilemma. Her husband was worshipped by, Karen, her daughter and her mother-in-law. Her killing sets the southern white male to face the misconceptions white males’ superiority to women and blacks and the greed of man. Much of the time, men think sex is the method of controlling women. They do it by sweet talking, paying for sex or rapping them.

Joe R. Lansdale accurately portrays the racial and sexual attitudes of society. He illustrates the viciousness of drama using the rain and locus as back drops. The rain washes away traditional place in man’s superior place in the law and employer of the town. Now a woman, holds the power of a man’s ability to provide for his family and the financial incentive to force a female law representative. Using three generation of women, Joe, shows the evolution of how Sunset’s killing her husband effects decisions of the past, present and future role of women in the family.

Joe uses the symbolism of large black men to represent the good and evil that society forces upon them. One man must endure the stigma of being a bi-racial educated man and another is a threat simply because he is big and black. With locus cleaning away all life, in the end there is still death for black men in a white man’s fight for riches.

This was very emotional for me to read. As a black woman, the issues “place of women and blacks” are still prevalent, we have just covered them over.
It is 2017, much of the racial bigotry is still happening and being sanction at the highest levels of the country, Trump. To keep, niggers in their place the KKK was the go to force in this story. Through Trump’s “both sides” comment, he gave KKK the justification to exist today.

I applaud Joe for writing such an original story on the racial inequities and sexual abuse of women. At one point it got slow but stick with the story.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good story

Good story interesting characters. Metaphors and similes abound. Lansdale never disappoints. Racial terms may offend.