Saturday, January 28, 2017

Blood and Lemonade -- Joe R. Lansdale

In his afterword to Blood and Lemonade, Joe Lansdale calls his latest book about Hap and Leonard a "mosaic novel."  You can read his definition for yourself.  My idea is that it's a book of short pieces connected by an introduction to each piece that ties the whole thing together.  In this case the short pieces (some reprints, many original to this volume) are mostly the backstory of Hap Collins, telling about his growing-up years in East Texas.

You might notice that I said "short pieces" instead of short stories.  Some of the pieces are stories, and all of them have a story to tell, but not all of them are stories.  One of them is even called "The Parable of the Stick," so you know what that one is.  And while they're mostly about Hap (and occasionally Leonard) all of them have something to impart beyond the simple history of a character.  They're about a time and a place and people and attitudes and growing up in an era different from the one we live in now.  I suspect that some of them are drawn from Lansdale's own life, but that's just, like, my opinion, man. 

Everything here is written in Lansdale's inimitable style of down-home East Texas storytelling, and everything is eminently readable and enjoyable.  There's humor, there's sadness, there's blood, and there's lemonade.  And some cussing, too.  Great stuff, irresistible reading.


Jeff Meyerson said...

This is going on my list today.

Jeff Meyerson said...

My library has 6 copies on order, so I reserved it.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

You must have a big library. I'll be lucky if my library gets 1 copy.

George said...

And there's a gator on the cover! It's a must-buy!