Reverend Jebediah Mercer, Lansdale's alcoholic gun-toting preacher, comes to town. Too bad a dying Indian medicine man put a curse on the town and it'...moreReverend Jebediah Mercer, Lansdale's alcoholic gun-toting preacher, comes to town. Too bad a dying Indian medicine man put a curse on the town and it's crawling with zombies...
If you're a zombie fan or a Joe R. Lansdale fan, this slim volume is more than worth the cash. It's got everything you love about zombie stories, set in a western town, and written by the Master of Mojo hisownself, Joe Lansdale.(less)
For my money, Joe R. Lansdale's short story collections are always worth a read. This one is no different. Instead of attempting to remember and revie...moreFor my money, Joe R. Lansdale's short story collections are always worth a read. This one is no different. Instead of attempting to remember and review all of the stories, I'll just talk about my favorite one, Bestsellers Guaranteed.
Bestsellers Guaranteed is the story of an aspiring writer who just can't catch a break. One day, he sees an ad in the paper for an agency called Bestsellers Guaranteed. In return for guaranteed slots on the bestsellers chart (whether he writes the book himself or the agency has someone write it for him), he'll be required to kill someone...
In the foreword to the story, Lansdale said the story came out of his frustration with trying to make a living writing. It shows. Hell, I wonder all the time how some books show up on the bestseller's list. Once the writer finds out he's going to have to kill someone, you feel his sense of dread.
This is my second favorite Lansdale collection, right after High Cotton. If you can only buy one, get that one. If you can get two, you have to jump on this one.(less)
Here's a Dangerous Dan review I did for BlackPigeon:
Sometimes, like when you're waiting for a corpse to finish bleeding out in your bathtub so you can...moreHere's a Dangerous Dan review I did for BlackPigeon:
Sometimes, like when you're waiting for a corpse to finish bleeding out in your bathtub so you can dismember it without making such a mess, you need some quick entertainment. Look no further.
Conan and the Songs of the Dead collects a miniseries published by Dark Horse a year or so ago. Songs of the Dead stars the barbarian we all know and love. The illustrator is the esteemed Tim Truman, artist of modules from the golden age of gaming, as well as comics like Scout and the good issues of Grimjack. I could easily go off on a Grimjack tangent but I'll save that for another time. The author of this piece is Joe R. Lansdale, write of such literary gems as the Hap and Leonard series as well as Bubba Hotep. Lansdale and Truman collaborated on several Jonah Hex miniseries for DC a few years ago so Dangerous Dan got really excited when he heard they were tackling the one and only Conan.
The story is as follows: Conan and his comic relief sidekick Alvazar, are charged with retrieving an artifact that looks like a jeweled minotaur penis and bring it to a sorcerer. The sorcerer plans to use the artifact to open a doorway into another dimension and release a great evil. Songs of the Dead is full of dark humor, decapitations, and monsters, like a Conan story should be. (less)
For me, a Joe Lansdale novel is like a visit from that foul-mouthed uncle your parents wish you wouldn't talk to when he comes to family gatherings. T...moreFor me, a Joe Lansdale novel is like a visit from that foul-mouthed uncle your parents wish you wouldn't talk to when he comes to family gatherings. The stories he tells are outside your normal sphere and often make you uncomfortable.
Leather Maiden is about an Iraq war veteran who returns to his home town and starts a job writing for the local paper. He finds out about an unsolved missing person case that happened while he was gone and writes a story about it. Not long after, a mysterious envelope shows up, containing a dvd with his brother and the missing girl engaged in adult situations. Things spiral from there.
Leather Maiden is vintage Joe Lansdale: black humor, gore, interesting characters, and an intriguing story. What else do you need from a mystery novel?
Aside from the selling point of being a Joe Lansdale novel and all that entails, this story has another big thing going for it: I had no idea where things were going until they were 7/8s of the way there. I love that in a book.(less)
It's been close to a decade since Joe Lansdale gave us another Hap and Leonard tale. Was it worth the wait? HELL YES! I gave it five stars, didn't I?
H...moreIt's been close to a decade since Joe Lansdale gave us another Hap and Leonard tale. Was it worth the wait? HELL YES! I gave it five stars, didn't I?
Hap and Leonard get talked into doing a favor for their friend Marvin. Marvin's granddaughter has been hanging with drug dealers and Hap and Leonard go to bring her back. Things go south for Hap and Leonard, as they always do, and soon the drug dealers are looking for payback. One shootout later and our boys are in the clink. The FBI offers them freedom in exchange for finding the son of a member of the Dixie Maffia and the three hundred thousand dollars he stole. That's when things really get bad...
Mrs. Lansdale's little boy hasn't lost a step. Hap and Leonard's banter is as fresh and dark as ever. The violence is stark and comes in heaping handfuls. While most of the antagonists seem to be there to take bullet holes, Vanilla Ride, the hitwoman the book is named after, is quite a character, a killer with a moral code. I wouldn't be surprised if Old Joe writes a solo adventure for her in the future. The crooked cops from No Enterprise should top anyone's scumbag list. Leonard Pine once again proves what a bad mother he is.
To sum up, if you're a fan of Hap and Leonard, snap this one up. It's the best one since the third or fourth book.
Sanctified and Chicken-Fried is a collection of Joe R. Lansdale short stories. The cover says The Portable Lansdale. I guess that's true since this is...moreSanctified and Chicken-Fried is a collection of Joe R. Lansdale short stories. The cover says The Portable Lansdale. I guess that's true since this is a best-of collection.
The stories are a combination of old favorites, like Bubba Hotep and Mr. Weedeater, new stories like the Dust Devils, and excerpts from two of Lansdale's novels, the Magic Wagon and A Fine Dark Line. The short stories are great. Rather than review them all, I'll tell you about Mr. Weedeater.
Mr. Weedeater has been my favorite Lansdale short story for about a decade now. Job Harold, redneck and all round loser, sees a blind man trimming the yard of the church next door with a weedeater. He tries to help the blind man but the blind man is on the obnoxious side. Eventually, Job's conscience gets the better of him and he helps the blind man, then lets him relax in his living room. Job's family likes the blind man entirely too much for Job's liking. However, when Job drives the blind man home, his house has burned down and his wife suggests the blind man stay with them. Hilarity ensues.
While I enjoyed the hell out of this collection, I couldn't give it five stars for two reasons. First, only one of the stories was brand spankin' new. Second, I would have much rather had two more stories instead of the novel excerpts. If the collection had included Bestsellers, Guaranteed and the one about the people fighting over the locket containing the Virgin mary's Pubic hair, I would have given it five stars automatically.
If you don't have any Lansdale short story collections, this one is the perfect place to start. Otherwise, read the contents before you buy, although the stories within are good no matter how many times you've read them.(less)