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The Haunted Hillbilly
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The Haunted Hillbilly

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A comic book in words, episodic and eerie, The Haunted Hillbilly is a carnivalesque thrill-ride that reads both like a vintage 1950s issue of Tales from the Crypt and a 21st century re-imagining of Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid. The Haunted Hillbilly is an historical first-person narrative, told by Nudie “The Carnival Couturier” (the name’s a twis...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by ECW Press (first published 2003)
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Blake Fraina
Derek McCormack’s prose is honed to a razor sharp point. It’s so precise, the words are so well-chosen, that you scarcely notice how few of them there actually are. This is a lean, mean little novel that packs a thrilling punch. There is not one extraneous word. I am in awe.

And while it’s tempting to focus on the technical wizardry alone, which is considerable, truth is, this is no case of style over substance. The story McCormack has concocted is weird, creepy, crude and very funny.

The Haunted...more
Megan
great fun! short. macabre. campy. grotesque. "the haunted hillbilly" is an alternative history of hank williams imagining his couturier as a sadistic gay vampire. i don't know quite what to think about the gay predator thing -- i think mccormack's sensibility for camp makes it self-aware. it's got a tongue in cheek quality made possible by mccormack's clipped, somewhat deadpan style -- "thunder. lilac sheets of lightning. the night engrossing ink. / a bat makes a moustache on the moon." -- the n...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Beware of gay, vampiric clothing designers, no matter how famous they can make you.

This is the story of Nudie and Hank. Nudie is pretty much who we know him to be, the iconic Hollywood designer of flashy outfits who in this story is also a gay vampire enamored of Hank, referred to only once as Hank Williams in the text, but who else would he be. But he is more than Hank Williams. He is the uberHank, the beautiful, talented, dim young man with the simple wife who sews him ill-fitting suits and w...more
Joey Comeau
The first of Derek McCormack's weird, hilarious trilogy. Hank Williams and his flashy suits, made for him by a gay vampire obsessed with his ass. His wife doesn't like that one bit, but things don't go very well for her when she tries to stop it.

The writing is spare and beautiful, and the story is original and unexpected in a way I'd never seen. You don't need to read this to enjoy The Show That Smells (which I feel is his masterpiece!!) but you'd be missing out if you skipped it.

I think Derek...more
Richard
The Haunted Hillbilly is an historical first-person narrative, told by Nudie "The Rodeo Tailor" (perhaps most famous for dressing Elvis Presley) a gay couturier who, in Derek McCormack's spellbinding world, also happens to be a vampire. As the story evolves with its magical poetic cadence, Nudie, in grand Svengali-style, makes, then breaks, the career of Hank, a country-and-western singer at the Grand Ole Opry. A blend of fact and fancy, The Haunted Hillbilly conjures the seamy gay underside hid...more
Adam
I L-O-V-E Derek McCormack. His writing is dark, morbid, humorous. This, like most of his writing is short and sweet, making me adore it, yet yearn for more. His words are so perfectly chosen that anything extra would be just filler. The plot line of this book is so far out there. He uses real people's names, nut in a fictional plot. 'Nudie' Cohn, is a gay vampire-esque tailor for Hank Williams. Yes, you read that right. This isn't Anne Rice though. It is a short book and well worth the risk.
Craig
This is such a lovely, gonzo hybrid of Southern life (aka country music), horror (a Vampire story), and a seriously effed up, one-sided love affair. I could have done without the rape-iness of it all, but I guess vampire stories are stories of rape, from time immemorial.

McCormack's lines are bitingly sharp, rhythmically hypnotic. One example: "A hearse crawls up Commerce."

Don't let the shortness of this one fool you. It's a lot of story in a little package.

Rick Urban
A gay, predatory tailor (who may or may not be a vampire, his narration is not exactly reliable) physically and psychologically abuses men trying to make it in the world of country western music...spare and poetic, this sure is a one-of-a-kind fiction, inhabiting a world somewhere between Dennis Cooper and John Steinbeck.
Leif
Very weird novella. Interesting in its use of the supernatural to comment on the over-the-top marketing and cult of personality of the country music industry.
Vestal McIntyre
A grotesque and utterly delicious little shocker. I read it years ago, but still get a chill when I think of the last line.
James
A fun, short novel about Hank Williams's personal tailor (reimagined as a vampire).
Tina
now here is a vampire story with more than a twist!
warped, weird, wonderful, creepy!
Whiskeyb
This tale of Hank William's vampire tailor blew my mind a little bit! THOSE SEQUINS WHAT
Jade Elzien
So creepy and poetic. Loved the line "A bat makes a moustache on the moon."
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