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Freezer Burn

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  913 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Bill has no job, no money and no mother '... his mother was dead and kind of freeze-dried in her bedroom'. She doesn't smell as bad as she used to, but her welfare checks are piling up and Bill doesn't feel smart enough to forge her signature. So he decides to rob a firecracker stand across the highway from his house, for cash and may be a few loud bangs into the bargain. ...more
Trade Paperback, 245 pages
Published 2003 by Phoenix (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30)
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Michael Fierce

4 1/2 stars. A thoroughly engrossing thriller packed with all you would hope to expect from Lansdale + some perfectly wild, offbeat humor, centered around the most oddball cast of misfits you'll find - or hopefully not find - anywhere else on the fat side of this planet.

*Really worth 5 stars as far as entertainment goes but I have to notch it down a bit so as to differentiate my favorites by him in comparison to his other very fine and worthy reads.
Jan 08, 2014 Bandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Texas, rednecks and Texan rednecks might be far from the subjects that interest me, leave it to Lansdale to spin a fun yarn despite it all. What primarily attracted me to this book was a traveling carnival setting, one that the main hero of the book good looking, dumb as dirt and even less capable Bill stumbles into after botching a crime. There is folksiness to Lansdale writing that I could take or leave, but also charm and humanity and wit and humor that are really appealing. This is a s ...more
Dec 19, 2009 Andy rated it it was amazing
If Jim Thompson were to pass his psychobilly noir crown to anyone the heir apparent hands down would be Joe Lansdale, period.
Rotting corpses, fireworks stands, swamps, Buckwheat-clone siamese twins, Walmart goddesses, water moccasins, corn dogs, freak shows, "Freezer Burn" is the greasiest, creepiest Creedence Clearwater Revival song set to fiction.
Feb 19, 2014 Karl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is copy 264 of 400 signed numbered copies.
The writing in this book is stand-out good. Simply awesome writing. In some ways it could be the story of any of us, although different circumstances for each of us. I kept thinking of Psalm 19: ".... hold back your servant from willful sins, let them not prevail over me; then I will be unblemished and keep myself clean of gross transgression." And from the Catholic prayer Our Father, "...lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
Bill is somewhat stupid and incompetent, very lax mor
Heath Lowrance
Jul 15, 2014 Heath Lowrance rated it really liked it
Bill is a loser in the classic mold, a shiftless fella without much brains or ambition. He's been living off his mother's social security checks, but when she dies (and her corpse starts stinking the place up) the pipeline dries up and Bill comes up with a scheme to rob a fireworks stand across the street from his house. The "heist" goes south in a hurry, and Bill has to take it on the lam through a dangerous swamp. He winds up joining a travelling freak show, making friends with a dog boy, and ...more
Sep 21, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it
Freezer Burn is a literary mixture of Freaks and Double Indemnity. Author Joe R. Lansdale has filled this bookl with his usual array of grossness, political incorrectness, and dark humor. However it doesn't gel as well as his other novels. Main character Bill is just a little too idiotic to care about and the femme fatale Bridget is not all that believable in the femme fatale department. About the only character that comes alive is the dog-faced Conrad aka Rex, The Wonder Dog. Yet, it is typical ...more
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Jul 17, 2010 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: noir
I read most of Joe R. Lansdale's books and have enjoyed them all. This one is probably my favorite. I'm a sucker for sideshows, carnivals, bad women and noir. This one has them all.
Mar 22, 2016 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently started watching and enjoying Hap and Leonard, a TV series based on the novels by Joe Lansdale. I haven't read any of the series but this is the second of his other novels that I have read and I definitely want more!

This is the story of Bill Roberts who was living with his dead mother, afraid to try to forge her signature on her Social Security checks, and who decides to rob a firecracker stand across the highway from his house. He enlists the help of a couple of ne'er-do-well friends
Timothy McNeil
Nov 15, 2012 Timothy McNeil rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
There is no rule against writing in a crude and/or vulgar manner. It can be effective at times. Lansdale uses it as a crutch, a way to show that he still has an inner 12 year old when it comes to parsing bigoted statements and an inner 14 year old when it comes to exploring sexual matters. More than that, there is nothing to the story. It isn't a you'll get it or you won't situation. Lansdale tries to beat the reader over the head with the emptiness of the tale. Like the featured attraction (or ...more
Jason Fischer
Apr 24, 2011 Jason Fischer rated it really liked it
Good fun, very messed up noir stuff. A great central theme for such a short book, quite resonant. It's like "No Country for Old Men" crashed into "Carnivale", and the author is dancing around the wreckage.
Dec 18, 2009 Lee added it
Shelves: horror-read
I put this in my horror section, but it could be put into mystery,fantasy.or a new category outrageous. A weird ride with a freaky freak show.
Feb 06, 2013 Lightblue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il solito Lansdale che da una parte stupisce per espedienti stilistici e fantasia, ma dall'altra stufa un pochino, soprattutto in quanto a volgarità.
Ian Muller
May 21, 2017 Ian Muller rated it it was amazing
Reading Lansdale is like going to your favorite restaurant and ordering randomly off the menu. Whatever you get might vary in regards to ingredients and taste, but you know that in the end it'll be damn satisfying. Freezer Burn is Lansdale's homage to Tod Browning's Freaks; it's a deep-fried psychobilly noir that sticks its finger deep into the Bizarro end of his oeuvre. It's a gross, violent ride that'll make your jaw drop and leave you in stitches. I'd put this in my favorites of Lansdale's im ...more
Jul 03, 2012 GONZA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ho un po' paura a dirlo, ma Lansdale, per qualunque editore esca, ancora non mi ha mai deluso.
Questo ultimo racconto, pesca nella miscellanea che vede Freaks (film diretto da Todd Browning nel 1932) al primo posto tra i racconti, film, piece e quant'altro che narrano di storie ambientate all'interno del mondo circense.
La storia parte da un poco di buono che fallisce in modo misero e funambolico una rapina, è costretto a scappare da una madre in puterfazione della cui pensione usufruiva e da un p
Aug 21, 2008 April rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone with an off-kilter sense of humor
Bill is a good for nothing who keeps the body of his dead maw in the back bedroom while the social security checks keep coming. He get mixed up in a botched robbery job, falls asleep in a swamp on the escape and wakes up with a face disfigured with mosquito bites. Crawling into a pasture where a traveling freak show is set up, they first mistake him as one of them, but his mosquito bites subside and he begins to lead a life more "normal" than ever before, wherein he finds true friendship with th ...more
Samuel Tyler
Oct 13, 2014 Samuel Tyler rated it liked it
The America of Joe R Lansdale is not the picture perfect landscape that the majority of Hollywood films would have us believe, but one of casual racism and petty violence. Bill is prone to both of these things and he has had about enough of living with his dead mother. With no money and no clue he attempts a robbery and ends up working for a travelling freak show. Someone with his attitude is bound to have no problems there, is he?

‘Freezer Burn’ is part road novel, part very dark comedy. It is h
John Defrog
I was chuffed to have picked this up at a library book sale in the US, as I hadn’t come across any Joe R. Lansdale books for awhile. The story follows Bill Roberts, a luckless idiot on the run from the cops after a botched robbery who finds refuge in a traveling freak show carnival run by John Frost, the main attraction of which is the mysterious Ice Man. Enter Frost’s wife Gidget, an oversexed femme fatale who sees Bill as the answer to her problems. This is one grim affair on several levels, p ...more
Jan 07, 2013 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading two of Lansdale’s other novels, A Fine Dark Line and The Bottoms. They were both coming-of-age stories, and written in a wonderful style, with memorable characters and detailed settings. Afterwards, I kept my eye out for more of Lansdale’s books, and unfortunately, I found this one to be disappointing. I actually looked up the book mid-way through to doublecheck that this was written by the same Joe Lansdale who wrote the other two books that I had enjoyed so much. That was how d ...more
David Hewitt
Mar 29, 2008 David Hewitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Loners, losers, and sometime armed robbers.
Found in the garbage pile of cookie cutter detective novels and Tom Clancy books that are up for grabs in the ship's free book box, I found Joe R. Lansdale's Freezer Burn. An exerpt from the back cover pretty much tells all you need to know:

A raid on the fireworks stand just across the road turns into a bungled display of bullets, blood, and police badges. (The protagonist) Bill hightails into a nearby swamp and soon, like mom, starts attracting insects. And when he stumbles out of the mud a d
Apr 11, 2009 Clint rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending was a little lackluster, as one reviewer wrote, and I sometimes get tired of Joe Lansdale's constant references to Texas (we know it's in Texas, does every town name need to be followed by ", Texas?") and his pushing the Texas "vernacular" into the third-person narrative voice is a little contrived and annoying. Maybe because I'm from Texas I notice this more than other people might. But anyway, those things aside, this book kicks insane amounts of ass! Joe Lansdale is one of the gori ...more
Just when I thought Joe Lansdale could do no wrong by me, he did. Sorry. Freezer Burn just did not live up to my expectations for Lansdale. It was alright, but not that good. It was a smooth read. It was well-written. It had some entertaining dialog. It just did not live up to Lansdale's standard in my opinion.

Freezer burn is about a guy named Bill ending up in a carnival freak show do to a crime mishap. Bill is a small time criminal and a big time idiot. Although he has some ethics, he fails to
Jill Botkin
Jan 07, 2014 Jill Botkin rated it really liked it
Joe R. Lansdale is one of my favorite authors. I got hooked on him when I read his Hap and Leonard series and his other books have all been just as good.

This book is told from the POV of Biil Roberts . Bill doesn't have much going for him. He lives with his mom. She died recently but he doesn't tell anyone and instead leaves her rotting corpse in her bedroom. Because he cant forge her signature, he can't cash her social security checks and he is now out of food and money. He hatches a plan to ge
Travis Heermann
Apr 08, 2012 Travis Heermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I ever read by Joe Lansdale, and it's a doozy. Having just reread it, I can see why this book made me a fan. No one in the world writes redneck stupidity like Lansdale, and he writes it with a wit, insight, and flair that just drags the reader along, no matter how wild and nonsensical the ride.
Freezer Burn is the story of young redneck idiot Bill, who goes from armed robbery gone reallllly wrong to taking shelter with a traveling carnival freak show. This is a story about
Quinesia Johnson
Reluctant 5 Stars.

In all honesty, it deserves 5 stars. Begrudgingly; however, because it is somewhat shadowed by excessive sexual content.
This, to me, is Lansdale's best; nevertheless, for reason of credibility of the characters, and believable plot (which he's been known to slight). Some of the carnival freaks were a stretch in a couple of cases. But this in order to create that fantastic, eerie, noire, freakish feel. Other than that, you can truly imagine each character behaving exactly the wa
Sep 27, 2008 Dirk rated it it was ok
I really like Joe R. Lansdale. I love his Hap & Leonard series of books. I didn’t really like this book though.

Parts of it were ok but there a few scenes I wish he had cut out completely because I just don’t want em in my head and the end wasn’t really satisfying to me.

Basically the story of a complete loser who finds himself at loose ends after his mother dies and he can’t forge her signature to keep cashing her checks. He attempts a robbery that goes horribly wrong and takes it on the lam,
Callie S.
Divisa tra il fanatico amore per Lansdale e l'onestà intellettuale, mi fermo con rammarico alle tre stelline: tutto il mestiere di Joe e alcuni dei suoi topoi migliori, nei fatti, non bastano a far decollare un romanzo che resta mediamente leggibile, ma non certo eclatante.
Malgrado l'esordio pirotecnico e la scelta di un'ambientazione sorprendente (quando si parla di Lansdale, ormai, so di potermi aspettare di tutto!), la trama scolora poco a poco, per approdare a una conclusione che mi è pars
Nov 17, 2011 Prince rated it really liked it
In FREEZER BURN, Lansdale puts on a clinic to demonstrate how great writers steal. The setup is classic noir all the way. You get doomed-ass lovers straight from the James Cain playbook, a setting reminiscent of "Nightmare Alley," and a Chester Himes-esque sense of lunacy. It's more than pastiche, though, when Lansdale's at the typewriter: there wasn't a sentence of this novel that didn't read like 100% his. Classic construction & gonzo execution. FREEZER BURN is a turbocharged, grimy-ass pl ...more
This was a great, wacked out slice of Gonzo Texas Noir by the great Joe Lansdale. I would have given it 3.5 stars if you could do that here. The reason I didn't give it four stars is because the ending really confused me. The very last chapters in the book felt like a surprise ending, but as much as I think about it, I can't make sense of it. Besides that, its a really good book. Lansdale has a knack for painting very vivid, surreal scenarios. He uses religious and moral imagery well, which make ...more
Todd Morr
Aug 22, 2014 Todd Morr rated it liked it
Joe Lansdale venturing into Jim Thompson territory. By setting most of the tale in a travelling freak show he adds some humor and interesting bits of the bizarre. The unusual setting helps, but the story is still too predictable, and the characters who are not freaks are hardboiled noir clichés who have been done better before. Some Lansdale is better than no Lansdale, but he has plenty better than this. For a library find, how I came upon it, it is worth it, otherwise read one of his westerns, ...more
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Joe R. Lansdale is the winner of the British Fantasy Award, the American Horror Award, the Edgar Award, and six Bram Stoker Awards. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas.
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