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Act of Love

Lansdale, Joe R.

560 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 159606417X / ISBN 13: 9781596064171
Published by Subterranean
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

159606417X 2012. 258 pages. #144 of 200 signed, limited edition copies. Signed by the author on the limitation page. Burgundy boards with gold titling, fine. Spine square. Binding sound. Dust jacket fine in archival Mylar. Black slipcase fine. Interior bright, free of marks. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-2005796

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Act of Love

Publisher: Subterranean

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


In 1981, Joe R. Lansdale, then a noted short story writer, published his first novel, a paperback original entitled Act of Love. A ferocious account of the search for a killer known as the Houston Hacker, Lansdale's debut was written years before the Hannibal Lecter phenomenon left its mark on American popular culture, years before the 'serial killer novel' became a distinct--and highly marketable--publishing category. Thirty years after its initial appearance, this pioneering novel continues to exert a raw but undeniable narrative force.

Set in the vividly evoked urban squalor of Houston, Texas, Act of Love moves with great authority between the disordered mind of a compulsive killer and the increasingly desperate perspectives of the policemen who hunt him. In the process, it offers a detailed portrait of a complex murder investigation and anatomizes a city under siege, a city held hostage by a latter day Jack the Ripper.

As long time Lansdale readers will note, Act of Love introduces the soon-to-be-familiar figure of homicide detective Marvin Hanson. More importantly, it introduces, in embryonic form, some characteristic authorial virtues: the deceptively effortless prose, the flawless sense of place, the graphic depiction of inhuman violence, and the casually profane, instantly recognizable Lansdale humor. Unavailable for far too long, Act of Love makes a welcome reappearance in this deluxe anniversary edition, which includes the definitive text of the novel, a new introduction by the author, and a never before published short story featuring Marvin Hanson. The result is a significant--and necessary--act of rediscovery and an irresistible gift for Lansdale aficionados old and new.


Before Clive Barker or splatterpunk, Lansdale wrote this pioneering serial killer novel, set in Houston. "The closest thing to what I wanted to do at that time was the work of Sam Peckinpah," Lansdale says. "I wanted to make violence nasty, I wanted to make it bother you, but I wanted to make the story compelling. The thing that made me write Act of Love was anger. I was angry that so much attention was directed to psychopaths and murderers and very little attention given to their victims."

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