Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Thicket, by Joe R. Lansdale

Lansdale can pretty much do it all.  This novel is set in East Texas during the early 20th century, when indoor plumbing, phones and automobiles are rare but not unknown.  After Jack and Lula's parents die in an influenza epidemic, their grandfather tries to get them to their aunt.  But on a ferry run enterprisingly by the same man who burned the bridge that used to take people across the river, the trio runs afoul of some very bad men and some extreme weather.  Jack must try to rescue Lula from these desperados, with the self-interested assistance of a dwarf, an ex-slave, a retired prostitute, a sheriff turned bounty hunter, a handyman who should have known better than to fall in with this lot, and a smelly, cantankerous hog.  Humorous, grisly, violent and a lightning fast read.

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