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The Best of Joe R. Lansdale

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  460 ratings  ·  39 reviews
By turns absurd, hilarious, and terrifying, this outrageous collection features the best writings of the high priest of Texan weirdness. Odd-ball detectives, malicious rocks, spectral prehistoric fish, and vampire hunters permeate these vividly detailed stories. Featuring cult-classic award-winning tales such as Night They Missed the Horror Show and Mad Dog Summer, along w ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Tachyon Publications (first published 2010)
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Joe Lansdale seems almost respectable these days. After a decade of writing books like The Bottoms and A Fine Dark Line which got him mainstream accolades and success, it got easy to forget that this is a guy who originally made his name doing exceptionally gory horror stories and novels. I’d gotten caught up in his Hap & Leonard series as well as the other recent novels so I’d forgotten about early bucket-o-blood books like The Drive-In and The Nightrunners.

So it was kind of a slap in the f
Brilliant, but not for the easily, or even remotely easily, offended. This man is dangerously good.

Great novella length stories: Bubba Ho-Tep, Mad Dog Summer, The Big Blow. Fantastic short stories like Not From Detroit, Fish Night, Incident On and Off a Mountain Road and The Events Concerning a Nude Fold-Out Found in a Harlequin Romance and White Mule Spotted Pig. This is a great introduction to all styles and types of writing that make up Lansdale’s work.

Lansdale’s style is almost impossible to
Steve Vernon
Just this morning finished reading Tachyon's new collection, THE BEST OF JOE R. LANSDALE.

Okay, for starters, I'm a big Lansdale fan. Just haven't read too much of his that I haven't enjoyed immensely.

As with most "best of" collections there were several stories I had read, notably The classic "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks", the many-times reprinted "Night they Missed the Horror Show", the Toho monsterama "Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program" and the rock solid historical nov
Rick Soper
This is my first books from Joe R Lansdale and it's a collection of short stories most of which were very interesting, but some of which seemed disgusting for disgusting's sake, as well as being rife with racial slurs which were a little much for me. A few stories stuck out like the opening ode to the Japanese monster flicks I grew up with that threw the hilarious spin on Godzilla trying to give up his Tokyo stomping ways through a twelve step AA type program which was just great fun. I was fami ...more
Why did I read this book?

I read an oddball short story by Lansdale in Steampunk. It was sort of gross, but so different than anything i'd ever read i wanted more of it.

The details about this book refer to stories about Godzilla's 12 step program, Elvis fighting a mummy and a guy's girlfriend turning into a zombie. I was hooked.

and then i was disappointed.

That's all there was to the oddness i expected. The rest of the stories are suspense stories sprinkled with a little supernatural activity, ma
There are a lot of Joe R. Lansdale anthologies hanging around out there. Most of these stories have been collected before and often. Yet this new collection is a good introduction to Lansdale's short fiction. They run the gamut from his earlier splatter-punk writings to straight horror to his visceral suspense tales. The highlights include "Mad Dog Summer" which is the predecessor to his novel The Bottoms, Bubba-Ho-Tep", "On The Far Side of The Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks", and the extremely ...more
Midnight Blue
I was familiar with some of Joe R Lansdale's work because his stories are usually in all the best anthologies.....and I was not disappointed by this collection. His story "Incident on and Off a Mountain Road" was the basis for one of my favorite Masters of Horror episodes and "Mad Dog Summer" is hands-down one of the best short stories (more of a novella really) that I've ever read. Lansdale combines the storytelling gift of a Stephen King novel with the weird and compelling cinematic quality of ...more
This was my first foray into Lansdale's work, and I feel sated for a while now. This is a man with a fantastic imagination and some spectacular turns of phrase, and I found myself in awe of several of these stories, particularly "Fire Dog," "Cowboy," "Fish Night," and "Mad Dog Summer."

There were some weak entries in this anthology, but that is always a given with these, and is strictly a matter of personal taste and opinion.

One thing that did kind of stick out to me, no pun intended, was Lansdal
Shedrick Pittman-Hassett
Joe R. Lansdale is becoming one of my all-time favorite writers. I've been listening to his "Hap and Leonard" series of pulpy mysteries on audio and have absolutely loved them. This collection ranges from the harrowing ("Mad Dog Summer") to the downright weird ("Bubba Ho-Tep", "On the Far Side of the Cadillac Desert with Dead Folks"). Always great fun from a truly fearless writer.
Norman Leonard
This collection was a hoot. It recalled in me the fears and wild designs of growing up in small town America -- not Mayberry, mind you, but rather the small towns that exist on the margins, those places where the soil underfoot always feels unstable and the only thing that was certain was that this world is a weird fucking place.
Peregrine 12
Aug 09, 2013 Peregrine 12 rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of horror, edgy stories
Disclaimer: I did not read this book all the way through.

Horror isn't my thing, so I didn't enjoy the stories as much as horror fans probably would. These stories have a heavy emphasis on torture and maiming and killing of innocent people, and that doesn't interest me very much so I quit the book after the first 60% and a quick view of the latter 40%.

Make no mistake: Joe Lansdale is a truly great author. He combines a fantastic imagination with a sense of humor and some of the best writing on t
Brad Fitzpatrick
There's just something about they way Joe R. Lansdale writes that makes me stay up way too late turning pages. This is my first exposure to his short stories which I enjoy reading in between full-length novels. I'm getting more into the short story format... they make great palette cleansers. After this I believe I will be venturing into the world of Raymond Carver. A good friend of mine brought this author to my attention. I would link to said friend's GoodReads profile, but he has not graced u ...more
Alice Lee
My first exposure to Joe R. Lansdale - an impulsive read without knowing much about the author at all. Boy was I in for a treat!

First of all, his writing is much better than I expected of a horror writer. He does go a bit metaphor-happy at times, but it's something I can overlook.

His range of writing chops is impressive. He can write from different points of view, from different characters effortlessly. His stories range from serious to humorous to downright horrifying - most of the time it's a
Gabriel Valjan
"6:38 P.M. On an afternoon hotter than two rats fucking in a wool sock, John McBride, six-foot one-and-a-half, 220 pounds, ham-handed, built like a wild boar and of similar disposition, arrived by ferry from mainland Texas to Galveston Island, a six-gun under his coat and a razor in his shoes."

Joe R. Lansdale. 'The Big Blow' in the best of Joe R. Lansdale. Tachyon (2010). p. 121

In an arresting opening sentence with a nice use of dashes Lansdale sets the tone and the barometer for a short story t
Mixed. "Bubba Ho Tep" and "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" are choice, and the man can definitely write, but some of the stories lost me due to the casual overuse of a certain racial epithet and really over the top, crude sexual language. I'm normally not put off by such things (at least when used to make some sort of point), I know there are people out there who think like that, and the characters that bothered me are hardly heroes in the traditional sense. However, in several cases it did ...more
Joe R. Lansdale tells stories that are simple and uncomplicated, but still riveting and very entertaining. My personal favorites were "Godzilla's Twelve-Step Program," "Mad Dog Summer," "The Big Blow," "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road," and "Night They Missed the Horror Show." Lansdale's style wavers between horror and dark comedy and is effective regardless of which direction the story takes. His comedies are darkly funny and full of tongue-in-cheek humor. His horror is sharp and visceral. ...more
Eclectic Reader
I have long been a fan of Mr. Lansdale and enjoyed meeting him at FenCon in Dallas in 2010. While his stories can be a little crude at times - and are most definitely male centric - Lansdale's work never fails to elicit a smile or a chuckle or a gasp.

Some reviwers at Good Reads have compared Lansdale's work to King's. Nope. They got it wrong. Lansdale's work surpasses King. It's a shame Lansdale hasn't found the wider audience he deserves. Of course, the slant toward male readers vs. female one
This is the third book in a row I've read that was an anthology by a single author - and easily the best (sorry David Cross). Joe R. Lansdale is a terrific writer and the stories collected here span his entire career - ranging from the dark and gritty to the full-blown batshit crazy. If you've seen the film adaptation of his story "Bubba Hotep" (included here) then you'll know what to expect. Two of his early "splatterpunk" stories I'd read back when I was a kid, but the rest of the collection w ...more
Lansdale is a storyteller at heart and these are gutsy, hyper-realistic slices of a Texas which it would be nice to think is only a product of his imagination. These stories contain zombies, rednecks, far-dystopian futures, and past time reminiscences. Mostly told in a no-nonsense matter of fact style, they are an engaging read and whilst they won't win any 'literary' awards there are a fair number of award-winning stories amongst the bunch. Entertaining, sometimes comic, often disturbing, but n ...more
A terrific collection of Joe R. Lansdale’s dark novellas and shorts. It’s difficult to go wrong with Godzilla’s Twelve-Step Program, Bubba Ho-Tep, The Big Blow, and Incident On and Off a Mountain Road. Each is unique in its mind-bending style, so any collection with them has to be five stars. Of course, some of the other tales aren’t quite up to par with these gems, but all are fun in their own pulpy way. If you enjoy Lansdale’s twisted storytelling, this collection is a must-read.
What can one possibly say about Joe Lansdale? He is a master storyteller. He makes me laugh. He is one of only two writers who has made me cringe when reading a story (and yes, I live for that). His story "Bubba Ho Tep" is one of my favorites for its sheer audacity, and it made a pretty kick ass movie to boot. He is irreverent, sacrilegious, and hilarious. His stories are mini masterpieces, and you must read them to understand how magnificent they are. He is fantastic!
DeAnna Knippling
This was a painfully good collection of short stories. The author takes you to the basement, hands you a shovel, and lets you dig down until you hit bedrock, then lets you come back up half an inch and feel slightly redeemed.

I had to read this book in small chunks: more than a page or so, and I was in a funk for the rest of the day, it was just that painful. But these stories are about pain and lies and irony, and those aren't supposed to be easy topics to get through.
Allan Lindsay
I love the language and pitch black humor of Lansdales works. "White Mule, Spotted Pig" is one of he funniest shorts I have ever read, where " the Night They Missed the Horror Show" might be the most disturbing.
That's why I love Joe R Lansdale, you never know what your gonna get, but whatever it is it will be f*cking excellent.
It was good, but a gratuitous use of the 'n' word in the stories as well as some (hints) about animal cruelty (which I hate in ANY story.) Would've liked a "Hap and Leonard" story, but this didn' t have anything like that. If you have to read it, fine; I'd skip it otherwise.
i've only gotten so far as bubba ho-tep, but lansdale is a fantastic storyteller. anyone who likes a spin on folktales lansdale is your man. i can't wait to finish the book and read more of his work.
John Orman
Some great, weird, and disturbing stories from the "high priest of Texas Weird", author of Bubba Ho-tep, which is in here.

Also some essays on drive-in theaters and B-movies.

Quite a hoot!
Interesting short stories. Some of his language is disturbing but over all not a bad read. Enjoyed seeing how he has grown in telling his tales from the backwoods of east Texas. Pretty accurate.
Bob Vickers
This is one of the best short story collections I've ever read. Not for everyone though, as it's at times disturbing and seems to have a racist character in every story.
oh my god, this was so good. My first Lansdale book and it was a great introduction. I am now a fan for life.
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Lush Library: The Stars Are Falling - Joe R. Lansdale 6 14 Jan 31, 2012 08:23AM  
  • Haunted Legends
  • The Imago Sequence and Other Stories
  • Quiet Houses
  • Two Worlds and in Between
  • October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween
  • Somewhere Beneath Those Waves
  • Alone With the Horrors: The Great Short Fiction, 1961-1991
  • Mr. Gaunt and Other Uneasy Encounters
  • North American Lake Monsters: Stories
  • Best New Horror 23 (The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, #23)
  • The Witch Of Prague & Other Stories (Tales Of Mystery & The Supernatural)
  • Songs of a Dead Dreamer
  • Martyrs and Monsters
  • They Had Goat Heads
  • The Grimscribe's Puppets
  • The Drowned Life
  • Objects of Worship
  • The Ones That Got Away
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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