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Freezer Burn

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  741 ratings  ·  62 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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The Bottoms by Joe R. LansdaleMucho Mojo by Joe R. LansdaleA Fine Dark Line by Joe R. LansdaleSavage Season by Joe R. LansdaleFreezer Burn by Joe R. Lansdale
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5th out of 40 books — 38 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,110)
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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
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.
Heath Lowrance
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
Samuel Tyler
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
Jason Fischer
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.
Jill Botkin
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
Kurt Reichenbaugh
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.
Il solito Lansdale che da una parte stupisce per espedienti stilistici e fantasia, ma dall'altra stufa un pochino, soprattutto in quanto a volgarità.
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.
Todd Morr
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
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 3 of 5 stars
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
David Hewitt
Apr 03, 2008 David Hewitt rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Timothy McNeil
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
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
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
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
Travis Heermann
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
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
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,
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
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
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
Toni Guyton
Fast read, well written, a bit of fun vulgar language and scenes but the ending was lacking. Meh. Not horrible but not brilliant, either.
Ross Buffa
Weird story. Loved it.
I suppose it should be expected that only an author like Lansdale could come up with a tale about a feckless hood and his adventures with a traveling freak show. Displaying the humanity of a group of carnival freaks is an easy task for Lansdale, which didn't surprise me. What did surprise me a little bit was how he took such a loathsome coward like Bill and wound up making me root for the guy to win the day and get the girl. Good stuff and I'm eager to read more of his work.
Andrea Mesch
This biblical Adam and Eve story set in a freak carnival did nothing to me.
I liked how Bill was trying hard to be good to Frost and the dog man, but fell for the female seduction. But I wish that Mr. Lansdale would have worked this classic a bit more against the grain. Zero gender points.

I have never read anything else by hard-boiled-king Joe Lansdale and maybe I should. Especially since I've heard from other fans of his work that they disliked Freezer Burn, too.
The first word to describe this book is twisted. The people are twisted, the humor is twisted, and you'll be laughing out loud and hoping nobody can tell why. You will witness character growth that you never thought possible. And you'll encounter the funniest exchange about James Dean ever written. This is not middle of the road fare, and it's certainly not attempting to sugar coat...any topic it touches on. But it's wry and damn funny and ... twisted.
I liked this. I read The Bottoms by the same author and that was AWESOME. This one was little weaker, but it still held my interest until the very surprising (but not really satisfying) ending. (I don't know if there was another ending that would have been better though, with the way the whole story was set up.) I liked the weird and quirky characters and the noir feeling of the story, it was dark and pessimistic.
Freezer Burn by Joe R. Lansdale Freezer Burn by Joe R. Lansdale - Really good story. Full of very odd, well developed characters and plenty of twisted humor too. The ending was not really what I had been expecting. To me that's a good thing, but I thought it was a little bit strange as well. I look forward to my next Lansdale tale. ...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.
More about Joe R. Lansdale...
The Bottoms Mucho Mojo (Hap and Leonard, #2) Savage Season (Hap and Leonard, #1) The Two-Bear Mambo (Hap and Leonard, #3) Edge of Dark Water

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