If you somehow missed it, yesterday, the 15th of April, was HNR’s official ‘Joe Lansdale Appreciation Day’. The entire day was dedicated to the living legend and his works. Featured throughout the day were numerous reviews, editorials, a brand new Q&A session and a few words aimed at the HNR crowd from Joe Lansdale himself.
The day was an amazing success. The crowds flocked to follow the content, and the numbers piled up through the day. If yesterday taught me anything, it’s that Joe Lansdale has some of the most dedicated fans in the business.
They were here to show support. We were here to bring as much coverage as possible. As a whole, things were very successful, and I’m looking forward to working with Joe more in the future.
If you did indeed miss JLAD, here’s a complete rundown. Every posted article is listed, just click the title to read the full article!
Excerpt: “As a reader, I can honestly say that you know deep inside when a story has done its job by the way you feel at the end. All the Earth, Thrown To the Sky tugged strongly at my heart strings with the last few pages, creating a sense of emptiness and profound loss and missed opportunity that the lead character passed on to me. I could identify with the kids in the story and understand where each of them was coming from. Though I admired Jane’s strength, perseverance, and willingness to charge ahead, I still felt sadden by Jack’s loss. Not many books hit me this hard at the end.”
Excerpt: “This novel is Mr. Lansdale’s homage to James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, using the themes of lust, adultery, and murder, only with a slightly different twist. Though funny from beginning to end (yes, I have a rather bizarre sense of humor about life), this novel is also filled with poignant insights into how people treat those who are different.”
Excerpt: “Known as the Champion Mojo Storyteller, Joe R. Lansdale has been slinging out novels since before I was born and his prolific career has included several mediums. Currently a resident of Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife and pets, the 61 year young horror master spends his time writing and teaching at his own martial arts school all the while being Writer in Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University. While decidedly less horrific, Lansdale is probably most known for his “Hap and Leonard” series of novels which features a more modern day Holmes and Watson team from Texas solving crimes. Lansdale has put much of himself into this series (along with his other stories) as indicated by them both being from Texas and well-versed in martial arts. Of course he would know a lot of that subject as he is a member of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame as well as the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Of course if you’re into something a little different, you could always try his “Ned the Seal” series, an alternate universe western parody of less conventional means.”
Excerpt: “The Drive In is a novel that really… goes places. This one frightens and thoroughly shocks the senses. It may be a story too vile or outlandish for some, but there’s a humorous touch to this tale that should keep things enjoyable while expanding readers’ perspectives.”
Excerpt: “I am a fan of Lansdales’ work, so it makes my opinion here easy. Personally this second trip through the trilogy has been another joy for me. The horror here is real, again bringing to the story varying degrees of gore and atrocities. Bizarre behavior and abstract actions amongst the characters, this flows smoothly with a subtle taste of humor. The ability to bring forth laughter out of these horrid circumstances amazes me…”
Excerpt: “The Bus Tour had enough questions and answers to keep me reading the whole story in one night. Would I recommend this? Not only will I say yes, I will do so emphatically. Pick this up and devour it fully. If this is your first time to read any of Lansdale’s work then you have been missing out on a man with true talent. Get out from under the rock. This is an intoxicating read.”
Excerpt: “Many of the stories contained in ‘High Cotton’ are short zesty vignettes, peppered with charm and disarming brevity but it’s the conspicuously abridged pieces such as ‘The Pit’, ‘The Job’ and others that, while they are admittedly remarkable literary ‘sketches’ in their own right, they hint at much larger scenarios or literary avenues that Lansdale unfortunately decided, for whatever reason, not to pursue. Sadly the same is true of ‘Dirt Devils’, ‘Hang In There’ and the “rape, murder and candy-theft” story ‘By Bizarre Hands’ – which again read as carefully drawn character outlines without fully fleshed-out storylines. It’s a minor gripe, given the huge array of stories collected in this volume and it’s more than compensated for by the stand-out tales which are of such potency that the alleged creative miss-fires are largely forgiven.”
Excerpt: “Leather Maiden is Joe working his special blend of mojo as only a great writer can. The novel is excitingly fun and deeply entertaining, while at the same time offering a brief glimpse into one’s own memories of the past.”
Excerpt: “Again this ‘featherweight’ novel by Lansdale, his words, manages to skip and jump across a blizzard of references without being didactic. As fans of his work know already, Lansdale is fiendishly clever and a great entertainer. Zeppelins West makes its point, but principally has fun, which is what makes it so enjoyable. It is a tribute to the works of early/turn of the century fantastical fiction that draws its descent from Shelley’s 1818 phenomenon. That legacy of writing is lovingly homaged here.”
Excerpt: “Lost Echoes is FUN with capital letters. It creates a wonderful addiction that makes you want to read more of Joe Lansdale’s novels and short stories. Man, this is what reading fiction is supposed to be–FUN! You never feel cheated with a book by Joe R. Lansdale. Never! This is a writer who always gives his readers their money’s worth, plus more.”
Excerpt: “Lansdale’s tale is a genuinely creepy affair made all the more effective by his economic prose and careful handling of the plot. Leave the lights on for a while after finishing this.”
Excerpt: “This is an author capable of mortifying inside of 1,000 words; captivating inside of five pages. This is a guy who has found a way to leave his stories completely ingrained in our minds, and he can do so in the blink of an eye. Telling a terrific tale in just a few pages is not an easy feat. Yet Lansdale has done so time and again.”
Excerpt: “Deadman’s Road is a 5-star collection horror aficionados will love. Because the stories are much the same in that Reverend Jebidiah Mercer enters a town, and then does battle with the evil that’s there, it’s probably best not to read all of these stories back to back, but rather to space them out a little so you can savor each one. Each story is an excellent read with Dead in the West being ideal for a movie adaptation that would put Jonah Hex to shame.”
Excerpt: “For this reviewer, Lansdale shares one thing in common with writers like Straub, King, Simmons, McCammon, Malfi, Farris, etc, in that when picking up a book by any of these authors I’m not at all interested in reading the back dust jackets to get an idea of what I’m about to read, a sound-bite synopsis of plot, a comparison perhaps to other notable efforts, I intuitively know whatever the result may be that I have a piece of fiction in my hands by an author concerned with honest storytelling and earnest intent.”
Excerpt: “One thing I’ve discovered about Joe over the years is that he’s a man who appreciates his fans. He loves meeting with them and shooting the shit. He doesn’t have much patience with fools, but he will go out of his way to be kind to those people attending his autograph parties or meeting him at a convention. A lot of authors don’t want to be troubled by their fans. Joe’s personal kindness is one of the things that cause him to stand out as an American writer. He not only strives to write the best possible novel each time out, but wants to make sure it’s a book his fans are going to enjoy.”
Excerpt: “I started publishing in the seventies, but it was mostly non-fiction until the late seventies when I began to publish fiction. I like to think the best is yet to come. I’ve written a lot between 2000 and 2013. There may be a little less of it, but I’m thinking the quality is going to grow.”
Excerpt: “I have always preferred the pure storyteller’s voice to any other kind. I’ve written from a variety of voices, and have tried many methods of attack when it comes to story, but my favorite is the plain storyteller, just laying it out, yet, having no fear of digressing, or diverting, and still, somehow, holding the reader and pulling them back to the story line whenever they have the urge. The idea that I have grown up (almost) and am making a living doing what I wanted to do as a child, and am myself symbolically sitting under a tree in the yard and spinning stories and being paid for it amazes me daily.”