Sunday, August 17, 2008

Review: High Cotton by Joe R. Lansdale

As a fledgling horror writer, I'm trying to digest some bits and pieces from masters of the genre. Consider this review more of a discussion of what I liked in the book. Like I said, I'm a fledgling writer myself, and once you start creating something, you realize how much easier it is to criticize than create--so I'm trying to keep it on the positive.

I enjoyed much of High Cotton. Personal highlights include "Mister Weed-Eater", "The Night They Missed the Horror Show", "Incident on and Off a Mountain Road", and my favorite, "Steppin' Out, Summer, '68". Each of these tales forced my hand, made me keep turning those pages to see what bizzare sight waited around the corner. Each contained just the right mix of black humor for my taste.

In this mix of 21 tales, the reader really gains a respect for Lansdale's style of storytelling. He is from East Texas, and you hear the voice throughout, even when the story might be a bit wide of the darkly humorous horror for which he's known. A warning to the squeamish: this book will offend your senses and offers enough racial ephitats to make political correctness roll around in it's grave.

Lansdale knows how to entertain, and when he's on his game, he's among the best.


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