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Tight Little Stitches ...
Joe R. Lansdale
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Tight Little Stitches In A Dead Man's Back

4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  209 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Published (first published March 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 362)
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Apr 20, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
It is easy to see why this story won the Bram Stoker. It is a gem from a master. Devastating in its bleakness as it shows not only the desolated land left by a nuclear apocalypse but also the blighted landscape of the hearts and souls of those left behind to do perhaps nothing more than prolong the moment of their death. The first to die clearly are the lucky ones because what do the survivors do to fill the void of those who are gone? To make this disturbing story all the more unsettling the fi ...more
Excellent short story I found for free on

I love post-apocalyptic stories and this, so far, is one of the better written and original ones I have come across. Highly recommended.

(view spoiler)
Clark Hallman
Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man’s Back by Joe R. Lansdale: This very morbid short story is told by the main character’s journal which he refers to in his writings as Mr. Journal. The journal writer and his wife are alone trying to survive in a lighthouse in a post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear holocaust. His wife hates him because she blames him for the death of their daughter. Lansdale describes their painful existence in his usual detailed and ruthless manner. This story won a Bram Sto ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
Another really good piece of short fiction from Joe R. Lansdale that Kindle readers can presently get free from Amazon. This is one of Joe's bleaker stories and that is saying a lot. It is also a scarce example of post-apocalyptic writing from the "Champion Mojo Storyteller". He is entering Brian Keene territory with this little grosser-outer. If that last sentence doesn't scare you away then I recommend it.
Jennifer Wardrip
Truly effed up in typical Lansdale fashion. And, yes, I mean that as a compliment.
Venus Maneater
Mar 16, 2016 Venus Maneater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free
Read here:

Dystopian, all hope lost. Mutant whales, giant lizards and carnivorous roses. This is what the bombs did to the world, and there is no salvation.

Short but lovely read, makes me want to look up more by Lansdale.
May 13, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
What if your scientific research brought about the end of the world and you had survived? A strange tale.
Mar 15, 2012 Godzilla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, horror, 2012, kindle
This is a low rating for a Joe Lansdale book from me. Normally I would wax lyrical over his plotting, characterisation and dialogue.

That's the problem with this tale of post apocalypse woe - the plot doesn't twist much, there are few characters and even less dialogue.

He still manages to put in his unusual analogies, but with out the characters to riff on they felt flattter than usual.

There are still some wonderfully descriptive passages, but without the emotional investement in the characters I
Jul 09, 2014 Toby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dark, bleak, and utterly brilliant. In the first few paragraphs of this short story Lansdale illustrates characters with an authentic richness that many authors fail to do in an entire book. This excellently penned story takes the format of the first and last entries of what may be the last man on earth, surviving in a lighthouse with his hateful wife. Surrounded by strange creatures, and ravaged by guilt and sorrow over the death of his daughter, our protagonist writes in a futile attempt to re ...more
Jun 07, 2014 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I love me some Lansdale, and this novella was no exception, though I must say it was disconcerting to see how much he is capable of changing his typical style. Gone is the East Texas drawl, replaced by the slowly-maddening voice of a scientist who very literally bears the weight of the world on his back. Saying any more than that would be to verge into spoiler territory.
A perfect story that's as tight as the stitches in the protagonist's mutilated back. A convergence of sci-fi, horror, and the post-apocalypse, but the dominant theme is the destructive power of guilt. If you only know Lansdale for his crime novels, you know he's a master plotter. This story is proof that he's just as deft with language. Disturbingly lovely.
Mar 18, 2015 Col rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, l
Browsing Amazon and looking for availability on a couple of Lansdale’s missing Hap and Leonard books, I happened upon a few Lansdale freebies, of which this was one. Not sure if this should really count towards my year end books read total, as it could be a short story or a novella, but has been released on its own as a chapbook in the past. Anyway I’m claiming it.

I think Lansdale, the “Champion Mo-jo Storyteller” (self-proclaimed?), won the Bram Stoker award for this tale of survival in a post-
Dec 24, 2012 Grammar*Kitten rated it really liked it
Tight Little Stitches In A Dead Man's Back is a spectacular little short that I stumbled upon quite by accident. I remember seeing this as a freebie offering on Amazon a few months ago but actually passed it by because I'm not usually fond of short stories, but I was recently recommended it here on Goodreads and I'm very glad that I picked it up at last.

I really enjoyed the concept of this novel; it was a little zombie apocalypse meets day of the triffids - sounds strange I know. It is strange.
Brandon Petry
"Mornings I greet the flowers, their bright red and yellow blooms bursting from the heads of long-dead bodies that will not rot. The flowers open wide to reveal their little black brains and their feathery feelers, and they lift their blooms upward and moan."
Dec 18, 2014 Shanice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this book 3 stars because it was so disturbing but I don't think a book deserves three stars because it wasn't of my taste. So I'm giving this book 5 stars because it is a good story it was very touching.
Apr 19, 2015 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
End of The World

A tale of a world after a nuclear war. A group from a bow base explores and finds a hostile environment. For humans anyway.

A unique story only as Lansdale could write.
Lisa Cleveland
Feb 15, 2015 Lisa Cleveland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't my favorite story by Mr. Lansdale and I had planned on just giving it 3 stars, but the ending really got to me and it ended up making the whole tale well worth it. Yep, I'd recommend this story and author.
Dylan Perry
May 26, 2016 Dylan Perry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star

Its always interesting reading the early works of authors I love even when those beginnings can be hit-or-miss. Overall this was a delightfully twisted short story that, while not the best, is still worth your time.
Il dopobomba è terrificante. E tua figlia è rimasta fuori dal rifugio e tua moglie ti incolpa e anneghi nel rimorso.
L'unico modo per farti toccare ancora dalla madre di tua figlia è permetterle di farti un tatuaggio sulla schiena. Doloroso.
E fin qui sarebbe fantascienza, poi l'horror fa capolino e assume una delle forme più delicate in natura.
Dec 07, 2011 Robert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I ran across this when I first got my Kindle and was searching for some freebies to get a feel for the gadget. This is a satisfying short along the vein of "The Ruins" and "I am Legend". Written in diary entry form and with a little push could probably have made a pretty decent horror novel.
Nov 30, 2012 Fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is a creepy little mind fuck of a book - May never go a smell a rose again in my life....

Rosa M.
This was an interesting story, and I didn't expect where it was going. It was an inventive plot, and very scary.
Adam Light
I love this story. This was my introduction to Lansdale, a bleak and disturbing tale. Do yourself a favor and read it.
Dec 16, 2015 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this story a while back, but it has always stuck with me. Creepy, sad, desolate.
Sheri White
Dec 14, 2011 Sheri White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent story, sad and horrifying at the same time. Joe Lansdale is a great writer.
Jul 31, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A small chapbook from Pulphouse Publishing containing just the one title story.
Evans Light
Oct 08, 2012 Evans Light rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorites! Not to be missed.
Dec 30, 2011 Jex marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Free on Amazon
Jun 21, 2013 G8tes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short story.
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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...

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