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Freezer Burn

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  823 Ratings  ·  70 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
ebook, 259 pages
Published July 28th 2011 by Gere Donovan Press (first published 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,253)
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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
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.
Dec 19, 2009 Andy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 29, 2015 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 18, 2014 Heath Lowrance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 04, 2010 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Apr 28, 2011 Jason Fischer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 08, 2014 Jill Botkin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2014 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.
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
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
Mar 21, 2014 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  ·  review of another edition
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 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
Timothy McNeil
Nov 17, 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
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
Jan 09, 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
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
Travis Heermann
Nov 09, 2013 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
John Grazide
Not my favorite Lansdale, but with such a high bar there has to be one that doesn't measure. Not a terrible story, but a little drawn out at points. And the ending came up pretty quick and left a few questions unanswered. The story telling was good, as usual, but the characters didn't fully develop.
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
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
Maybe three-and-a-quarter? Huge Lansdale fan but I have to have at least one likable character in a book for me to walk away from it with a good feeling. Dark stuff.
Sep 27, 2008 Dirk rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2012 JD rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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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