Joe R. Lansdale
March 27, 2012 / ISBN 0316188433
Mystery / Suspense
by Beverly J. Rowe
us a look at racism in East Texas in the 1930s that feels like he
was influenced by Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce...but the atmosphere
is all Lansdale. There is no denying it; Lansdale is a genius at
storytelling. The laughs are frequent, and sheer terror underlies
it all with the mystery of who killed May Lynn in the forefront.
May Lynn dreamed of becoming a Hollywood star. Now she's dead, her
body dredged up from the Sabine River.
Terry and Jinx, May Lynn's strong-willed teenage friends, set out
to dig up May Lynn's body, burn it to ash, and take those ashes
to Hollywood to spread around. It is the only way May Lynn will
end up in the land of her dreams. But it isn't as easy as they thought
it would be. Sue Ellen's abused, alcoholic mother decides to join
them and they steal a raft and start down river to carry May Lynn's
remains to Hollywood.
The only thing is, they also have May Lynn's stolen money with them,
and there are others who want it. With Sue Ellen's step- father,
the local Sheriff, and the wild man, Skunk, after them with murder
on their minds, things go from bad to worse.
This story is dark and strange and funny, with very appealing characters.
The dialogue and setting is pitch perfect. Lansdale writes in several
categories from humor to sci-fi to horror, but he is always on my
pre-order list as one of my favorite authors.