Friday, March 24, 2017

Fender Lizards reminds me Joe Lansdale is real

I recently picked up a collection of e-books from Subterranean Press, which included Fender Lizards by Joe Lansdale. It's about a poor Texas girl who gets a grip on her life through roller derby. I hadn't planned on reading it but I looked at the first chapter and, after that, I was in for the whole ride, all the way to the end. 

I found myself with two questions. Why did Subterranean publish it and why was it so good? Then I realized the answer to both those questions was Joe Lansdale.

Looking him up went like 'Oh yeah, he wrote Bubba Ho Tep. And the Vertigo revival of Jonah Hex. And the Hap and Leonard books. And that disturbing version of Jack the Ripper who wore decapitated  heads for shoes... How did I forget who Joe Lansdale is?'

I swear, for more than twenty years, I have found myself constantly rediscovering Joe Lansdale. I pick up one of works. Read it. Think it's some amazing writing. Look him up and discover I've already ready a bunch of stuff by him. It's like I have some kind of mental block.

Frankly, I blame The Drive In, which was the first thing I read by him back when I was in middle school. A Texas drive in gets trapped in some kind of black void. Murder, rape, infanticide, cannibalism follow. By the time an actual supernatural monster shows up, it's a relief from all the horrible stuff ordinary people are doing to each other.

It is a well written book but it kind of traumatized my brain. 

Joe Lansdale is an artist with words seriously. I don't agree with either everything he writes (although I am honestly not sure he does either) but there is no denying the craft that the man has. He's a profoundly great writer and Fender Lizards turned out to be a fun ride.

No comments:

Post a Comment