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By Bizarre Hands

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  429 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
But if you've got a taste for bone-chilling, gut-wrenching terror that brilliantly tests the limits of human endurance, then Joe R. Lansdale is your man. In his first collection of short stories, the gruseome and outrageous cult classic "The Drive-In" pilots a wildly thrilling, violent and vivid roller coaster ride
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published November 1st 1989 by Mark V. Ziesing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,011)
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Jack Tripper
Lansdale's first collection is filled with some of the most brutal and disturbing stories I've ever read. So much so that I didn't really care for it when I first attempted it as a teen back in the mid-90s. But over the years I've really come to appreciate his gift for making the reader feel certain unsavory emotions that they may otherwise never come close to feeling, by placing them in the midst of some truly despicable characters. There were times during this most recent re-read where I actua ...more
Sep 23, 2015 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the early 1980s, I subscribed to TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE from the first issue - being young, I didn't realize that what I was reading was what would end up being one of the last widely published forums for short fiction, specifically of the weird/supernatural/fantasy/horror persusaion. Many careers for writers of the 1990s started in TZ, and certain writers still stick out in my mind as having been discovered by me in the pages of the magazine: T.E.D. Klein, David J. Schow and Joe R. Lansdale. ...more
Blue Mama
Oct 23, 2008 Blue Mama rated it it was amazing
be ready to feel as though you've done something wrong after reading some of the stories in this book. they are so horrifying at times and so well written that you come out of it feeling as though you experienced or perpetrated the acts on the pages. not for squirmish readers.
May 05, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
It's really too bad this is out of print - if you're a horror fan, you're going to want to seek this out. Lansdale's "Night They Missed the Horror Show" is in here, which apparently won a Stoker award - it's got crocodiles and swamps - 'nuf said. "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back" is another memorable one - nuclear horrors that Stephen King's never thrown at you. Really, Lansdale is a treat - :)
Tim Schneider
Jun 26, 2014 Tim Schneider rated it really liked it
When I was reading High Cotton I started doing short reviews of the stories. I ran out of steam and/or time. We'll see how I do here.

"Fish Night" is a shorty that still finds time to make at least two significant turns in tone. Saying much more than that would give away too much. The story is worth the short time commitment.

"The Pit" if it's anything feels like swamp noir. If there were a femme fatale in the tale it might harken to Charles Williams and the swamp noir of his Fawcett originals.
Ryan Bradford
Nov 27, 2015 Ryan Bradford rated it liked it
Lots of mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it's extreme without much style. It's super racist and misogynist—boy, does he gleefully love the n-word—and I never got the sense that whatever reason behind such extremism served a purpose other than shock value. But there's something to be said about indulging in such depravity, and reading it makes me think more about my own work and the purpose behind what I do. I actually found a lot of inspiration in Lansdale's anarchy.

He's also very darkly
John C.
Feb 01, 2015 John C. rated it it was ok
Most of the stories in this book are reprehensible filth, but some use their disgusting elements to better effect than others. The best are classic weird tales with splatterpunk violence, the worst are merely exploitation. At times, the over-the-top violence excited the unempathetic teenage horror fan in me, at others, it just bored me and kind of bummed me out. There's some pretty outrageous sexism and racism throughout as well, and while it's obviously used to enhance the bleak atmosphere of t ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Susan marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
Fish Night • (1982) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
The Pit • (1987) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
Duck Hunt • (1986) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
By Bizarre Hands • (1988) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
The Steel Valentine • (1989) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
I Tell You It's Love • (1983) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
Letter from the South, Two Moons West of Nacogdoches • (1986) • shortstory by Joe R. Lansdale
Boys Will Be Boys • (1985) • novelette by Joe R. Lansdale
The Fat Man and the Ele
Todd Charlton
Aug 27, 2015 Todd Charlton rated it it was amazing
Stephen King once wrote that a writer is someone who has taught his/her mind to misbehave. And no one has a mind that misbehaves quite like Joe Lansdale. By Bizarre Hands was his first collection of short stories and it is as potent and strange and fabulous as it was in the 1980's. The stories are all great but one has become legend; "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks" is now a seminal zombie story, a true classic; written at a time when zombies were not at all fashionable. ...more
Jan 14, 2009 Sockmonkey rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Joe Lansdale fans.
This book was on my list for a long time before I finally found it. It was well worth searching for though. Joe is a master. His use of the language makes me wish I lived in one of his books. But then again if I did something really bad would probably happen to me. I love short stories and there isn't a single bad one in this collection.
Jul 31, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A great collection of horror short stories by Joe Lansdale.
Petr Šimčík
Jul 06, 2013 Petr Šimčík rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Není tomu dlouho co se mi do rukou na doporučení portálu dostala sbírka od mě dosud neznámého autora Joea R. Lansadalea - Bizarníma rukama. A skutečně kniha je to bizarní, je plná toho nejkrvavějšího hororu, plná motivů nejhrubšího násilí, rasismu, šovinismu, sexu, krve a vulgarit. Dalo by se říci, že z prvních třech povídek jsem byl docela vyděšený, ale spíše to bylo v tomto směru: "Za co jsem to utratil peníze!?" Naštěstí jsem nepřestal číst.

Když se totiž čtenář přenese přes prvotní šok
Jason Fischer
Jan 19, 2011 Jason Fischer rated it really liked it
Just as good as I remembered it! Glad I slated this collection for a re-read, Lansdale's writing is visceral and succinct, there's no fat on any of these stories. It was interesting to read the introductory comments, where some justification is given against labelling Lansdale as exclusively a splatterpunk writer, and having read "By Bizarre Hands" for the 2nd time I can't help but agree. When he puts gruesome violence into his fiction, it's there for a reason, not just for effect. There are a f ...more
Feb 19, 2015 Scott rated it liked it
Six stories but I only have two favorites- Steel Valentine and Stitches.
I was hoping for more content, and for it to live up to the hype of being controversial.There is nothing here that shocked me.
May 21, 2014 Leon rated it it was amazing
Incredible collection of horror stories. Ranks with Barker's Books of Blood....Lansdale is a born storyteller.
Fraser Burnett
Jun 19, 2014 Fraser Burnett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic collection of stories that will forever be in my library. Sixteen doses of pure originality, that appeared on the scene like a cooling east Texas breeze.

The wit, vigour and distinctive authorial voice on display is indicative of Lansdale's quality as a writer.

Nobody has written a story so upsetting as Night They Missed the Horror Show, since Harry Crews put the final full stop to A Feast of Snakes. Pure horror.

Sean Bridges
Feb 24, 2011 Sean Bridges rated it it was amazing
Joe R Landsdale is a man who can push your buttons and could care less what you think about it. I can't put his work down, even when it hits me at a visceral level. A master at his craft.

There should be more of his work on this site. HIGH COTTON is one of the best short-story compilations I've ever read. And it doesn't even include my favorite Landsdale story.

A fantastic writer, who takes you on a hell of a ride.
Gary Lyons
A mixture of good and average horror shorts.

Sometimes the horror thing seems a bit laboured and the is actually better at it funnier moments than it's darkest. Also I felt that the best writing was in "Trains Not Taken", a story of addiction and a dying marriage which isn't actually horror in any way.

I'd probably give this a 3.5 but had to mark down as I wouldn't rate it a 4.
Tom Schulte
Jul 07, 2011 Tom Schulte rated it it was ok
I found the first half of this collection of horror tale too predictably common-turns-weird; overwrought and formulaic. The red herring documentary on drive-ins was pleasantly surprising and leads off a more divere, better half of the book but overall ... meh.
Dec 08, 2009 joey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I bought this when I was a kid, struck by the cover artwork of J. K. Potter (who also illustrated Etchison and R. Campbell). It's one of those books whose stories I occasionally re-read with guilty pleasure. "Night They Missed the Horror Show" is my favorite.
Aug 04, 2012 Marc rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
As good an anthology of short stories as you will EVER read. A life changing book for me. The stories range from the brutal to the heart-breakingly sweet. Among the best i have ever read, for sure.
Susan Sommerfeld
Aug 29, 2013 Susan Sommerfeld rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
One of the best short story collections ever. I was lucky enough to hear Mr. Lansdale read from the book at a Scifi convention.
Chris Pounds
Aug 26, 2009 Chris Pounds rated it it was amazing
The title story is likely the most disturbing I have ever read. Wanna read a story with surprises? Joe's your man.
Greg of A2
Apr 19, 2009 Greg of A2 rated it really liked it
Really terrific short horror fiction. Tales that will tingle your spine and tickle your brain.
William Watson
Oct 16, 2013 William Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best short story collection i have read so far cant think of one story i didnt enjoy.
Sep 02, 2010 M rated it it was ok
too predictable
Sep 01, 2012 Chris rated it liked it
Worth reading.
Vít marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Saruta Valentine
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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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“Sometimes he felt as if he had stepped into an alternate universe where the old laws of nature and what was right and wrong did not apply.” 0 likes
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