Thursday, September 09, 2004

A Passage from Joe R. Lansdale

A Passage from Joe R. Lansdale

I was fortunate enough to find Joe R. Lansdale's newest the other day where somebody had traded it at the used bookstore. I did a little happy dance right there in the middle of the stacks. Didn't have to buy it new. I don't buy a lot new, even from my favorite authors (and Mr. Lansdale, trust me, is up HIGH on that list). As much as I like these authors, I'm also a little cheap. I don't see the sense in buying a $22 book when I've got shelves full of books at home that I haven't read yet.

Still, when I found Sunset and Sawdust for less than half price, figuring in the little bit of trade credit I had left, I had to jump.

I read a quarter of the book last night before going to sleep. I ought not read authors I really like when I need to sleep. I'm liable to be up for a long, long time.

I caught on the opening passage, when I started reading. I just liked the way the words fit together. It's a violent, jarring way to open the story, from an author who specializes in occasionally violent, jarring stories.

I thought I'd share:

On the afternoon it rained frogs, sun perch, and minnows, Sunset discovered she could take a beating good as Three-Fingered Jack. Unlike Jack, who had taken his in the sunshine, she took hers in her own home at the tail end of a cyclone, the windows rattling, the roof lifting, the hardwood floor cold as stone.

She was on her back wearing only the top half of her dress, because the bottom half had been ripped away when Pete, during the process of beating her, had stepped on it, and the dress, rotten as politics, had torn and left her clothed only from waist to shoulders.

It went through her mind that she was down to two dresses now, and that she hated to see this one go, as it, though faded, had a flowery pattern she liked and the colors blended well with the stains.

Go check out Joe's site. He's got free short (short) stories up. Good for a quick read.


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