Sunday, December 29, 2013

Exceptional horror...with popcorn

 The Drive-in

By Joe R. Lansdale

Rating: 4 and 3/4 stars

I originally wrote this review for Goodreads in 2010. However, since the book has been released in a Kindle edition in November of 2013, I have re-posted the review in a slightly re-worded version.

I just discovered I still have this inscribed novel in my collection. Totally frigging bizarre.  A different side of Lansdale. I read it originally  in 1988 remembering as a four star book but I think it is ready for a re-read.

So I read it again and am upping my rating to four and a half, maybe even four and three quarters. Just don't get that five star feeling but it is awfully close. This was written when Lansdale was a shining star of Splatter-Punk, a sub-genre of horror that has recently morphed into Bizzaro fiction. Those who know Lansdale only for his mysteries might be a bit shocked by the downright weirdness of his earlier writings, of which The Drive-In is a prime example. Lansdale's Texas authenticity is still there but is wrapped in a form of sci-fi horror gruesomeness that comes out like a Lord of The Flies as if written in a collaboration between  Jean-Paul Sartre and Joe Bob Briggs. Lansdale is still feeling his chops with this one. It gets a little out of hand and over the top at times but that is part of the fun. There are two other short novels in this series and I'm going to hunt them down.

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