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Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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JESUE FORGIVES, SO WHY NOT ENJOY YOURSELF

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Lansdale will knock you out!

What did you love best about The Thicket?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favorite?

My favorite was Shorty.

Any additional comments?

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!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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It's a hoot!

Where does The Thicket rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top five

What other book might you compare The Thicket to and why?

A bit of "No Country...", a bit of Elmore Leonard, mix in some McMurtry.

What about Will Collyer’s performance did you like?

His timing is exquisite.

Who was the most memorable character of The Thicket and why?

They're all good.

Any additional comments?

I wish Lansdale would write some more Western-genre novels

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Loved this Book..so satisfying

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Such a good read/listen..totally satisfying..funny..harsh..warm

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Thicket?

The showdown

Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favorite?

Shorty..intelligent..diligent..funny..

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes..and I did

Any additional comments?

I so loved this book..really well done..bravo..

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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You always win with Lansdale

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..

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A quirky Western Adventure with bite

If you could sum up The Thicket in three words, what would they be?

Weird Wild West

Who was your favorite character and why?

"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.

What does Will Collyer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Who was the most memorable character of The Thicket and why?

Hog, because how many times do you get a supporting character that is a wild, smelly animal treated like one of the team?

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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A Good Little Western Coming-of-Age Story

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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A Fantastic Story

This is a great western story by a great author. It moves faster than you think. And that's a good thing. The performance is solid and the characters are done well.

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one of my favorites

very good western, cursing, killing, and humor I loved it. The pig is just awesome

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damn good.<br />

almost as good as the bottoms. highly recommended and why are these asssholes forcing me to use 15 words in my review?