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Sunset And Sawdust

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  1,030 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Joe R. Landsdale's new novel is a gripping crime thriller set in Texas at the start of the 1930s oil boom. When Pete Jones, the local constable, is shot dead, his widow, Sunset, finds herself in his job, investigating a series of brutal murders. Most of the townsfolk object to her wearing Pete's gun and badge, some because this is the 1930s and they think a woman's place i ...more
Published (first published December 16th 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,682)
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Marvin
The Great Depression, East Texas, Cyclones, wife-beating raping husband, dead wife-beating raping husband by page two, abused woman who shoots wife-beating raping husband becomes constable by page ten, white population is outraged, black population is amused, corrupt politicians, racism, sexism, dead baby in bottle, snake bites, locust plagues, big bad thugs, one big bad thug with multiple personality disorder, lots of fistfights, shootings and general mayhem... with jokes.

In other words, anothe
...more
Judi
“Naked, except for her shoes and the gun she was holding, she wandered off of what remained of her house, stumbled down the muddy clay road in front of her place, frogs, minnows and perch hopping and flapping beneath her shoes.”

Joe Lansdale has a reputation for "mojo storytelling," which he manages to pull off in a wide assortment of genre. Near as I can tell "mojo storytelling" means that the author works magic on us; if so, then his bag of tricks includes lots of laugh-out-loud vernicular, mem
...more
Thomas
Joe Lansdale writes some weird stuff. Consider “Bubba Ho-Tep,” a novella about a dying Elvis impersonator living in a nursing home, a black man who believes he’s JFK in hiding from the government, and a mummy who’s stealing the souls of the nursing home residents.

Yeah.

Sunset and Sawdust is a more mainstream novel for Lansdale, set in 1930s Texas, but it’s not without the normal Lansdale weirdness. Sunset, the main character, so named because of her long, fiery-red hair, has just shot her husband
...more
Daniel
I put this book down about a half-hour ago, and I still feel like hopping around and dialing anyone who gives a shit about books. Decided this is good an outlet as any.

Man, what a story. Lansdale writes about tragedies and double-cross and race-relations during the Depression and gender biases back then and murder and justice and pain and so much else I might as well quit here and point you to the book itself. The first half does move slow, enough so that I was wary about the rest, but then I p
...more
Wordsmith
Another one of my books from the past. Lean, mean, down and dirty Texas grit written with Literary Flair. That's Joe Lansdale to a tee. A quote from Goodreads, quoting other quoters: He has been called “hilarious . . . refreshing . . . a terrifically gifted storyteller with a sharp country-boy wit” (Washington Post Book World), and praised for his “folklorist’s eye for telling detail and [his] front-porch raconteur’s sense of pace” (New York Times Book Review) That's him, Joe R. Lansdale. Why no ...more
Eric Guignard
REVIEWED: Sunset and Sawdust
WRITTEN BY: Joe R. Lansdale
PUBLISHED: January, 2005

This is classic Lansdale: Well-written, gripping, and at times poignantly funny. Sunset Jones kills her abusive husband in self-defense in the middle of a cyclone. It’s really quite symbolic as not only her home and husband are gone, but her entire life is torn apart. From the very beginning, it’s a story of her reconstructing everything around her, including her own world views. Through the assistance of her wealthy
...more
Jack Haringa
Lansdale delivers another fast-paced, relevant, and quirky historical thriller filled with the witty dialogue and rich characters you expect from him. Set in Depression-era East Texas, Sunset and Sawdust starts with the protagonist's murder of her husband and doesn't slow down. The titular Sunset, in the course of her investigations, discovers friendship, betrayal, family, town secrets, and truths about racism and sexism. The mysteries compound themselves, and Lansdale saves at least one big rev ...more
Michael
It's the depression era in East Texas. The Klu Klux Klan is active and many Texas men feel that if they smack their wives around, they won't be held accountable for it.

Constable Pete Jones comes home drunk and beats his wife, Sunset, and is in the process of raping her when she reaches for his revolver and puts a bullet in his head and kills him.

Since the sawmill town of Camp Rapture is now without a law enforcement officer, at a camp meeting, with the help of Sunset's mother-in-law, who is majo
...more
James
joe lansdale is known for two things--horror and mystery/crime. this book definitely falls on the mystery/crime side of things, and as someone used to reading his horror short stories, it was interesting to not only read a mystery/crime yarn, but also a full-length novel.

this story, of a female constable in depression-era east texas, is rife with the racial and gender-based tensions of that earlier time, also something that lansdale is known for deconstructing and discussing, and for good reason
...more
Viccy
Sunset Jones is being raped by her husband, again, after he has beaten her black and blue. She pulls his .38 out of the holster and shoots him dead, while a tornado rages outside. Pete Jones was the constable in Camp Rapture, deep in the Piney Woods of east Texas. His mother owns the local sawmill. While Marilyn Jones is horrified by her son's murder, she understands the reasons behind it. This act of defiance pushes Mrs. Jones to throw out her husband, who taught Pete about beating up women and ...more
William Thomas
Joe R Lansdale is new to me. I didn't know where to begin with his books, so I just fell into this one and rode it out to the end.

My only previous encounter with Lansdale is the movie, Bubba Ho-Tep, which was entertaining but almost completely forgettable. So I was surprised by the dialogue and the use of vernacular with pinpoint accuracy to the specific region and setting.

Having said that, there isn't much more to this book than that. A slew of Southern wit and then the book peters out. It is
...more
Bryan
A mostly-fun, sometimes brutal mystery novel that doesn't always read like a mystery and comes off like a Western even though it's set in the 1930's. At first, the book seems to lack direction but in the latter phases everything comes together nicely. There's a great cast of heroes facing off an insidious lot of awful villains among a fantastic, violent climax.

Lansdale, known for some outrageous and weird genre fiction, keeps his tendency to go over the edge into cartoony horror mostly in check
...more
William M.
4 AND 1/2 STARS

The name Joe R. Lansdale is truly a stamp of quality on any book. His prose, dialogue, characters, and story are crisp and original, always having a life of their own. Sunset and Sawdust is no exception. You can't help but get involved in the character's lives as they travel down Lansdale's twisted -- and many times humorous -- path. While not as dark as some of his earlier tales, this still packs quite a punch. The characters are sometimes too politically correct for my taste, b
...more
Irene
Set in rural east Texas during the Depression, the book opens with Sunset murdering her abusive husband with the gun she takes from his holster during one of his beatings, at the same time a tornado is slamming into their house. Within the week, this misogynistic community has appointed Sunset the constable to fulfill her husband’s term, has hired a newly arrived drifter to serve as an additional deputy to ensure her success when locals need jobs and the mother-in-law who is grieving for her onl ...more
Andy
“Sunset and Sawdust” is a Jazz Age western, where you have desperados driving around in cars instead of horses, but there are still gunfights, saloons, Klansmen and lynchings.
There’s a female sheriff with a boyfriend named “Hillbilly” who knocks up her teenage daughter, a villain who has a black Mini-Me named “Two”, and dead bodies coated in Black Gold/Texas Tea (forget Goldfinger, this is more like Crudefinger). One of Lansdale's crazier efforts.
Matteo Pellegrini

Una donna uccide il marito dopo l'ennesimo atto di violenza. E proprio l'omicidio le dà la forza per inoltrarsi nel passato criminoso del suo villaggio. Lei si chiama Miss Sunset, "Tramonto", per la sua bellezza e i capelli rosso fuoco. A questa indimenticabile figura femminile Lansdale affida la sua esplorazione dei confini tra Bene e Male, in un romanzo accolto in America come il suo capolavoro.
Una comunità di poveracci sorta intorno a una segheria, una natura violenta testimone muta di una te

...more
Andrea
Joe Lansdale sure makes me happy, so for pure enjoyment this is a five, though I sure wish we had half stars. But it had women turning the tables on the bastards beating the shit out of them, a whole host of brilliant characters East Texas style, and a whole lot of edge. I loved it.
Whitaker
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Jürgen Zeller
Auf Joe R. Lansdale wurde ich von einem befreundeten Buchhändler aufmerksam gemacht. Dies weil wir ein Gespräch über Daniel Woodrells Winters Knochen geführt haben das uns beiden sehr gut gefallen hat. Da dieses Buch inhaltlich ähnlich ist, bin ich bin ich seinem Ratschlag gefolgt und habe mich für diesen Roman von Lansdale entschieden.

Die Handlung spielt mitten in der Grossen Depression, der tiefgreifenden Wirtschaftskrise nach dem "Schwarzen Freitag" an der Börse. Amerika liegt wirtschaftlich
...more
Donkic
Un tipico libro alla Lansdale.

Chi ama già lo stile dell'autore texano non può che trovarsi a suo agio tra queste pagine. Per chi invece non lo conosce, potrebbe non essere un buon libro da cui iniziare (io, personalmente, consiglio sempre di iniziare dalla serie di Hap e Leonard).

Lansdale si muove perfettamente a suo agio in un'ambientazione che conosce e si diverte a giocare con le leggende e le figure tipiche dell'America del primo novecento (il personaggio di Bull Stackerlee, gli hobos).
Come
...more
Stevedutch
Lansdale is brilliant at what he does, which is to tell interesting and engaging stories that are well plotted, funny, wise, sometimes sad, sometimes elegiac but always superbly written. This one is no exception. For anyone coming to this after reading the Hap and Collins books you will not be disappointed! They may have different names but, basically, the same cast of bizarre characters are present with a feisty, female protagonist, Sunset, who you cannot help rooting for as she takes on the un ...more
Thomas
Joe R. Lansdale rules. Don't believe me? Go to his website,
http://joerlansdale.com/todaysfeature...
Click on the horror poster and read whatever
free story is posted today.

There, wasn't that cool?

Lansdale almost never lets me down, and Sunset and Sawdust is one
of his best books. Like much of his work, it is hard to peg in any
single genre. This time around, it's a murder mystery set in depression
era east Texas. Sunset Jones kills her husband (the local sheriff) during
a cyclone, and soon after tak
...more
Tracey
Read thru the ebook version of this novel, courtesy of the Indiana Digital Media consortium. Ye gods, Landsdale is not kind to his characters ... the book kicks off with Sunset Jones being beaten by her husband during a tornado and doesn't get much gentler from there.

However, Ms. Jones rises above the situation and through sheer stubborness manages to solve a mystery and make life better for a few more people along the way. She does make mistakes - and others suffer for it, as does she. The nov
...more
Kristi
I don't even know what to say about this book. I didn't like it but I didn't hate it. I certainly didn't love it. I guess what I can say is that it was dry...desert dry. The book wasn't all that long but holy cow, it was a long read. I don't even know if that makes sense.

The story starts out with Sunset, the main character of the story, shooting her husband and killing him while he's raping her. Not graphic, thank you Mr. Lansdale. I've definitely read worse. Then the book basically follows her
...more
Lesa
This book is like a bad car accident--you know you shouldn't keep looking but you are powerless to stop yourself! The characters are wildly crazy and the situations in which they find themselves are insane. This book will have you up late trying to figure out what kind of nonsense these characters will get themselves into next. I immediately fell in love with his writing style and his colorful language. I can't wait to read another book by him!
Heath Lowrance
Depression-era E Texas: during a violent storm, Sunset Jones kills her husband, the constable, as he attempts to rape her. Much to Camp Rapture's dismay, she inherits his job and finds herself in the middle of a double murder investigation that implicates some of the town's highest officials. And Sunset's life, as well as the lives of her daughter and her friends, is in serious danger.

That summary doesn't do it justice. This is Lansdale at his best. SUNSET & SAWDUST is a suspenseful, darkly
...more
Susanna Bloderer
Joe R. Lansdale - I read his previous book and was fascinated. I don't usually find myself in that genre, but his books are captivating. His point of view is definitely not euphemistic, he is brutally honest, and I like that. All of his characters have their own, distinct personality. Joe R. Lansdale definitely is the Picasso among writers. I stumbled upon his books by coincidence, and it was a good one. I was grossed out, I was disturbed, I had to laugh, I had to think about humanity and I was ...more
incipit mania
Incipit

il pomeriggio che piovvero rane, pesci grossi e pesci piccoli, Sunset scoprì che non ci voleva nulla a buscarne tante come Jack Tre Dita.....

http://www.incipitmania.com/incipit-p...
Alex
This guy's ship is coming in, as I understand it. Good for him! This is prime Elmore-Leonard quality, meaning EL @ the top his game: lotsa baroque violence, sex, good plot. Set in East TX, w/ever that is. Enjoy.
Gene Mccloud
Joe r

doesn't know how to write a bad story, true to life in that era
I would think, fast paced, with twists and action.
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Sunset and Sawdust 5 14 May 21, 2014 07:52AM  
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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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