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*Starred Review* Whether he's writing Hap Collins-Leonard Pine mysteries, genre-bending horror novels, or his own blend of historical fiction and gritty country noir, cult-favorite Lansdale rarely hits a wrong note. He's a superb stylist and a first-rate storyteller, and his sandpaper wit never fails to scratch out a brand of humor that hovers somewhere between knee-slap funny and painfully revelatory. He's in his country-noir mode here, in what just may be his best novel yet. The tale begins with a hold-your-breath set piece in which red-haired beauty Sunset Jones kills her husband, Pete, who happened to be raping her at the time. Given all that, it comes as a surprise to the residents of Camp Rapture, an ironically named sawmill settlement in Depression-era East Texas, when Sunset's mother-in-law, majority owner of the mill, arranges to have Sunset replace Pete as the settlement's constable. Soon enough, Sunset--with the help of two deputies, both with romantic designs on their boss--is investigating the murder of a woman and her unborn child, a crime that may implicate Pete. Lansdale layers the mystery elements skillfully, building to an action-filled climax, but where he really shines is in his evocation of both the desperation and the determination that grew from the dirt of the Depression. Sunset is a marvelous character; you don't see many feminist heroines in the femme-fatale world of noir, which makes her emergence, her coming-of-age in an age set firmly against her, so exhilarating. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“[Sunset and Sawdust is] filled with turns and twists, nastiness, broad humor, moments of grace. . . . Lansdale is a storyteller in the great American tradition.” –The Boston Globe
“A wonderfully nasty piece of work [that] inspires I-can’t-believe-this laughter. . . . Very entertaining.” –Newsday
The opening . . . will grab unsuspecting readers by the lapels and pull them right in. . . . Lansdale's prose--laconic and sarcastic--is so thick with slang and regional accent that it's as tasty as a well-cured piece of beef jerky." --The Denver Post
"Lansdale is an exceptional storyteller . . . readers will feel the Texas heat and hear the story in the author's unique East Texas drawl. The vivid characterization will make readers cheer for the protagonist and boo the villain." --Rocky Mountain News
“Delivers the unexpected and bizarre that his fans have come to expect. . . . The narrative is entertaining, but Lansdale’s patently unvarnished storytelling–backwoods and brash all at once–is the real reason to crack this cover.” --Texas Monthly
"Funny, bloody and bizarre. . . . Another five-star doozy of a tale from an immensely talented and original storyteller." --The Flint Journal
“Sunset Jones is the kind of woman that men who drink in East Texas bars would call a ‘pistol.’ As a tornado rips through the sawmill camp town of Rapture, in the rousing opening scene of Joe R. Lansdale’s historical barnburner Sunset and Sawdust, Sunset finally puts a stop to her husband Pete’s bloody beatings. . . . Soon Sunset has her own posse, including a wonderful dog whose abject adoration of the fiery gunslinger pretty much sums up this reader’s feelings.” --The New York Times Book Review
"A first-rate whodunnit. . . . [Lansdale] knows how to tell a story." --The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Sly, easy-paced and so comfortable in its setting that it becomes almost seductive. This is what good storytelling is all about.” --Arizona Republic
"Lansdale can catch that meandering East Texas twang in his writing, but just as quickly he can tighten the plot and our stomachs with a turn of phrase. . . . Lansdale gives us both atmosphere and action." --Winston-Salem Journal
"Surrealistic. . . . Unpredictable. . . . A darker kind of storytelling." --Pittsburg Tribune-Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
First of all, I am a Lansdale fan. I discovered his books about four years ago and I have read nearly every thing he's written. Lansdale keeps getting better and better. Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by Samuel L. Smith II
I'd consider myself a Lansdale fan, I've read all the short stories, loved the first Hap and Leonard books. But lately... Read morePublished on June 13 2004
Joe R. Lonsdale won the Edgar Award for best novel several years ago for his historical drama, THE BOTTOMS. Read morePublished on April 19 2004 by Larry
With so much of the same old crap stirring around the top
of the bestseller sewer system of retreds its nice to find
another Lansdale winner waiting in the wings for its... Read more
Joe R. Lansdale (as someone already noted) is an American treasure. Every time I read one of his novels, I end up laughing out loud and the crisp western dialogue ("He was big... Read morePublished on April 3 2004
Joe R. Lansdale's latest, _Sunset and Sawdust_ and is a real stunner! I think this book is even better than his Edgar-award winning _The Bottoms_. Read morePublished on March 29 2004 by Craig Larson
I first read a Joe R. Lansdale story in an anthology entitled NIGHT VISIONS. It was one of a series of volumes published by a wonderful and sadly defunct company named Dark... Read morePublished on March 28 2004 by Amazon Customer
I tell stories to my wife at night. Usually they put her to sleep. Then I started telling her Lansdale stories. Read morePublished on March 26 2004
Joe Lansdale returns to the bookshelf with another in a long line of suspense masterpieces. Politically incorrect, but writing with far more authority than anyone on the New York... Read morePublished on March 24 2004 by T.P.M.