Sanctified and Chicken-Fried: The Portable Lansdale (Southwestern Writers Collection)

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9780292719415: Sanctified and Chicken-Fried: The Portable Lansdale (Southwestern Writers Collection)
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Master of mojo storytelling, spinner of over-the-top yarns of horror, suspense, humor, mystery, science fiction, and even the Old West, Joe R. Lansdale has attracted a wide and enthusiastic following. His genre-defying work has brought him numerous awards, including the Grand Master of Horror from the World Horror Convention, the Edgar Award, the American Horror Award, seven Bram Stoker awards, the British Fantasy Award, Italy's Grinzane Prize for Literature, as well as Notable Book of the Year recognition twice from the New York Times.

Sanctified and Chicken-Fried is the first "true best of Lansdale" anthology. It brings together a unique mix of well-known short stories and excerpts from his acclaimed novels, along with new and previously unpublished material. In this collection of gothic tales that explore the dark and sometimes darkly humorous side of life and death, you'll meet traveling preachers with sinister agendas, towns lost to time, teenagers out for a good time who get more than they bargain for, and gangsters and strange goings-on at the end of the world. Out of the blender of Lansdale's imagination spew tall tales about men and mules, hogs and races, that are, in his words, "the equivalent of Aesop meets Flannery O'Connor on a date with William Faulkner, the events recorded by James M. Cain."

Whether you're a long-time fan of Joe R. Lansdale or just discovering his work, this anthology brings you the best of a writer whom the New York Times Book Review has praised for having "a folklorist's eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur's sense of pace."

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About the Author:

JOE R. LANSDALE is the author of thirty novels, including The Bottoms, Mucho Mojo, A Fine Dark Line, Two-Bear Mambo, and Bad Chili, as well as two hundred shorter works in fiction, nonfiction, essays, and columns. His screenplays, novels, and stories have frequently been optioned by producers and directors such as David Lynch, Ridley Scott, and Adam Friedman. He has written teleplays for Batman: The Animated Series, as well as a multitude of comic book scripts. His novella Bubba Ho-Tep was filmed and starred Ossie Davis and Bruce Campbell, and his short story “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” was filmed for Showtime.

Review:

From the Dallas Morning News:

'Sanctified and Chicken-Fried' by Joe R. Lansdale: the twisted soul of East Texas

By JANE SUMNER / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

What's a nice old girl like me doing reviewing a Joe R. Lansdale anthology? After all, you can drink while reading Lansdale, but you sure can't eat. And you can't read him at bedtime without inviting creepy dreams.

He may be violent, gruesome and shocking, but Lansdale is also one of the greatest yarn spinners of his generation: fearless, earthy, original, manic and dreadfully funny.

The mojo East Texas writer with a ton of awards, including seven Bram Stokers for superior achievement in horror, can write chilling stuff, but mostly he mixes up genres: horror, mystery, suspense, science fiction, Old West, humor and coming-of-age.

There are other Lansdale collections, but what editor Steven L. Davis wanted to do in this welcome addition to the Southwestern Writers Collection Series was "capture a distinctive element of Joe's work - the deep sense of East Texas that permeates his writing."

And except for a post-apocalyptic tale and an excerpt set in Deadwood from the rowdy out-of-print western novel The Magic Wagon, "the soul of East Texas" is here, he says, "in all its twisted, gothic beauty."

As a writer, Lansdale may not be appetizing, politically correct or genteel. But he is laugh-out-loud funny, acquainted with the night and often acutely profound. After dipping into this bunch of weirdness, a grin creased my face for the rest of the day.

But not all Lansdale is as ribald as "Mister Weed-Eater," his short story about a sightless groundskeeper that the author insists is based on true happenings. "Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back," which helped fuel his big international rep, is dead-serious sci-fi that will hang in your head like a mushroom cloud.

The author's masterful novella, The Big Blow, set in Galveston Sept. 4-9, 1900, keys on a prizefight between a local black boxer and a white street fighter pro imported to give him a comeuppance.

And who but Lansdale, himself a martial artist, would have an elderly Elvis and black JFK battling a mummy at a rundown nursing home in wacky, touching "Bubba Ho-Tep"? A movie version hit the big screen in 2002.

Here, too, are excerpts from the author's haunting out-of-print novel A Fine Dark Line and three of his favorite short stories: "The Pit," about backwoods dog fights, man fights and snake-fondling; "The Fat Man and the Elephant," about a preacher who finds inspiration at a sad roadside zoo; and Lansdale's unflinching signature piece, "Night They Missed the Horror Show," about two hicks who skip a drive-in horror flick, because a black man is the star, and encounter real evil.

The wonderful "White Mule, Spotted Pig" proves that, as Davis says: "Joe addresses uncomfortable topics like sexism and racism in a challenging, in-your-face kind of way. Sometimes with high satire or low comedy but always with an open heart."

Anthologies are an editor's call, but my Lansdale reader would have included something from one of the author's raunchy, witty Hap Collins-Leonard Pine whodunits and from his Edgar Award-winning period novel, The Bottoms. But if you're new to Lansdale, not easily shocked or offended, Sanctified and Chicken- Fried is a good place to jump in and hang on for a crazy ride off the rails.

Jane Sumner is an Austin freelance writer.

books@dallasnews.com -- Jane Sumner, Dallas Morning News, March 29, 2009

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Book Description University of Texas Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Master of mojo storytelling, spinner of over-the-top yarns of horror, suspense, humor, mystery, science fiction, and even the Old West, Joe R. Lansdale has attracted a wide and enthusiastic following. His genre-defying work has brought him numerous awards, including the Grand Master of Horror from the World Horror Convention, the Edgar Award, the American Horror Award, seven Bram Stoker awards, the British Fantasy Award, Italy s Grinzane Prize for Literature, as well as Notable Book of the Year recognition twice from the New York Times. Sanctified and Chicken-Fried is the first true best of Lansdale anthology. It brings together a unique mix of well-known short stories and excerpts from his acclaimed novels, along with new and previously unpublished material. In this collection of gothic tales that explore the dark and sometimes darkly humorous side of life and death, you ll meet traveling preachers with sinister agendas, towns lost to time, teenagers out for a good time who get more than they bargain for, and gangsters and strange goings-on at the end of the world. Out of the blender of Lansdale s imagination spew tall tales about men and mules, hogs and races, that are, in his words, the equivalent of Aesop meets Flannery O Connor on a date with William Faulkner, the events recorded by James M. Cain. Whether you re a long-time fan of Joe R. Lansdale or just discovering his work, this anthology brings you the best of a writer whom the New York Times Book Review has praised for having a folklorist s eye for telling detail and a front-porch raconteur s sense of pace. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780292719415

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