Books from the Backlog: The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale


Carole @ Carole's Random Life In Books has created a fun feature called Books from the Backlog to spotlight neglected and unloved books that have been sitting on your bookshelf for too long.

If you would like to join in, click the pic above to find out more.

My Neglected Book of the Week is The Bottoms by Joe R. Lansdale. I needed this one so desperately that I bought it twice. Once at a library sale and once from a bookswap. I hope I love it but I'm pretty certain I will.


The Goodreads Blurbage:

The narrator of The Bottoms is Harry Collins, an old man obsessively reflecting on certain key experiences of his childhood. In 1933, the year that forms the centerpiece of the narrative, Harry is 11 years old and living with his mother, father, and younger sister on a farm outside of Marvel Creek, Texas, near the Sabine River bottoms. Harry's world changes forever when he discovers the corpse of a young black woman tied to a tree in the forest near his home. The woman, who is eventually identified as a local prostitute, has been murdered, molested, and sexually mutilated. She is also, as Harry will soon discover, the first in a series of similar corpses, all of them the victims of a new, unprecedented sort of monster: a traveling serial killer.

From his privileged position as the son of constable (and farmer and part-time barber) Jacob Collins, Harry watches as the distinctly amateur investigation unfolds. As more bodies -- not all of them "colored" -- surface, the mood of the local residents darkens. Racial tensions -- never far from the surface, even in the best of times -- gradually kindle. When circumstantial evidence implicates an ancient, innocent black man named Mose, the Ku Klux Klan mobilizes, initiating a chilling, graphically described lynching that will occupy a permanent place in Harry Collins's memories. With Mose dead and the threat to local white women presumably put to rest, the residents of Marvel Creek resume their normal lives, only to find that the actual killer remains at large and continues to threaten the safety and stability of the town.

Lansdale uses this protracted murder investigation to open up a window on an insular, poverty-stricken, racially divided community. With humor, precision, and great narrative economy, he evokes the society of Marvel Creek in all its alternating tawdriness and nobility, offering us a varied, absolutely convincing portrait of a world that has receded into history. At the same time, he offers us a richly detailed re-creation of the vibrant, dangerous physical landscapes that were part of that world and have since been buried under the concrete and cement of the industrialized juggernaut of the late 20th century. In Lansdale's hands, the gritty realities of Depression-era Texas are as authentic -- and memorable -- as anything in recent American fiction.

Why did I add this book to my tbr pile TWICE? Joe Lansdale. That is all.

You can find yourself a copy at Better World BooksAmazon
                

What's your favorite Joe R. Lansdale book?

Comments

  1. Did you buy it twice on purpose? I have bought books that I already own because I think they sound good and with the cover change I didn't realize that I already had it on my shelf.

    This sounds really good, Laurie! I haven't read Joe Lansdale yet but I am going to have to add this one to my wish list. I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, the duplicate was purely accidental. I'd recommend his Hap & Leonard books to start. So funny and brutal.

      Delete
  2. I do't buy a lot of physical books anymore so that doesn't' happen to me but THANK GOD! Amazon warns you before you buy an ebook twice. lol I've almost done that so many times because the covers don't register for me that way.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amazon is great about reminding me that I want to buy the same book. They lose out on a lot of money with that feature, lol.

      Delete
  3. That's so funny that you ended up buying it twice. I did that once: I was at a library book sale and saw a book that I really liked but couldn't remember if I owned it or not; so I bought it just to be safe. After all, what's 50 cents when it comes to a good book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, that's how I end up with many doubles too. And the $1.00 a bag day? Forget it. Everything gets thrown in there!

      Delete
  4. It sounds really good. At least they have different covers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol, yeah, it would've been even worse if they were the same!

      Delete
  5. I have extra copies of a few books because they are anniversary editions of a favorite or cover love for a different cover.

    I've not read Joe Landon, but the description makes me see why this might be an intense read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get dupes because I am so scattered. It's usually the library book sales that get me :)

      Delete
  6. Sometimes if I don't have my list with me, I do purchase books that I already own... I usually pass them onto my mother.

    I have not read any books by Joe Lansdale, this one does sound really good. I do hope you find a chance to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so easy to do when one has a huge tbr. I need to whittle mine down or at least get better organized.

      Delete
  7. I tend to avoid heavy topics like racism in my fiction books as I see so much of that hate on the news every night! I don't think I've tried anything by the author though.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That has happened to me before. LOL I hope you love this one when you get to it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I do that too sometimes. Buy a book and then grab it again. Usually because it's a different cover and blurb and I don't recognize it. This sounds good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, the trickery of some of these publishers is strong!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Halloween Season by Lucy A. Snyder

Review: Resisting Madness by Wesley Southard

Review: The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher