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The Bottoms Audio Cassette – Audiobook, May 1 2001


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Audio Cassette, Audiobook, May 1 2001
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Sound Library; Unabridged edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792724593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792724599
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16.6 x 6.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 585 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
Set in depression-era southeast Texas*, this sort-of-mystery, sort-of-maybe-supernatural story reads like a near-gothic frappe of Harper Lee and early M. Night Shyamalan ... with a Texan accent. It's a richly-drawn, finely-told murder mystery related from the primary POV of 2 kids whose father is struggling with the investigation.
Technically, I guess, the tale is told by the older sibling, who is now elderly (in a nursing home?); and to tell the truth, I wish Lansdale had left the frame story out of it. There's only so much denoument a novel needs, and I got more wind-down than I really wanted. But even so, it's a damn fine story and Lansdale's writing style is enough to keep you flying from paragraph to paragraph, even during those brief periods when you're less than thrilled with the content.
[side note: For those of you who may not be aware, Joe Lansdale is the spectacular fellow who wrote the short story upon which the movie <i>Bubba Ho-Tep</i> was based. If you are blessed enough to own (or rent) a copy of the DVD, be sure to check some of the extras for an interview or two with Lansdale. He seems like quite a character, all lower-bodily fixations aside.]
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Format: Paperback
Author Joe R. Lansdale is a cult figure due to his extreme way of looking at the world around him, specifically that corner known as East Texas. Not everyone can tolerate his depiction of the often unnecessarily violent behaviors of normal people (and not everyone gets to, as most of his output is released with small specialty presses). His ability to jump from one genre to another with apparent ease (he has written horror, mystery, suspense, and westerns, just to skim the surface) makes instant fans of his readers, who know that they will never get bored because he "always writes the same thing" like many authors. Novels like The Drive-In, along with his series starring Hap Collins and Leonard Pine, and his short story collections High Cotton and Bumper Crop show his vast range of expertise, and his six Bram Stoker awards (given by the Horror Writers of America) are a testament to the appreciation of genre fans.
A lot of Lansdale's work has a streak of dark humor running through it; you know when you read it you'll have a good time. The Bottoms has a lot of the same qualities of his other work, but is a more serious telling. Released by Mysterious Press, this is more of what people usually expect when they pick up a mystery novel, but still with the signature Lansdale stamp. Racism is a subject that never seems to get old, and it hangs heavily over the proceedings.
From his room in a rest home, old Harry Collins tells the story of a period of his childhood in the 1930s. While he and his sister Tom (short for Thomasina and tomboy) are out on an unpleasant task -- that of putting down their sick dog, Toby -- they come across a dead black woman, naked and tied to a tree with barbed wire.
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Format: Paperback
Mr. Lansdale proves what a versatile writer he in in "The Borders," the book for which he won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Although the book has the elements of a mystery. Lansdale takes his reader more into the territory of "A Boys Life," "Stand by Me" and even "To Kill a Mockingbird." Without rehashing the plot again, Lansadle gives us a wonderfully written narrator's voice (the 80 and 11 year old Harry Collins) who tells his tale with both sadness and whimsical fondness. The relationships with his father, Jacob; his mother May; his sister Tom; his grandmother; the elderly Miss Maggie, and all interweave into a complex plot. There is a point in the novel where the identity of the murderer becomes obvious, but it's so deftly interwoven, you forget until it is identified. The book shows the sad side of segregation in the thirties where being "colored" was being "nothing." Lansdale gives a very good inclination of that life, and includes some remarkably likeable "coloreds."
A very well written book.
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Format: Paperback
Last year a friend of mine told me about Joe R. Lansdale and the Hap Collins-Leonard Pine mysteries. Being from Crockett, Texas, near Nacogdoches, he knew I could identify with the stories and characters. They were great, but until "The Bottoms" they were my only experience with JRL.
The era of the story was a little before my time, but the people and the setting really hit home. It is deep East Texas at it's best and worst. I read it in one long sitting and wanted to start reading it again. I can't get enough of his books set in East Texas, and people in other parts of the country should know the settings and the people are right on the money.
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Format: Paperback
This is a well written, coming of age, murder mystery. No doubts about that. But it seems as if Mr. Lansdale stole many of the primary elements from Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird". As a result, I was greatly disappointed at the end, after the story had taken off on such a new and fascinating tack. If you've never read "...Mockingbird", then "The Bottoms" is a great read!
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Format: Paperback
In The Bottoms, author Joe Lansdale has superimposed a murder mystery over a coming of age story. To this he adds the setting of the rural south during the Great Depression which he couples with the racial tensions of that place and time. The result of this eccletic mixture is an engaging page-turner with wide appeal. Landsdale tells his story from the perspective of 11-year Harry, although it is an elderly Harry looking back on his childhood who narrates the tale. A chance discovery of Harry and his younger sister, Tom, launches a search for a serial killer by their father, Jacob, the town's constable. Memorable characters along the way include Harry's eccentric grandmother, a black doctor ahead of his time, a bigoted old man and his hateful sons, a neighboring constable with connections to both of Harry's parents, a reclusive elderly black man, and finally, a mysterious figure known only as the "Goat Man." Although the plot does have parallels to To Kill a Mockingbird, its blend of elements makes it uniquely worthwhile. And even if you solve the mystery ahead of time like I did, this book is sure to captivate you to the very last page.
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