Friday, November 22, 2013

The Thicket

The Thicket
Joe R. Lansdale
Mulholland Books (September 10, 2013)

Idgie Says:
A WINNER! Saying it again, I loved this book. A darkly humorous western with hogs, midgets, hookers and attitude. I am so glad this one made it my way.

The dark humor and wordplay wrapped around a western setting - perfection. I have never read Joe Lansdale before, but apparently he has quite a few more books out there in the world and I intend to grab several for my reading pleasure.

A great example of the wordplay is this piece, "...found it hard to cry but once we started you best be prepared for highwater and loading of animals two by two."    Also, I must find a way to use  "Therein is the grit in the lard" in some sentence soon. There were so many other great lines but I would spend the next day finding and copying them all so I'll leave them to you to discover.

One thing I really enjoyed in this novel is that even though the gang trying to save the boy's sister contains a circus midget (with a very harsh backstory), a grave digger and a whore, none are ignorant stupid people who you might end up ridiculing.  They are people with strong morals, stronger convictions to do what needs to be done, and of a normal to high level of intelligence.

You really need to read the excerpt below to get the full flavor of the writing. The phrasing is best experienced instead of described.

Go HERE for Excerpt

Book Description:
Jack Parker thought he'd already seen his fair share of tragedy. His grandmother was killed in a farm accident when he was barely five years old. His parents have just succumbed to the smallpox epidemic sweeping turn-of-the-century East Texas--orphaning him and his younger sister, Lula.

Then catastrophe strikes on the way to their uncle's farm, when a traveling group of bank-robbing bandits murder Jack's grandfather and kidnap his sister. With no elders left for miles, Jack must grow up fast and enlist a band of heroes the likes of which has never been seen if his sister stands any chance at survival. But the best he can come up with is a charismatic, bounty-hunting dwarf named Shorty, a grave-digging son of an ex-slave named Eustace, and a street-smart woman-for-hire named Jimmie Sue who's come into some very intimate knowledge about the bandits (and a few members of Jack's extended family to boot).

In the throes of being civilized, East Texas is still a wild, feral place. Oil wells spurt liquid money from the ground. But as Jack's about to find out, blood and redemption rule supreme. In The Thicket, award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale lets loose like never before, in a rip-roaring adventure equal parts True Gritand Stand by Me--the perfect introduction to an acclaimed writer whose work has been called "as funny and frightening as anything that could have been dreamed up by the Brothers Grimm--or Mark Twain" (New York Times Book Review).