Sunday, February 21, 2010

Unchained and Unhinged

Joe R. Lansdale is an author I admire greatly. I just wish he wasn't a horror writer!

He claims he doesn't really write horror very much, but most of his work is darker than I normally like to read. I liked the first two Hap & Leonard novels, I really liked Bubba Ho Tep and I loved Zeppelins West, but the collections Best Sellers Guaranteed and Unchained and Unhinged, were hit or miss for me. I either love the story, or it's horror.

So, perhaps I need to just stick with the novels and not the short story collections?

The first section of Unchained and Unhinged was my favorite part as it contains five essays about writing. For some reason I love reading about writing and about writers. I've said here before that often my favorite part of anthologies are the short introductions giving you the background of the stories, instead of the stories themselves. I liked reading these stories, except when they got too gruesome. The funny thing is I especially liked the short-shorts, which have to be very clever very quickly, even though they were mostly horror.

So now I can't decide which of Joe's books I want to get next, The King and Other Stories, which is full of short-shorts, or Flaming London, the sequel to Zeppelins West. Maybe I'm coming around to Joe's way of thinking; some of these stories may be a little gruesome, but their not really horror stories.

I started two new books this weekend, Journeys Beyond Advice by Rhys Hughes, which so far is nothing like any of this other books. So he continues to surprise me. And 'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out, by Kinky Friedman, because sometimes I just need some brain candy. Kinky is always an easy flowing laugh out loud funny read. And he makes it look so easy.

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